What’s your Point of View? Are you pro-drilling or against it? Post your thoughts on the Conservation Organizations point-of-view by clicking on “Leave a Reply”. Please include your group name, i.e. Save Our Fins and Fowl, in the subject line each time you post or comment on other posts.


27 thoughts on “

  1. The CHS Conservationists
    In this scenario we discussed that it would not be a good idea to drill on the dairy farm because it boarders the Tioga State Forest. We recommend that they should not have the permit to drill there because it could have many possible impacts on the land. A big possible impact would be fragmentation of forest and natural habitats, the spread of invasive species, high demands of water supply, and contamination of ground water, and surface waters. When a gas well is built, four to six acres must be cleared for machinery and workers. So when it’s built in a forest, it’s a loss of habitat for plants and animals. When new roads and pipelines are created to carry natural gas to the gas well pads, those roads and pipelines often act as corridors for invasive species and a good management practice would be re-vegetating or stabilizing land cleared after road or well construction. The great demand for fresh water resources during drilling activities may affect our aquatic ecosystems. It takes two to nine million gallons of water to drill each well and number of wells. As of June 2010, there were about 1,312 wells that have been drilled in Pennsylvania. So once the drilling industry is at full capacity there could be 2,500 wells per year that could be drilled this could require ten billion gallons of water per year or about 27.4 million gallons per day. Many gas wells occur in remote locations with only small, ecologically sensitive streams that could not sustain large water withdrawals due to this water withdrawal would be detrimental to aquatic organisms, such as fish, muscles, insect’s, crayfish, frogs, turtles, aquatic birds, and others. The waste “frac” water may contain salt, metals, radioactive materials, oil, and surfactants among other chemicals. These contaminants, even if it was at low concentrations, are the reason “frac” water could pollute groundwater, lakes and rivers if it is not disposed properly. Waste that is used during the drilling process must be treated properly to ensure protection of human health and to prevent contamination of streams and groundwater.

    • Although you bring up great points on water, habitat, and forest conservation, we, The Tree Hugger Association, believe that both sides of the story must be told. Large amounts of jobs and economic growth would spread through this area, which, in these times, is a commodity that we desperately need. As much as we are against the drilling for marcellus shale on an environmental level, we have to acknowledge it’s benefits.
      – Tree Hugger Association

      • Dear Tree Hugger Association,
        With the comment that you had left on the CHS Conservationist response I feel that when you said it is creating a lot of jobs for the people in our area I only agree to a certain point. Yes, there may be many jobs right now but whats going to happen with all those people when the gas industry moves out of here? Some may go with them but a lot won’t want to leave families behind.

      • As the Cobalt Gas company, I agree that the other side of the story must be told. The key issue of water disposal and water use can be completely eliminated. Under the post of Natural Gas companies and under the Cobalt gas company, we mentioned the start of the innovation technology of waterless fracking. This new technology would save the millions of gallons used per day that has been continuously mentioned. The economic aspect of drilling in a community cannot be avoided. The input of jobs would stimulate the economy and boost surplus in the given area of drilling. The positive attributes cannot be eliminated in the mention of drilling, especially when the technology is environmentally improving.

        • Balancing the economic benefits of natural gas development with environmental protection can indeed be tricky, especially in forested areas. Obviously we all need jobs, and energy for that matter and natural gas development does create good paying jobs and the energy we need too, but we must protect the environment too. Pro-active planning on well site selection is one way to avoid harming the environment, so wetlands and other sensitive areas are not impacted.

          Dave Yoxtheimer

    • Dear,
      The CHS Conservationists
      Do you even know what you are talking about? Dairy farmers today struggle with income and they make extra cash when drilling comes to their property. You need to get your facts correct or just do not post.
      Thank you,
      Adam Sandler

      • Shaletalk2
        If you disagree with a post, attack the facts not the posting group. The E forum is meant to be a place to share research from a number of points of view in a diplomatic manner. There are bound to be disagreements. This is the whole point of the E forum- to explore alternative views. Everyone has the right to post and to express their opinion. If you dispute another group’s facts, then share your research that supports your opposite viewpoints.

      • Dear Adam Sandler,
        As we live in a farming area we have noticed and still notice that dairy farmers have always struggled no matter what. Yes, there may be some farms that benefit and come out on top but there are always going to be some that don’t benefit from it.
        CHS Conservationists

    • I completely agree with your standpoint. The statistics presented in your statements were very informative and important to your point. The water would be polluted and could really effect many species that are living in the polluted water. When one species dies off it can effect some other species as well. These are many good reasons why drilling should be carefully watched.

      Kerry Sheeva

  2. As members of Earth Children we want to protect and conserve the world we live in and we can do this by prohibiting the hydraulic fracturing on the old dairy farm. There are three major aspects of hydraulic fracturing that we believe are destroying the land. The dairy farm is near a forest and where the horizontal drilling will go through. Drilling near a forest will harm the wildlife living there and more than 60 percent of hydraulic fracturing is done in forests. Another way hydraulic fracturing is harming the earth is the huge amount of water needed. Two to ten million gallons of fresh water is used in one single drill and the water cannot be used again. The chemicals used are very harmful and 30-70 percent of the water returns to the surface to pollute the water we need. Lastly hydraulic fracturing uses extremely heavy equipment that has to be moved over the land. The two layers of the soil are both harmed during this process. The top soil gets compacted by the tire pressure and it reduces plant production. The sub soil also gets compacted by the axle load and reduces soil productivity. These types of effects on the soil cannot be fixed. As you can see hydraulic fracturing kills forests, wastes tons of water and destroys the soil. The Fracking Company should be stopped immediately in order to saves the land and the environment.

    • Earth Children, just for our reference, do you live in a city or in the country? Are you in a drilling area? Just wondering so we know for reference as we reply. CHS Conservationists

    • To Earth Children:

      I have noticed that you said that the water is never going to be used again after fracking. Through our research and experience we have found that the water can be cleaned and used eventually. Once the water is used we do not keep it in an aquifer for years and years because on our earth there is a limited amount of water and that would be extremly wasteful. We are able to use the water again for other fracking projects. Since 90% of the water we use is “wasted” every time we frack we only take what we need and are able to return the 10% back to the streams from wence it came. All of the water that we need we have already taken and only need to use it once. With every fracking project we do need more water, but that “new” water that we take is cleaned and put back into the enviroment while we continue to use the water we have taken in the past. (http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/16/news/economy/clean_fracking/index.htm)

      “Every barrel of salt water that we recycle is a barrel of fresh water that doesn’t have to be taken from the environment,” said Brent Halldorson, Fountain Quail’s chief operating officer.

      All in all, with every barrel of water we take, we put a fresh one in. So, no water is being wasted and we are able to frack the “green way” and stay enviromentally safe, happy, and friendly.

      • We’ve got Gas Co
        Nicely researched response. You addressed the issue with documentation and facts not emotional rhetoric. Tough thing to do on this very sensitive topic.

    • Dear Earth Children,
      Although you have some good points I have some points that I would like to disagree on. Being someone that lives in the heart of the natural gas industry, in Bradford County, and also living in a place where our forests are thick and diverse. I feel that our forests aren’t changing. What is the difference whether you clean 6 acres for a supermarket or a gas-well? They both are affecting our economy in different ways.

    • Dear Earth Children,
      I’m a hunter, so I agree with the drilling for Marcellus Shale having negative effects on the environment. I like your point of how the heavy machinery is destroying the soil it drives over. I also like your point on how sixty percent of drilling is done in forests. That’s where I like to spend my days and relax sometimes. How can I do that when there are drilling sites taking over? The only point I slightly disagree with you on is the water issue. Granted, the drilling does use a lot of water, but water can always be recycled. You might want to look a little deeper into that. Other than that, great points about the drilling’s negative effects on the environment!
      PA Hunter,
      Ronald Rubarb

    • I agree with what you are stating. The amount of water that is being used to drill is a huge amount. It is harming the environment with how much water is being used. The statistics that are being used are good ones to know. These are very good examples of the problems that can be caused from drilling.

      Kerry Sheeva

      • I also agree that a large amount of water is used for drilling. As stated in one of the above comments the water can be reused. You gave very good examples of how drilling may negatively affect an area and defended your position well. Overall great points and examples!


  3. Kerry Sheeva
    Marcellus Shale is a certain rock formation. It is also harming the environment a lot. Each time that drilling is done, a part of a forest is destroyed. This could cause a lot of forests to be destroyed over time. I feel that this is not a good thing to be doing if forests are being destroyed. These forests are homes to many different animals and plant species. Eventually, the damage to these forests could be severe. These forests contain a lot of nutrients and when they are destroyed it can harm the rest of the environment. A lot of animals live in these woods and they have no where else to go once they are gone.

    There have actually been cases in closing a drilling scene. In the Moshannon State Forest a group of protesters fought to get a Marcellus Shale site closed. At the site of this protest many people joined who were not even part of the original protest group. The protesters would not move until the drillers decided to move and not continue with the drilling system. The protesters piled up branches and leaves to stop the drillers from drilling. They did this all to protect the forests in the Moshannon State Forest.

    There is always a chance that the chemicals that are being used could be spilled into the water or onto a forest and damage it. In 2009 an oil rig was spilled into the ocean causing the ocean to get contaminated. The rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico and caused the oil to leak into the ocean. Oil spills are a huge problem that threaten the lives of many marine animals in every body of water. Marcellus Shale causes a lot of water waste, along with multiple harmful chemicals in the water.

    When harmful chemicals enter the water it can destroy organisms and their homes very quickly. It can be hard for the animals to get back to their normal lives after they suffer from something like an oil spill. Although the oil spills are normally an accident and accidents do happen, but they can be very dangerous when they do happen.

    Hydraulic fracturing also uses a lot of water. This is another problem that is effecting the environment. About one million gallons of water are used for each well every time that they are used. The main problem about hydraulic fracturing is the huge amount of water that is used for the process to occur. Hydraulic fracturing is also a problem that is contaminating the water. This would also affect our drinking water in some places around the world.

    Overall, there is a lot of worrying about the different aquatic animals and the animals that are living in the forest. There is a lot of different environmental impacts that are caused by drilling by Marcellus Shale. Hydraulic fracturing is, overall, the main problem with the drilling system.

    • The Marcellus Shale rock formation has been here for 300 million years ago, and it has got itself barried a mile or two below our ground. Although it is out of the ground in Marcellus, New York. There are no known problems with it. It’s rocks, how is it harming us?
      Thanks, CHS Conservationists

      • I do not have a problem with the rock formation. I was focusing more on the impact from the gasses that come from these rocks. It is the gas that can be effecting the environment and the water.

  4. We, as the Tree Hugger Association, would like to open up this paper, by declaring our opposition to the drilling for Marcellus Shale by the Cobalt Energy Company. The drilling around a state park would be detrimental to the environmental health of the area. The drilling of Marcellus Shale releases harmful amounts of volatile substances. Without professional observation, the substances could potentially contaminate local water supplies. Considering the State Park within walking distance of the drilling site, any leaks in the drilling could harm the Park.

    Drilling for Marcellus Shale requires a substantial amount of land. A typical pad is about 3 acres but requires about six additional acres for roads and other related infrastructure. Right now, the average is less than two wells per pad, Johnson said, but he expects that to increase to between 4 and 10 wells per pad over time. Thus being said, if we are drilling around the edge of state land they will most likely cut into their land which is frowned upon. While scattered pads may not seem to have great impact, the analysis estimates that, across Pennsylvania, 38,000-90,000 acres of forest may ultimately be cleared for wells seeking to tap the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies the western and northern portions of the state.

    So as the Tree Hugger association, we are currently against the drilling for marcellus shale in this area. We acknowledge the fact the drilling for marcellus shale has it’s benefits, and are open to rebuttals, oppositions, and counter statements alike.

    • All of us at Earth Children agree with your stance on drilling for marcellus shale. We believe that hydraulic fracturing is not worth the risk of destroying the land and harming the surounding wildlife. Here are just a few questions reguarding your posts.

      To start off, what are some of the “harmful” substances that are released during fracturing? How far away is the state park and do you think the horizontal drill lines will reach it? Also, are there any types of endangered species that live there that could potentionally be harmed during the process? Lastly, who is the “johnson” that you quote? and what is his relevance on this topic? Do you live in the city or country, and is there any drilling in your area?

    • This really states the consequences of drilling. I also found many of these same statistics and agree with them. The drilling does have advantages. It is good to talk about what can happen if the drilling is not done correctly. Some of these consequences could be very harmful to different places.

      Kerry Sheeva

  5. Statement of the PA Water and Forest Conservation Advocates

    As the Pennsylvania Water and Forest Conservation Advocates, we do not support drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Conservation is key to a sustainable environment – and sustainable future for every living thing in that environment. If drilling and fracking by natural gas companies continues or increases, there may not be a future for the communities and ecosystems in the Susquehanna River Basin. Between severe water pollution of the Susquehanna’s 49,000 miles of waterways (E-Forum) from chemicals used to frack and fragmentation of the Elk, Moshannon, Sproul, Susquehannock, and Tioga State Forests (Trout Unlimited) caused by an expected 60,000 new drilling sites in the next 20 years (Chesapeake Bay Journal), natural gas companies degrade the entire environment through drilling.

    The waterways and water resources of the Susquehanna River Basin must be preserved to continue supporting brook trout, rare mussel species, and even human communities in the watershed. Chemical pollution of the waterways of the Susquehanna River Basin is nearly unavoidable. Although flowback water containing fracking fluids can be sent to wastewater treatment plants, companies only remove about 10% of the fracking water from the ground (E-Forum) and not all plants are equipped to handle the severe chemical pollution of the polluted fracking water. A significant amount of the wastewater is improperly disposed of. Because of this, the water can pollute nearby streams and seep into groundwater. Once the chemicals are in the stream, they destroy it by killing more sensitive species, such as brook trout, the East Coast’s only native trout and Pennsylvania’s state fish (Trout Unlimited), and brown trout species, important to Pennsylvania’s over 990,000 anglers and hunters for recreation (Trout Unlimited) and important in food webs of sustainable aquatic ecosystems. Groundwater pollution greatly affects the human supply of drinking, showering, dishwashing, and laundry water. Insane amounts of methane in the water make for flammable faucets and other additional chemicals add to the dangerous drinking water that may cause serious health issues. Aside from conserving the water, land, and animals, the health of human lives has to be conserved, too.

    Between 38,000 and 240,000 acres (Chesapeake Bay Journal), in total about one-third (Trout Unlimited), of Pennsylvania’s Elk, Moshannon, Sproul, Susquehannock, and Tioga State forests are expected to be degraded or cleared in order to tap the Marcellus shale and drill new wells (Chesapeake Bay Journal). Many species including formerly successful forest birds and predators such as blue jays and raccoons are in danger of habitat loss due to natural gas drilling (Chesapeake Bay Journal). However, forest fragmentation does not merely ruin terrestrial habitats, but also affects aquatic species. Forests absorb nutrient runoff and retain sediment. Therefore, if so much of this critical forest land is cleared, the nutrients will run into the waterways (Chesapeake Bay Journal) and they could become eutrophic. Sedimentation majorly affects waterways and aquatic life as one of the major limiters of their health (Trout Unlimited).

    Drilling for natural gas should not be permitted in the Marcellus Shale Formation. The long term consequences to the Susquehanna River Basin of drilling are too great to justify. Conserving the Susquehanna River Basin’s water and land is the only way to protect the animals and humans who depend on it.

    Works Cited

    Blankenship, Karl. “Marcellus Shale Drilling May Take Huge Chunks out of PA Forests.” Bay Journal RSS. Chesapeake Bay Journal, Dec. 2011. Web. 08 Feb. 2013.

    Mooney, Erin. “TU Concerned About Fish and Wildlife Protection as Pa. Leases New State Forest Land for Marcellus Drilling.” Trout Unlimited. Trout Unlimited, 13 Jan. 2010. Web. 08 Feb. 2013.

    “Water Resources and the Marcellus Shale.” Marcellus Shale E-Forum. NOAA, Penn State University, Sea Grant Pennsylvania, 2013. Web. 08 Feb. 2013.

    • PA Water and Forest Conservation Advocates –
      You made a lot of good points based on research.

      Is drilling OK in any locations? Or is the proposed spot bad for any reason?

      There other energy industries influencing the Susquehanna River basin and the Pine Creek watershed, for instance coal mining (hundreds of miles of dead streams from mine drainage, even in the Pine Creek watershed), coal fired power plants (in the Susquehanna basin causing air and water pollution and many others in the Ohio River valley blowing mercury and acid precipitation into our streams), climate change from coal plant emissions, hydropower dams on the Susquehanna River (blocking migratory fish, altering habitats and hydrology), etc. How do the impacts created by natural gas drilling weigh against those from other types of energy industries? Would more natural gas energy and less traditional energy sources be better or worse for the Pine Creek watershed?

      • We don’t believe fracking is acceptable in any location. It wouldn’t be an instant transition into natural gas use and it seems pointless to pollute the environment more through both the traditional methods and natural gas. We should find friendlier energy overall and not waste effort with natural gas.
        – PA Water and Forest Conservation Advocates

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