A new poll from Harris Interactive shows that there is broad, bipartisan consensus to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. According to the poll, 70 percent of voters support the pipeline. This includes 83 percent of Republican voters, followed closely by 69 percent of Independents and 63 percent of Democrats.
The oil and gas industry should be applauded for developing the technology that makes it possible to extract natural gas that is trapped in the Marcellus Shale. However, as with most industrial procedures, there are unwelcomed outcomes that should be of concern. Marcellus Shale is a gas-rich formation that extends under five states in the Northeast. Most of the current production is in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
In November 2011, I stood on the House floor and explained how the Marcellus Shale impact fee and associated gas drilling regulations struck the proper balance between environmental safety and private property rights without hindering the economic growth all lawmakers wish for Pennsylvania.
Growing up as a farmer's daughter, I know first-hand the countless hours of hard work needed to keep a family farm going. My parents both worked outside the farm to help the farm stay alive financially. They were often referred to as the night farmers, as this was their only chance to get to the fields after working their full-time jobs. The natural gas wells are not about financial gain or greed, but about the farms being able to pay for themselves. It's a chance for farmers to update worn-out equipment, repair and replace old buildings and do the needed maintenance to keep the farm going for future generations.
In "Promised Land," the new movie set in rural Pennsylvania where a big company is looking to drill for natural gas, the main character played by Matt Damon acknowledges to a crowd gathered in a school gym that there are real environmental risks associated with Marcellus Shale drilling. Those risks and whether taking them is worth the financial or, yes, even the environmental rewards that gas development could bring form the backdrop of the movie.
In the new movie Promised Land, Matt Damon plays an energy worker in rural Pennsylvania who has a crisis of conscience about the environmental risks of the drilling method known as fracking. But the reality is much more promising than Promised Land suggests. If regulated effectively, fracking can contribute enormously to U.S. growth and energy independence while combating climate change.
Thanks to America's vast, unexpected new natural-gas supplies, the nation faces a once-in-a-lifetime choice. Not since 1911, when Winston Churchill, then Britain's first lord of the Admiralty, decided to convert the Royal Navy from coal to oil power has a nation seen such an opportunity to choose a new "master resource"...
Recent reports from Standard & Poor's and ITG Investment Research show the amount of recoverable gas in the Marcellus Shale play may be much greater than any previous government estimate. This is good news. Real American energy security and a real force in American job growth are available to us right now -- if we continue to make the right decisions to obtain and use what we have right here.
Scott Roberts, Johnstown-based Consultant and former Deputy Secretary for Mineral Resources with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection comments on the importance of pundits focusing on the facts about natural gas production, given the geological, technological, social and economic forces at work that have driven people to establish rigid and vocal positions.
Natural gas is heating and powering millions of homes, and driving America on the road towards energy security. Two technologies - horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing - are making this possible.