Regardless of your position in the debate over hydraulic fracturing, something we can all agree on: New York state needs an economic jump-start. Local businesses that have supported communities for years are now struggling to survive. However, let's look at what has happened in one company in neighboring Pennsylvania with shale development.
Natural gas prices in the United States have been low in the past few years, and increased estimates in natural gas reserves from shale formations in Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana are opening opportunities to increase exports to other nations. In some countries, natural gas prices are three times as high as they are in the United States.
Rapid growth in Marcellus Shale has been a mixed blessing. It has brought jobs for thousands of new workers, but also a shortage of housing as people move to Marcellus development areas. The Keystone Energy Forum and the Modular Building Systems Association recognize this issue, recently hosting a housing forum to identify and discuss the housing issues in areas affected by Marcellus Shale drilling.
There will be drilling. There will be natural gas. The real question is how to raise the right issues and hold the regulators and captains of industry to the highest standards.
Marcellus Shale development is good for the economy. Supporters have been saying this for years, but now, with a recent report from Penn State University, it's been found that state tax revenue in the counties with Marcellus Shale development did better - and in some cases significantly better - than those counties without it.
John Hanger, Pennsylvania's outgoing Secretary of Environmental Protection (DEP), leaves a strong foundation of economic expansion and environmental protection for his successors, and we hope that the incoming administration continues his legacy of approaching the issues based on sound facts.
Horizontal drilling, also known as directional drilling, is the quiet genius whose numerous achievements are not always publicly touted. This technology, equal in importance to hydraulic fracturing, enables companies to extract trillions of cubic feet of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced its shortlist for documentaries to considered for an Oscar nomination, and "Gasland" unfortunately made this list.
Halliburton has recently launched a new website listing the chemicals used in its Pennsylvania fracturing fluids, many of which can also be found in consumer products.
The use of road bonding is increasing as the use of heavy equipment for natural gas drilling increases. Road bonds are a performance bond to ensure that damage caused by large vehicles and frequent truck traffic is repaired.