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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

Governor Tom Corbett says the impact fee is still the best deal for Pennsylvanians

Governor Tom Corbett speaks about taxing the Marcellus Shale in an interview at WHYY in Philadelphia

StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips sat down with both candidates for governor and pressed them on energy issues. The candidates visited WHYY in Philadelphia, where several reporters interviewed them for about ten minutes each. Wolf has proposed taxing the Marcellus Shale gas differently than Governor Corbett. Wolf wants to charge a 5 percent tax on the [...]

Democrat Tom Wolf talks extraction tax and protecting the environment

Democrat Tom Wolf talks to reporters at the WHYY studio in Philadelphia.

StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips sat down with both candidates for governor and pressed them on energy issues. The candidates visited WHYY in Philadelphia, where several reporters interviewed them for about ten minutes each. Wolf has proposed taxing the Marcellus Shale gas differently than Governor Corbett. Wolf wants to charge a 5 percent tax on the [...]

2014 Governor’s Race: Face off over the sweet spot on taxing Marcellus Shale

Here’s something Governor Tom Corbett and his democratic challenger Tom Wolf agree on: Each calls Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale natural gas a “game-changer” for the state’s economy. But they disagree on how to get the most out of the gas boom for all Pennsylvania residents. Comparisons to Texas keep coming up in the race. And natural [...]

Corbett says taxing natural gas may be a future option

Governor Tom Corbett says he’s thinks taxing natural gas could be an option. Just three weeks before the election, the governor is battling for his political future. In an exclusive interview with StateImpact Pennsylvania, Corbett said he thinks rather than the extraction tax advocated by his Democratic opponent Tom Wolf, it may be better to tax [...]

Final hurdle cleared for Marcellus gas exports

A federal regulatory agency has approved plans to ship Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania overseas. The decision clears the way to begin converting a former import terminal in the Chesapeake Bay to export liquefied natural gas. Dominion Energy’s Cove Point plant can now move forward with plans to export more than 5 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas each year. [...]

Study: residents closer to gas wells report more health issues

A new study has found that residents in western Pennsylvania living close to Marcellus Shale gas drilling sites were twice as likely to report health problems than those living farther away. Public health researchers from Yale and the University of Washington went door-to-door and surveyed the health of 492 adults and children living in 180 [...]

New study will examine impact of shale boom on families

Here’s the question that’s been nagging Penn State University researcher Molly Martin for years: When it comes to a child’s success, how much does money matter? Martin says that’s been a tough one for sociologists like her to answer. That is, until the Marcellus Shale boom. “It’s very rare that you can separate the money [...]

Drilling underway at Pittsburgh International Airport

A major plan to drill for natural gas under Pittsburgh International Airport is underway. Politicians, including Gov. Tom Corbett, and officials from Consol Energy kicked off the project in a ceremony at the airport today. More from the Associated Press: The Monday morning ceremony featured remarks by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, Democratic County Executive Rich [...]

FEMA: no flood assistance for property owners with natural gas leases

The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that property owners with natural gas leases are no longer eligible for federal hazard mitigation assistance after a flood. The new policy, enacted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on May 5, has affected eight households in Pennsylvania in Wyoming and Lycoming Counties. It means that FEMA will not buy out [...]

Maryland takes a public health approach on fracking that Pa. hasn’t tried

Air pollution is among one of the greatest public health concerns related to Marcellus Shale drilling, according to a new health impact assessment released this week by the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Commissioned by the Maryland Department of Public Health through an executive order by Gov. Martin O’Malley, the study assesses potential [...]

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