Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Topics

Picture 031

The Marcellus Shale, Explained

Background

Marcellus Shale is a sedimentary rock buried thousands of feet beneath the earth’s surface. It stretches from upstate New York south through Pennsylvania to West Virginia and west to parts of Ohio. Named after a town in upstate New York, the rock itself is millions of years old, formed from mud and organic material. The natural gas created over millions of years as a byproduct of decomposition is trapped in tiny spaces and fissures within the rock. The Marcellus Shale is just one of many shale formations across the world. When industry speaks of tapping shale gas, it often refers to it as a “shale play.” The Marcellus is one of the first shale plays to be tapped, after the Barnett Shale formation in Texas.

Latest Posts

New study links gas drilling to water contamination in NE Pa.

New research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows evidence of a connection between gas drilling and water contamination that occurred in Bradford County in 2010. The researchers used a new method of testing for contaminants that can detect much smaller amounts of chemicals than the instruments typically used in commercial [...]

Gas industry’s campaign donations rose 47% in 2013-14, report says

Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry donated 47% more to state political campaigns in 2013-14 than it did two years earlier in an effort to weaken regulations and minimize taxation, according to a new report from Common Cause Pennsylvania. The liberal advocacy organization issued an updated report on Thursday, showing that the industry spent $2.8 million on [...]

Shale gas opponents shout down industry speaker at Philadelphia LNG session

Anti-fracking protestors late Thursday disrupted a public information session on the possibility of building a liquefied natural gas export terminal in Philadelphia, shouting down speakers from the industry and finally being ejected by security officers. About half a dozen protestors repeatedly interrupted an opening presentation at Drexel University by Jason French, Director of Government and [...]

Gas industry urges U.S. to speed approval of LNG export terminals

The natural gas industry’s leading trade group on Thursday stepped up pressure on the federal government to approve plans for liquefied natural gas export terminals, issuing a white paper which argues that the U.S. risks missing an opportunity to dominate the global market unless it acts quickly. America’s Natural Gas Alliance said the U.S. could [...]

In New Jersey, open space sacrificed for cheaper natural gas

Open space is a rare commodity in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the country. The New Jersey Conservation Foundation says a proposed natural gas pipeline could cut through about 4,500 acres of undeveloped land preserved with public dollars. If built, backers of the PennEast pipeline say it would feed cleaner fuel to [...]

NPR: In Pa. gas industry jobs boom despite nationwide oil and gas bust

Oil and gas workers are facing unemployment in the country’s big oil producing states like Texas. But NPR’s energy reporter Jeff Brady took a trip to a shale gas training center in Williamsport and finds students optimistic about their future job prospects. The governor’s chief of staff, Katie McGinty, tells Brady that Pennsylvanians should be seeing [...]

Regulators outpaced by gas industry waste, report says

Pennsylvania’s environmental regulators are failing to keep pace with a growing volume of liquid and solid waste generated by the natural gas industry, and are allowing risky practices like open-air waste storage to continue, according to a study issued on Thursday. The report by Earthworks, a nonprofit that highlights the adverse effects of mineral and [...]

USGS: Fracking water quality data “scarce”

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey say there’s just not enough data to figure out the impact of fracking on water quality. The American Geophysical Union’s Water Resources Research published an article about the USGS study today.   “We mined the national water-quality databases from 1970 – 2010 and were able to assess long-term trends in [...]

Federal court weighs in on air emissions controversy in Pa. gas fields

A federal court weighed in on a contentious debate over air emissions from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas sector this week. In Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future v. Ultra Resources Inc., Pennsylvania’s Middle District Court ruled against the environmental group, more commonly known as PennFuture, and in favor of the gas company. But in the 31-page decision, U.S. [...]

Senate committee approves shale gas health bill

A bill to create a Marcellus Shale health advisory panel, which never made it out of committee last year, was approved by the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee unanimously today.  Senate Bill 375, introduced by Senate Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati (R-Jefferson), would create a nine-member panel to advise the legislature on the health impacts of [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education