What’s your Point of View? Are you pro-drilling or against it? Post your thoughts on the Natural Gas Industry 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.

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30 thoughts on “

  1. Local farmers are very valuable to Lycoming County, and we being part of the Natural Gas Well Drilling Industry would like to protect the economic and historical value of all of the local farms. Since we would like to protect the value of local farms, we would also like to protect one of the oldest farms in Lycoming County from Cobalt Drilling. Besides the farm, we would also like to protect the surrounding environment of the farm. Furthermore, we are against giving Cobalt Drilling the permit to drill on the local 150 year old family farm that is still standing.

    First and foremost, if Cobalt Drilling receives the permit and one minute thing goes wrong then the history of the farm could be ruined. Although most gas well drilling procedures are deemed safe because of training and protection (Chief Oil and Gas), there can be small incidents that could ruin the entire landscape. As a member of the natural gas well drilling industry we have seen an incident such as this occur in Leroy, a little notch in the woods right next to our own little home town. During this incident, pressure came back up within the well and hit a gasket that was not properly welded and the whole well exploded. Cobalt does focus on safe practices, but to endanger losing generations of history would be a crime.

    In addition, this farmer depends on a whole summer’s worth of labor and hardships to make money to feed his family and his livestock. Furthermore, just because it is a former dairy farm does not mean that the farm is not being used for other activities such as crop growing or use by other animals. If drilling were to occur on this former dairy farm the surface of the earth there would be destroyed and not necessarily usable for a rather long time. Even though this farm would have a large lease and royalties, is it really worth it for the family and local government to let drilling occur there? Let us make something very clear, money is not everything and someday when our company and all of the other gas companies such as Cobalt are gone, all the community will have left is its land. The local government not giving Cobalt Drilling the permit will show that company and many other large gas companies that they cannot walk all over the town’s history, economy, and community. This will also show them that they will not always be able to buy anything they want, because sometimes history is worth more than money.

    • The farm land is something very important, not only to the farmer, but also the gas industry. I think that you are going the wrong way, whereas the company should go for the gold and be appealing to everyone, you went and listed negatives as well as positives. This post confuses me, mostly because the main idea of this topic is for the gas company to obtain a permit for usage of the land. I would assume that as a gas company, you would support this land permit. Do you truly support the farmers and the local economy against the drilling, or do you favor getting the drill in the ground?

      • Dear Shaletalk6,
        As many issues that are prevalent in today’s society, different perspectives need to be evaluated prior to making a decision for the overall improvement of all. So seeing that they weighed in some positive and negative facts seems quite fitting, even though you are right to assume they would most definitely be on the pro-side of achieving a land permit. My personal opinion would be that drilling has more positives then negatives. The Marcellus Shale can provide a much needed economic boost to local communities in the state of Pennsylvania. However, groundwater pollution is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
        – John Smith, Local business

    • Dear shaletalk6,
      As stated in our first paragraph, we are against Cobalt Drilling receiving the permit. So I hope this statement helps to make you a bit less confused. Even though we are a natural gas drilling company that does not mean that we are always going to “go for the gold” as you so frankly put it. Although we do like to make money and produce as much gas as possible, we do not like to destroy local history. Also, we listed facts not positives and then we argued why the permit should not be given. I hope all of this cleared up the confusion.
      Canton Gas Drillers

      • Canton Gas Drillers
        Point of view papers can be difficult to write if you do not personally agree with the side that you are representing. Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that a Natural Gas Company would not support this permit. This is their line of business. Perhaps consider how you would approve the permit yet build into your proposal how you would plan to preserve and protect the local environment for future generations.

    • The farming industry is extremely instrumental to all industries, in particular the gas industry. It was very interesting that you took an approach that focused so much on the local farms. The cultural and historical aspects of an area are often over looked when considering the natural gas drilling. The money is often viewed as the most important thing. I believe that it is important for even small towns to keep moving with the times and progress. You took a very interesting take. Good job!

      Ringo Star, Local Business Owner

    • I can certainly appreciate the philosophy that the gas industry does not need to drill at every possible location. There are varying degrees of what is an appropriate well site location and what is not, for instance a historical location or environmentally sensitive area. This is especially true when the horizontal drilling technology allows a well pad to be located a mile or more away from a special or unique location that could be potentially impacted by drilling, either visually or environmentally. In the past I have looked at some of the well pad locations and wondered why they would put them in a floodplain or in a very visible spot rather than in a more hidden area. I think the industry is doing a better job of picking locations that are less visible, which in the long run allows an area’s beauty to be preserved. For a gas company to realize the importance of preserving historic locations is a big step toward improved public perception and relations!

  2. Yoko Ono
    I am a driller for the Marcellus Shale gas company. I drill to obtain the shale that is located anywhere from 1,500-21,000 feet below the surface of the Earth. Cementing is one of the trickiest parts of the drilling process and is the first step in the Marcellus Shale drilling process. The second step is to drill a vertical hole thousands of feet deep. As the drill is going down farther into the ground, the drill is bent until it reaches the layer where the shale is located. The drilling could be done horizontally for more than a mile. After this is done, a perforating gun is lowered into the freshly drilled hole. The gun lets off explosives and they hit the concrete. These explosives open up microfractures in the shale. Millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and other chemicals are shot down the well highly pressurized, opening shale fractures. The pressure forces the liquid up the well while the natural gas flows into the pipes. The chances of the fluids leaking into the groundwater are small because of how well the sites are set up before the actual drilling process begins. If the ground is properly cemented and the piping is set up correctly, there is little chance that any type of fluid could leak into the environment. To protect the ground from erosion and sedimentation due to the land disturbances from the gas wells, regulations have been enacted to help protect the soil from erosion and sedimentation. To drill for the shale, I use a technique called hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing opens up rocks buried deep inside of Earth to remove the natural gas from them. The natural gas that is retrieved can help the United States become energy independent. Shale gas would still be an important resource, but without hydraulic fracturing the drillers would not be able to recover near as much gas as they are at this point in time. Burning natural gas can release about 40 percent less greenhouse gases than coal burning does. These two reasons plus the fact that the world’s resource supplies are running out are major reasons why the shale gas should be drilled for and used.

    Some people tend to worry that once drilling is done in one of the areas, the environment will not be returned back to the way it once was. I as a driller realize that this is a major concern. I would be concerned too if I didn’t set up, tear down, and drill for this gas on a daily basis. There are certain environmental codes that I have to meet as a driller so that they I am able to drill. A major concern people tend to have during the Marcellus Shale drilling is the pollution of the water supply. I take steps to prevent this because there is a code that states that gas wells must be placed 200 feet or more from any drinking water supply. Gas wells must also be placed 100 feet away from any stream or other body of water. This protects the water supplies in case a leak was to happen in the area. Section 208 of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act requires that if a gas well pollutes a nearby water supply, the water must be cleaned and replaced by the driller or company responsible for the pollution. This act alone makes me want to work harder on protecting the environment with the drill set up because if the water would happen to become polluted, it would take a lengthy amount of time and money to fix what has gone wrong. Plus I have a significant chance of being fired. People do not understand that Marcellus Shale drilling isn’t the only type of fossil fuel recovery that has environmental impacts. There are risks associated with all types of recoveries other than the Marcellus Shale. People see one small environmental impact happen, blow the issue out of proportion, and never consider natural gas from Marcellus Shale drilling as a beneficial energy source again because of one small incident. There have been environmental risks associated with a lot of other types of drilling or mining, but people look past those negative aspects because these resources have always been around. Now that the Marcellus Shale has brought a new kind of drilling people don’t want to accept it because it is different than what they have always known. I think that the company that I drill for is doing a fantastic job. All the necessary precautions are being protected to protect the environment, I can see this happening first hand and I am working to do this as well. I believe that shale gas is such a beneficial resource that should continue to be drilled for.

    References
    Abdalla, C., Drohan, J., Swistock, B., & Boser, S. (2011). Marcellus shale gas well drilling: Regulations to protect water supplies in pennsylvania. Penn State Extension
    McLendon, R. (2010, December 10). Big frack attack: Is hydraulic fracturing safe? Mother Nature Works, Retrieved from http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/translating-uncle-sam/stories/big-frack- attack-is-hydraulic-fracturing-safe
    Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, P. (n.d.). Pennsylvania’s traditional oil and natural gas industry . Pennsylvania’s Traditional oil and Natural Gas Industry

    • Solid post. Thanks for keeping it real with the refrences at the end of the post, and the second paragraph was extremely accurate with the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. Overall it was a very intelligent written piece and keep on writing!!!!

      • Thank you for your input I really appreciate it. I am glad you enjoyed the part about the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. Thank you for thinking that it was intelligent and well written.
        Yoko Ono

    • Dear Yoko Ono,
      I agree that natural gas is a beneficial resource for energy. Although I agree with most of your points, I would also like to disagree with some of the points that you made. I enjoyed the fact that you gave background information, which helps for other stakeholders to understand how the drilling process occurs, because some people are completely clueless. I did notice that you said, “If the ground is properly cemented and the piping is set up correctly, there is little chance that any type of fluid could leak into the environment.” I believe this statement creates one big IF situation, I agree that there are many precautions that are taken, but mistakes can happen. I have experienced this situation first hand when a local well near our town exploded because one simple gear was not welded properly, so as you can see everything does not always go as planned. Also, when you said that the United States is becoming “energy independent,” this is not the case, because I recently read an article that stated that the United States is still importing 16% of its natural gas, although this may seem like a small number think about how large the need and use of natural gas is and how large our country is. You also mentioned that, “There are certain environmental codes that I have to meet…” This statement does not clarify which codes you need to meet, especially the Clean Water Act, which has the Halliburton Loophole. This loophole allows gas companies to evade the Clean Water Act. I did like the fact that you mentioned some rules as to where gas well sites have to be located. I also agree with you when you said other energy sources cause harm to the environment. To be honest, I do not know how much impact coal mining has on the environment, so I cannot say that gas drilling is better or worse. You also said, “Now that Marcellus Shale has brought a new kind of drilling people don’t want to accept it because it is different than what they have always known.” I believe that this statement is very incorrect because I know many people in our county and surrounding counties that have completely embraced gas drilling, do not get me wrong there are still outliers who do not like the drilling but for the most part people are enjoying the drilling and the new experience. I think that the next time that you are writing a paper such as this you should look at the subject from more than one point of view.
      Thank you,
      Canton Gas Drillers

  3. Gas Guys

    We speak on behalf of the Natural Gas industry and its position on the purchase of land in Lycoming County for drilling. Natural Gas burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, and is more plentiful and accessible. Drilling leaves little to no effect on the environment and can significantly boost the town’s economy when refineries are introduced.

    Fracking processes take every precaution in order to keep the aquifers in the condition they were found, including separating the pipe carrying natural gas frown the water with steel and cement. Pre-drilling water testing done on the aquifers will tell their water quality before and after drilling, to make sure the drilling has not affected the water in any way. This pre-drilling water testing will also be done on the surrounding bodies of water, including pine creek, the body of water the drilling site will be upstream from.

    Natural Gas will boost the economy of the country. It will especially help the residents of Lycoming County due to its cheap price and many uses for energy. It is cleaner burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful byproducts in the air. More jobs will open up and the population will grow.

    Due to all of these reasons, Lycoming County should not worry about the new drilling of Natural Gas because it is eco-friendly and will boost the economy of the country.

    • Dear Gas Guys
      Please explain further what you mean by “eco friendly.” Many of the point of view papers on this site challenge this idea, Can you provide some research and data to support this claim?

      Also, how is our economy being boosted? I agree that this sounds logical but I would like to read some statistics that back this up.

    • Dear Gas Guys,
      In a way, Lycoming County should worry about the new drilling. First of all, this drilling is Not eco-friendly. Yes, natural gas burns cleaner, and is more plentiful and accessible, but most of the natural gas is sent across the world. Have we seen any of this natural gas, to help our economy, and our homes? I am not saying I am against drilling, I am just saying you should research and get the facts straight.

      You are correct about all of the precautions that the drillers take, but in Bradford County there was a pipe that exploded. It did get into the water and it did effect many people’s wells. You said, “Pre-drilling water testing done on the aquifers will tell their water quality before and after drilling, to make sure the drilling has not affected the water in any way.” The pipe that did explode effected the water quality of many wells. The company that was drilling on that site, said that it didn’t effect anybody’s water.

      Like you said, a lot of jobs have opened up, but a lot of those jobs are traveling around the country drilling in other states, on different sites. Another thing you said was, “More jobs will open up and the population will grow.” But around here the industry has been slowing down, so the jobs and the population will not continue to grow. I believe Lycoming County should worry.
      Thank you,
      Canton Gas Drillers

      • Dear Canton Gas Drillers
        Please provide your research and sources for the Bradford County pipe explosion. Remember if you challenge another group’s references, you should always try to back up your arguments with a solid source also.

    • I’m sorry Gas Guy but I will have to disagree with you. All you are thinking about is getting more land for your sites but you don’t realize for every acre you take for drilling , you take away from our beautiful forest. And although natural gases are much better for our environment and cheaper it still does not compensate for the destruction of our trees.
      Schindler(tree hugger)

      • Dear Tree Hugger,
        Perhaps ask the Natural Gas Company representatives if they have a plan in place to compensate for the lost trees. Are they replanting? Were these trees to be “lumbered off” anyway by the owners? What does this research indicate?

    • Hello, Gas Guys! I don’t believe its true that drilling has a little impact on the environment. However, I do believe that the drilling companies take great precautions to ensure that the environmental impact is minimal. The economy is a huge factor to consider when discussing natural gas drilling. My businesses, and many others,
      are evidence of the positive economic impacts. You made a lot of great points!

      Ringo Star, Local Restaurant Owner

    • I agree with the Gas Guys for the most part. I am involved in my town, as the mayor, and have fought to keep it from going under in these economic struggles. The downfall of the economy has been combatted by the use of natural gas. The natural gas industry has brought new people and has raised our economy. The elevation in sales and revenue in our town has been a tremendous help. So, therefore the natural gas industry may have downfalls, but has been more of a benefit.
      The Town Mayor

  4. Our company, “We’ve Got Gas”, has been through many tough times, but we have been able to prosper and accomplish what we wanted to do from the start. Through our hardships, which we have overcome, many positive things have come out of them. We have been able to share and spread our wealth along with creating jobs for thousands of people.

    To begin, in a time where the average unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.9%, we have been able to create over 88,000 jobs and keep our state’s unemployment rate below the national average. With more jobs being created by the Marcellus Shale, more people will move there so we will be able to create more jobs like water cleaning facilities, construction jobs and so much more because of all the natural gas drilling by the Marcellus Shale.

    On another note, “We’ve Got Gas”, has raised a lot of money through hydraulic fracturing therefore helping our economy by continuing to recycle money through the system. By 2015, natural gas could add 14 billion dollars to the economy. We have paid over 250 million to Pennsylvania’s local companies and we expect to spend 1.1 billion in 2013 by giving back to local hospitals and charities, preserving agricultural land, reducing consumer debt, along with helping to stimulate the local economy of Pennsylvania through circulation.

    In the end, without us drilling into the Marcellus Shale for natural gas, Pennsylvania’s economy would suffer. This would create a domino effect and therefore would cause everything we have worked so hard to build up and gave back to, to collapse. We will continue to keep drilling in order to help Pennsylvania, and essentially, help America’s wealth.

    • Lycoming County Homeowners Association

      Our resources have told us that it is difficult to provide jobs in our county since the job requirements include education and specialization in engineering. The jobs you would be providing would not be for our locals but, outsourced from other companies. The added people moving to our county is only going to balance the numerous locals moving out.
      Our economy is no worse than any other state on the east coast and we are currently NOT suffering. Adding a drilling site to our county is going to have more consequences than benefits.

      • Can you explain what you mean by “in our county since the job requirements include education and specialization in engineering. The jobs you would be providing would not be for our locals but, outsourced from other companies.”? I am a little confused.

        Also, some of our research has shown that in the past few years more people have been moving to fracking areas because it is a way to get natural gas the “green way” and is safe for the environment and for them. We worry about landowners property and wellbeing as much as the next person and we have been through many tests and have put up many precautions in order to ensure that the county we frack in will be 100% safe and useful afterwards.

        Lastly, Pennsylvania’s economy is not suffering and will not suffer if we continue to circulate the wealth as we have been. We have added millions of dollars to PA’s economy and feel that we are helping the people in fracking county’s along with protecting the enviroment.

      • Dear Lycoming County Homeowners Association,
        I feel as if your comment to this is belittling your town people. As our group is from a natural gas drilling area, we can clearly tell you that there are many jobs available for our local residents. Just because these local residents may not be trained or have further education than high school, this does not mean that they cannot be trained or even get hired for the job. One of the gas company’s goals is to hire more local people so that they do not have to transfer a bunch of workers to a new area, because that would cost them a lot more money. Also, one of our group members has a brother who only has a high school diploma and some college education that is not related to the field of natural gas drilling and still got hired to work for a gas company. This proves that local residents do have a chance of getting hired as a gas worker even though they do not have a bunch of education. I find it very rude to belittle your own town’s people, and basically say that they are not qualified for a job.
        Thank you,
        Canton Gas Drillers

    • Dear We’ve Got Gas Company,
      Please share your specific resources for information. It helps us all to understand where your data and research has come from. I am not sure if Pa residents want “outsiders” to move into their communities like you mentioned in paragraph 2. In Bradford County, where I lived, it is a very small rural community and the residents sometimes had problems with the large influx of workers from other states that were temporarily assigned to our location. Have you read anything that talks about this issue? I suggest checking out and commenting on the other papers from the Landowners or Local Businesses point of views to locate some data to support your position.

    • Dear We’ve Got Gas Company,
      I feel that you have made very good points, but you have also left out the scenario. I would really have liked to see how you could have used your facts to support and go against the scenario, but instead you have left us all with just a bunch of facts.
      Canton Gas Drillers

  5. Cobalt Gas Industry
    Natural gas is used as a clean source of energy that has both residential and industrial benefits. As Cobalt Gas Company, we are in full support of the acceptance of the permit to drill a horizontal well bordering the Tioga State Forest. We believe that this project will be beneficial due to the economic stimulus it will provide, the increase in a cleaner source of energy, and finally the new improvements that will prevent environmental destruction.

    In an estimate done by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the natural gas boom is expected to create nearly 200,000 jobs. With a current unemployment rate of 8.2% in Lycoming County (Unemployment 1), the creation of this well could help people assimilate back into the workforce. As well as providing people with the jobs they desperately need, the building of this well will also stimulate local businesses. Because people will be employed and able to pay off things like their mortgage, they are going to have more money to spend into the economy. The building of this natural gas well will affect nearly every aspect of the economy from increased business revenue, to an increased need for housing. As of now, the small towns do not have the housing required for the amount of people working on each well. To compensate for the increased number of residents,people will be hired to build and construct new houses, stimulating the economy of the town even further. Finally, the natural gas itself has a massive price tag of well over $1 trillion (PIOGA 1), which could be exported or sold as fuel.

    Building a well within Lycoming county is also a good idea, because it will allow for a broader use of a much cleaner energy source. The Marcellus Shale has roughly 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas within it (PIOGA 1). The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association states that “even if only 10% of the gas is recovered, it would be enough to fuel the entire United States for two years.” Our current energy source is coal, which produces a plethora of air pollutants including carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides (EPA 1). According to the environmental protection agency, natural gas emits about half as much carbon dioxide, less than a third as much nitrogen oxides, and about one percent as much sulfur oxides. By harvesting the natural gas below Lycoming County, this clean gas could then be sold. Switching from coal to natural gas could help with environmental problems today such as global warming, acid precipitation, smog, and even nutrient loads into important bodies of water (EPA 1).

    The disposal and water use is an evident problem with fracking, however New York State has successfully utilized a process of hydraulic fracturing that does not need water. (YALE 1) The fracking is completed with a gel from liquefied propane gas (LPG) fracturing,or gas fracking, that becomes a vapor while underground before it returns to the surface in a recoverable form. The gel does not carry any of the chemicals used during fracking back to the surface. New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation still is completing a review of the new technology until it is further distributed to any wells.

    As full supporters of natural gas drilling, Cobalt Gas Company is in full agreement to the drilling of the well beside Tioga State Forest. The well will improve the economy in the community, provide an environmentally friendly energy source, and will ultimately depict further improvements to the fracking technology.

    Natural Gas Supply Association. “NaturalGas.org.” NaturalGas.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.
    Rees-Jones, Trevor. “Chief Oil & Gas :: Responsibly Drilling and Producing Clean Natural Gas for More than a Decade.” Chief Oil & Gas :: Responsibly Drilling and Producing Clean Natural Gas for More than a Decade. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2013.
    “Unemployment by County in Pennsylvania.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2013.
    “Learn About the Marcellus Shale.” Marcellus Shale. Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA), n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2013.
    “Glossary.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2013.
    “E360 Digest.” Yale Environment 360: Waterless Fracking Technology May Be Used at New York Shale Gas Site. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2013.

    • Solid post. Well supported by facts and research. Touched on several key issues important to all parties. I am curious to learn more about the waterless fracking technology process.

      • According to http://insideclimatenews.org/podcast/waterless-fracking-gas-drilling-game-changer, the waterless fracking will use propane or liquid petroleum gas instead of water. This will be beneficial to the environment as well as the economy because it reduces infrastructure and waste. This quote from http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2012/05/15/waterless-fracking-technique-makes-its-debut-in-ohio/ especially depicts the success of waterless fracking. “Founded in 2006 and based in Calgary, GasFrac is apparently the world’s only provider of LPG (liquid petroleum gas) fracking and has used it about 1,200 times, mostly in western Canada and also in Texas and Colorado.” According to the same source, “Unlike water, LPG naturally mixes with petroleum, so it returns to the surface with the oil or gas being extracted. And since LPG is electrically neutral and lacks much friction, it doesn’t dissolve any salts, heavy metals or radioactive compounds — compared to water, in which these things return to the surface and make a typically toxic mixture even more so.”

  6. Dear Cobalt Gas Industry, your article on natural gas has definitely changed my point of view on the topics associated with Marcellus Shale. I agree with most of your article and it really made me realize how much natural gas drilling can actually benefit our economy. You also made very valid points concerning employment rates within small towns. I believe the facts you obtained should be more open to the general public because most people just assume Marcellus Shale drilling is all negative. You cited various facts that proved natural gas drilling is actually safer than most people think.

    Charlie Gordon , Landowner

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