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

Clinton and Sanders spar over fracking ahead of NY and PA primaries

As the two Democratic presidential hopefuls try to distinguish themselves for primary voters in New York and Pennsylvania, fracking is becoming a key issue. The fracking debate is a familiar one to both New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians, and Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton clamored over each other during CNN’s Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the [...]

Public health campaigners renew call for fracking health registry

Updating with comment from Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project Pennsylvania public health campaigners have issued a new call for the establishment of a statewide registry of health complaints that could be related to oil and gas development. Such a registry would help doctors and nurses identify patterns of health complaints by people living near sites [...]

Williams delays construction of Constitution Pipeline

Updating with comments from critics, Sunoco Construction of the controversial Constitution Pipeline to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York State has been delayed by about six months because its developer, the Williams Companies, is unable to complete tree cutting by a March 31 federal deadline that is designed to protect migratory birds, the [...]

Philadelphia fails to find common ground on “energy hub”

Katie Colaneri/StateImpact Pennsylvania On December 5, 2014, protestors marched outside Drexel University’s Creese Student Center where business leaders met to discuss plans for expanding Philadelphia’s role in the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom. The prospect of Philadelphia as an “energy hub” has some seeing dollar signs and good-paying jobs. Others worry about the continued impact [...]

Delaware Riverkeeper sues FERC, alleging bias and corruption in pipeline cases

A Pennsylvania-based environmental group has stepped up its campaign against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a lawsuit accusing the agency of corruption and routine bias toward the natural gas industry’s applications to build pipelines. Delaware Riverkeeper Network says the agency, which regulates interstate pipelines, is unable to make objective decisions about whether a pipeline [...]

Judge restarts tree-felling for construction of Constitution Pipeline

A federal judge has set rules for the resumption of tree-felling to make way for a natural gas pipeline to be built from Susquehanna County into New York State. Judge Malachy Mannion of the Middle District of Pennsylvania said the builders of the proposed Constitution Pipeline could return to a property in New Milford Township [...]

Landowners brace for start of tree-felling by Constitution Pipeline builders

Landowners in Susquehanna County prepared for a last-minute confrontation with tree-felling crews who were expected to begin clearing forest on Friday to make way for the planned Constitution Pipeline to take natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale into New York State. Opponents of the tree-clearing plan said three landowners in New Milford Township have not [...]

Low gas price cuts impact-fee revenue for Pa. counties and municipalities

Pennsylvania’s local authorities will lose millions of dollars in fees from the natural gas industry this year because of lower gas prices in 2015. The Public Utility Commission announced on Jan. 30 that mostly because of the sharp fall in gas prices, it would be reducing the amounts paid to municipalities and counties from impact [...]

Shale gas boosts Delaware River port traffic

Ship traffic up and down the Delaware River is bouncing back after a slump that began in 2008 due to the Great Recession. In addition to the improved economy, a new export product has driven much of that growth — natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale. Dennis Rochford leads the Maritime Exchange, which acts [...]

Science panel faults EPA fracking probe for excluding baseline water testing

The Environmental Protection Agency’s landmark investigation into the impact of fracking on drinking water lacked baseline testing that would have made its results more illuminating, according to a scientific panel that assessed it, and independent analysts. The Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel, a unit of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), published its evaluation 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