Now reading

Draining the Earth: Natural Gas Drilling an Issue for Pi...

Draining the Earth: Natural Gas Drilling an Issue for Pittsburgh

Currently one of the largest environmental issues in the United States is the debate on drilling for Natural Gas. This debate has hit close to home as well, as the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area sits along one of the largest natural gas filled rock formations in the country, the Marcellus Shale. By

Bates Natural Gas Plant, Texas

Currently one of the largest environmental issues in the United States is the debate on drilling for Natural Gas. This debate has hit close to home as well, as the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area sits along one of the largest natural gas filled rock formations in the country, the Marcellus Shale.

By using high-pressured water drills to draw the natural gas to the surface of these large rock formations, also known as “fracking,” companies hope to be able to extract a sizeable amount of natural gas and petroleum from the ground, which would be much cheaper than extracting such materials from other countries. The energy industry hopes to be able to benefit from this natural gas, by using it to help run power to large cities, such as Pittsburgh.

Natural Gas Plant, Indiana

There is a sizeable contingency of people who believe that fracking is a danger to the environment. These include issues with contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, and issues with spills and contamination of soil. Countries such as France have banned the practice of fracking, while numerous other countries have regulated the act to try and limit the issues which the drilling has on the land.

In Pennsylvania, there are currently over 6,300 active wells along the Marcellus Shale, with thirty wells in Allegheny County alone. Since drilling started in 2010, there have been over 3,300 drilling violations throughout Pennsylvania, racking up over three million dollars in fines for the drilling companies. Overall, whether the benefits of fracking outweigh the dangers or not, the fracking of the Marcellus Shale in the Pittsburgh region and across Pennsylvania is something that seems to be a large operation for some time to come.

What is your stance on the fracking of the Marcellus Shale? Is it harmful to the environment or is it a benefit to energy companies?

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.

Intern photo

Greg Shermeto is a recent graduate at the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.A. in Environmental Design. While studying, Greg worked on projects including the South Buffalo Trolley and Trail System, which helped to connect the Wester...

  • http://GlobalSitePlans Abbey Seitz

    Awesome article! I was just in Pittsburgh for the Power Shift conference and I am really excited for what Pittsburgh is doing to halt fracking

Want $90?

Post your first job opportunity on The Global Grid and we'll pay for it!

A $90 value. Use promo code GIVEME90