November 11, 2011

Are Pennsylvania hunters upset about the boom in natural gas drilling in the state?

Katharine Seelye deploys some purple prose to help NYT readers think that they are.
STATE GAME LAND 59, Pa. — For those who have ever stalked deer, turkey and bear here in “God’s Country” in north central Pennsylvania, this hunting season is like no other.
God's Country? Yeah, that's the way the folk talk out there in State Game Land 59, Pennsylvania.
For one thing, it is louder. The soundtrack of birds chirping, thorns scraping against a hunter’s brush pants and twigs crunching underfoot is now accompanied by the dull roar of compressor stations and the chugging of big trucks up these hills.
This sounds like one of those NPR reports with a soft-voiced radioman crunching through the leaves.
The Marcellus Shale, a vast reserve of natural gas lies beneath some of this state’s most prized game lands. And now, more and more drills are piercing the hunting grounds. Nine wells have cropped up on this one game land of roughly 7,000 wooded acres in Potter County, and permits have been issued for 19 more.
7,000 wooded acres! Oh my gosh! That's half the size of Manhattan! Before long, what will be left of Pennsylvania?
An old dirt road that meandered up a ridge here has been widened and fortified. Acres of aspen, maple and cherry trees have been cut. In their place is an industrial encampment of rigs, pipes and water-storage ponds, all to support the extraction of natural gas through the process of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking.
Acres of the most beautiful possible trees that people in NYC are capable of picturing. Aspen! Maple! Cherry! Replaced by — God help us! — industrial equipment! Oh, noooo! We had our heart set on thinking about you Pennsylvania rural types as rust-belters.

Remember Barack Obama, campaigning for President, back in 2008? He said, speaking to elites in San Francisco:
"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them... And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Somehow these communities are gonna regenerate... and now, they are regenerating. They've got a fabulous boom in the works. But the NYT would like us to think that the boom is mussing up the old hunting grounds? There's machinery grinding and clanking making it harder to hear the crunch of fallen leaves!
“Who wants to go into their deer stand in the predawn darkness and listen to a compressor station?” lamented Bob Volkmar, 63, an environmental scientist who went grouse hunting the other day through these noisy autumnal woods. “It kind of ruins the experience.”
Volkmar is a hunter, yes, but he's also an an environmental scientist. That is, he's got a pretty sweet job. What does the average Pennsylvania hunter think? Isn't he stoked about the economic development and the potential for good jobs for lots of Pennsylvanians? And doesn't he know plenty of alternative hunting grounds?

99 comments:

edutcher said...

The guy sounds like a NIMBY.

And, yes, the Gray Lady, like GodZero, doesn't want any economic recovery unless it's Ivy League-approved.

Mike said...

The Democrat-Media-Complex has a fascination with saying thinmgs that sound like they care about something while pursuing policies and actions that say, "We don't give a damn what you want." This is especially apparent when they turn their caring eyes on that lovely flyover country. Your interjections here, Ann, are perfectly apt to the tone of the NYT.

HA HA HA said...

Yeah, that's the way the folk talk out there in State Game Land 59, Pennsylvania.

Yes, it is. Those words. Quote "God's Country", unquote.

Other than that, I have no idea what the average hunter in PA thinks about this stuff. My guess would be that they know a lot more than the NYT does about Pennsylvania's long history of pulling fossil fuels out of the ground on an industrial scale, and that they might like to have jobs.

But I haven't been back there in a while.

The Drill SGT said...

The first oil well in the US was drilled in PA, 1859.

Many of us with an older education know that. Those taught by graduates of Education schools, not as much.

Bob Ellison said...

This is new. Manhattanites used to grouse about hunters cruelly killing Bambi with scary guns. Now Big Gas is killing the hunters, so the hunters are the victims.

First they came for Bambi, but I wasn't a deer, and I didn't speak out. Then they came for the hunters, but I wasn't a hunter, so I didn't speak out. Then they came for...gas drillers? Who will speak out for them? Who?

MadisonMan said...

Also: God's Country.

MadisonMan said...

I'd rather visit Tioga Co than Potter Co, frankly, if I were in the northern tier of Pennsylvania. The Little Grand Canyon is awesome.

Tank said...

Classic NY Times dilemma:

1. Hunters

2. Drillers

Who are the bad guys?

Damn. This is a hard one.

BarryD said...

Who wants a little background noise while hunting?

Any hunter who has ever tried to stalk when there's no breeze to help mask sounds, and the ground is covered with dry leaves, that's who!

That said, The Monkey Wrench Gang doesn't depict a bunch of hemp-wearing PC liberals. This conflict over the limited resource of nature recreation is not new, nor intrinsically left-wing. It's just something to be resolved. Often, there are ways to resolve the conflict that are good for all parties, if they don't get too caught up in fighting each other first.

Scott M said...

If you can't hear much more than the kachuga-chuga-chuga, neither can the prey. Time to switch the rifle to backup, bring out the Bowie knife, and hunt a la neanderthal. For the fun of it.

BarryD said...

BTW it's generally a lot easier to resolve conflicts like these than it is to bring back once-idyllic pheasant fields that are now buried under miles of tract homes.

In fact, having the shale in that location could end up preserving hunting areas that would otherwise be lost forever -- if people think like intelligent humans, instead of pseudo-religious environmentalists.

cubanbob said...

Conflict oil and gas or ruin such sensitive spots? The solution is cut of all oil and gas to Manhattan. A win-win solution. Of course Seelye can do the environment a favor and off herself in an environmentally sound manner. It would indeed be a moral imperative for her to do so, just imagine all of the pollution she produces that could be eliminated with her non existence and all of the resources that she consumes that could be better allocated.

MadisonMan said...

What does the average Pennsylvania hunter think? Isn't he stoked about the economic development and the potential for good jobs for lots of Pennsylvanians? And doesn't he know plenty of alternative hunting grounds?

I'm wondering what you think the average Pennsylvania hunter actually looks like.

The hunters I grew up with two counties south of Potter County went every year to the same little cabin to hunt, or to the same valley, because they knew the terrain there so well, and it made tracking easy. Saying just go somewhere else to hunt is a little simplistic.

I know plenty of female hunters in Pennsylvania as well.

Jay said...

This is laugh out loud funny.

Now good liberals in NYC endorse hunting!

Who knew!?

It is comical to watch the ever shifting list of approved liberal causes.

cassandra lite said...

Considering that Pennsylvania was the state where the American oil industry was essentially born, and that the Venango Valley had so many rigs it looked like Coney Island, this is pretty durned funny--as we say in Gawd's cuntry.

garage mahal said...

Aspen! Maple! Cherry! Replaced by — God help us! — industrial equipment!

Yea right? LOL! What hunter would against that?

traditionalguy said...

It's those surplus people again...buying natural gas and producing an income to raise families. RED ALERT: families are back in business.

More people and more people come from Families unless the utter depravity of breeders having children can be mind controlled into the children.

The Goddess Gaia hath spoken.

PJ said...

The good news from that environmentalist/hunter is that the deer apparently don't mind the noise. I mean, if they did, it wouldn't be very smart to hunt for them where it's noisy, and we all know how smart environmentalists are.

ricpic said...

Pennsy is booming while right across the border upstate New York is languishing because of these holier than thou NY Times shites. Quality of life has nothing to do with the hopelessness of upstate New York blue collar workers or the dying small businesses that cater to them and everything to do with a perfect view unmarred by a hint of industrial *ugh* activity from the porches of the chattering class vacation homes.

Maguro said...

These towns were supposed to regenerate themselves with liberal feel-good projects like solar panels and high-speed choo choos.

If that's not possible, the NYT would prefer they not be regenerated at all.

The Drill SGT said...

BTW: There aren't very many wells being drilled. The typical Marcellus Shale gas well in PA uses horizontal drilling to tap gas across a wide area.

Michael said...

Pennsylvania hunters are likely very enthusiastic about the gas drilling and like the birds and the deer will adapt to some noise surrounding the inflow of capital.

No doubt our concerned professor wears rimless glasses and peels his apples with a pocket knife while he is on his gentleman's hunts.

There are plenty of places to hunt in rural Penn. Our writer's particular covert has been impinged upon by evil commerce.

SteveR said...

So much better for environmental scientists and the NYT for folks to heat there homes with dirtier imported heating oil.

rhhardin said...

Oil or not, you don't want to fly your Goodyear blimp low over the forests in hunting season.

ndspinelli said...

They forgot ash trees. Louisville Slugger has forests in Pa. and NY.

And, possibly a few intolerant, hysterical, Pa.hunters might be hoping to bag a certain Nittany Lion.

Pete said...

Here in oil-and-gas rich Oklahoma, the deer harvest regularly exceeds 100,000. The wildlife seems less bothered by petroleum extraction equipment than East-coast elites.

PJ said...

Pennsylvania hunters are likely very enthusiastic about the gas drilling

Oh hell yeah. Used to be you couldn't pop a cold Straub's in these woods without scaring off every deer within 200 yards. Now there's some cover noise, and they've also cleared off a bunch of the damn maples and aspens that kept blocking my shots. 'Sall good.

wv: dirks Yeah, you could prolly get a deer with one of those now, but it's still easier to shoot 'em.

FloridaSteve said...

Is the author one of the people in this video about crying for the trees?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_JPcBwYGmo

Unlikely Hospitalist said...

I can tell you how Penn hunters feel about hydraulic fracturing. They support it by a margin of 55% to 27%. Take a look at the headline though and you would never know that.

Mercyhurst Poll shows Pa. residents divided on risks of Marcellus Shale.

http://www.mercyhurst.edu/news/news-releases/article/?article_id=2497

Nora said...

Gee ... NYT's latest favorite victims de jouir are hunters?

Do they think that alternative energy is possible without "an industrial encampment of rigs, pipes and water-storage ponds" and such? Idiots!

Rob Crawford said...

I've been looking for some recreational land, and some of the land I've been looking at is on the edge of the oil slate deposits. According to one of the guys I've talked to, the price of land -- and just mineral rights -- on the shale deposit has just about doubled.

The people looking for land may be grumbling, but the hunters who already own some land are grinning ear to ear.

Aspen! Maple! Cherry! Replaced by — God help us! — industrial equipment!

Yea right? LOL! What hunter would against that?


"Garage", you're as ignorant as you are persistent.

Rob Crawford said...

Dur. Oil SHALE, not "slate". Can't blame a typo, but I really do know better.

Psychedelic George said...

Marcellus Shale...wasn't he the gangster in "Pulp Fiction"?

Calypso Facto said...

9 oil wells in 7,000 acres vs. 6,500 acres COMPLETELY COVERED by solar panels. Guess which one the NYT favors (and the DOE supports with development grants)?

Freeman Hunt said...

If you can't drill for things in the wild, where can you drill for them? In the middle of the road? In a neighborhood? Central Park?

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, didn't they find in Alaska that the animals actually liked the pipelines because of the warmth and bred at higher rates near them?

Psychedelic George said...

And Volkmar?

Isn't he in Harry Potter? I'm concerned. What exactly is going on in those woods?

MadisonMan said...

The people looking for land may be grumbling, but the hunters who already own some land are grinning ear to ear.

Only if they also own the mineral rights. As you see, if you read the article, the "problem" is that the State did not acquire mineral rights when it bought the land with hunting license proceeds, so it can't stop mineral development on the land it owns.

I'm not sure why a person who owns mineral rights, but not the land itself, can then lease out drilling rights to a person that changes the land that is owned (IANAL).

Herb said...

wow how do the hunters in Texas and Louisiana do it with all of those gas and oil rigs?

DrBerkeley said...

Being from one of those small Pennsylvania towns, I appreciate your NYT citation and deconstruction of the NYT mindset.

TosaGuy said...

I almost hit a deer in Milwaukee last night on the aptly named Brown Deer Road. If deer live in the city, they won't mind a rig or two in the woods.

I hunt in Door County, which is perfectly quiet except for the constant whine of grain drying equipment on adjacent farms.

I do wish some of those trees on the hunting land would be thinned out. Would lead to more and better shots.

Good luck to all hunters! May the deer be plentiful and the bucks be big.

TreeJoe said...

I love that it's "aspen" trees - those reading the NYT have picturesque association with the word "aspen" (i.e. Colorado, pristine wilderlands, etc.)

In God's Country, most call it Poplar. A beautiful tree that grows quickly and is easily replaced.

Calling any ol' Poplar "Aspen" is like calling Pine "The Spirit of Christmas and Yule".

Btw, in God's Country, Maple and Cherry are top-notch woods used for making furniture and for burning in wood stoves (bio-mass energy w/ essentially a zero-net carbon footprint since the tree otherwise degrades in the forest).

Also, wtf, it's fairly easy to drive AWAY from those 7000 acres. That's a small patch in PA.

ThomasD said...

My Mother's side of the family has had a deer camp in north central PA for over 70 years, it is right next to a huge tract of forest owned by the pulp mills.

So yeah, we're used to a little bit of industrial activity, and we all know these woods are not, and have never been 'pristine.'

We also know that without jobs nobody can afford to hunt. Maybe someone should inform the NYT that on opening day in PA there are almost a million hunters (with guns!) in the field.

Joe said...

When is the last time the NYTs ever even inferentially said something positive about hunting? Here their concern for hunters is just a tool to go after domestic energy production.

As a matter of fact, as i write this on my phone, I'm in a deer blind overlooking an old has well. I don't blame the well a bit for my not having seen a deer for hours. On other occasions, I've seen plenty, and the well was there then, too.

franglo said...

Yeah, you know it's not gonna be my baby that is born with birth defects due to exposure to contaminated groundwater-- probably some hick's. Frack away.

Amartel said...

"Like most hunters"? Really, NY Times? Really? Did you interview "most hunters" or even a fairly representative sample? NO.

Every single source in this article is either a government agent or some dude with an agenda. The "environmental scientist" and his buddy the "former conservation officer" are hunters who also founded a conservation group for the area and run around taking water samples. (Unfortunately, the highly anticipated and desired pollution has not appeared in water samples as yet, darn it!) Then there's another whiny doomy wildlife conservation officer, a professor of "wildlife resources" at Penn State (just starting her super-scientific examination of the highly anticipated and desired pollution), the chief of environmental planning & habitat protection (gee, wonder if these guys like fracking), and the executive director of the game commission. It's almost like they all know each other.

gregq said...

Wow, who would have thought the NYT would portray hunters in a positive light?

Amazing how they can let go of their lesser hatreds when a bigger one come along.

AJ Lynch said...

The term "Enviro scientist" is used sometimes to describe a hobbyist with no real science training. This guy seems legit but it strikes me as odd that Seelye just stumbled into him while preparing this propaganda:

Duquesne Univ website:
Robert Volkmar, M.S., QEP
Environmental Management

Mr. Volkmar currently serves as the Interim Director of the Center for Environmental Research and Education at Duquesne University, a position he has held since January 2006. He also is the Coordinator of the Master of Environmental Management online degree program. He is responsible for administration of the Center, as well as student recruitment, scheduling, adjunct faculty coordination, curriculum development and review, and learning outcomes assessment. He also teaches several courses in the Environmental Science and Management (ESM) and Master of Environmental Management (MEM) graduate degree programs. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Duquesne, Mr. Volkmar also teaches two courses in Environmental Policy and Management in the International Master of Environmental Science (IMES) program at the University of Cologne, Germany. Mr. Volkmar holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Sciences (Biology) from West Virginia University (1972) and a BS Degree in Biology from Gannon University (1970). He also holds the QEP (Qualified Environmental Professional) certification.

Richard said...

I live in western Pennsylvania deer hunting country and I can report that we love our Marcellus Shale resources. A few old timers and liberals bitch about it, but they don't work so don't need a job. For the rest of us, we feel blessed to have the shale AND the deer.

Kirk Parker said...

MadMan,

You just explained it quite clearly, but you don't understand your own explanation?

ThomasD said...

Yea right? LOL! What hunter would against that?

Well, since you obviously have no clue, here's a few thoughts.

First, they aren't paving the whole forest, they are cutting some roads, along which they will placed drill heads or other sorts of works. Each site will have a fairly small footprint, but will let in light to the forest floor that would otherwise be stopped by canopy. Things will grow in that light that otherwise wouldn't. Deer are browsers they are attracted to exactly that sort of change in foliage - it's where they find the stuff they like to eat.

Second, PA is an open trespass State, meaning unless the land is specifically posted it is open for hunting. So those new roads will make for some real easy access to areas where deer will now tend to congregate.

Third, have you ever thought about why deer can be such a nuisance in suburban settings? Partly it is because development represents exactly the above mentioned type of break in what would otherwise be monoculture forest or Ag) but also because whitetail deer are quite adaptable to living in close proximity to human activity.

Countertop said...

I'm an environmental lawyer and a hunter. I hunt grouse in Pennsylvania as much as I can (My prime hunting spot is only 3 hours North from DC where I work).

Lots of wells in the area. Sure. But you know what? They've always been there.

They have put some more roads in, and some new ones, but I've noticed no real change....except its now hard to book a last minute hotel room and I occasionally need to call for reservations at my favorite steak house cause there are so many people up there working for the oil and gas industry the vacant hotels are all booked and the restaurant seats are all filled.

Countertop said...

Its also worth pointing out that you would never find a grouse in that open field with a single strand of pines they are showing in the picture of him hunting.

Peter Ryan said...

When they said they were in "God's Country", I thought, "When did they start fracking in Wisconsin?!"

Then they started into the NPR travelogue about Pennsylvania. That's when I remembered that Wisconsin is where God goes on vacation.

Hopefully, we'll start keep fracking in God's Country and put a new iron mine on His favorite vacation spot.

MadisonMan said...

You just explained it quite clearly, but you don't understand your own explanation?

So if you don't own the mineral rights, someone can come in and completely change the land that you do own?

That's a strange kind of ownership.

garage mahal said...

Well, since you obviously have no clue, here's a few thoughts.

I've hunted and fished my entire life, I've been people that have hunted and fished their entire life. If you think members of groups like Trout Unlimited, or Whitetails Unlimited are monolithic in support of fracking you are mistaken. I also love the idea that if you are a scientist and you hunt, or a conservation officer and hunt, you're opinion on fracking or the environment in general doesn't count. Moronic, but predictable.

Mike said...

MM, Google "easement" and it will make more sense

PJ said...

MadMan, as I understand it, one of the "mineral rights" the mineral owner gets is the right to access his minerals. I think the idea is that back when the guy who owned both the surface land and the mineral rights split them, the guy who bought the surface land took it subject to an easement (or some such) that would allow the mineral owner access to the minerals, sometimes for a fee. After that, the surface land would always be subject to the access easement, at least as long as the mineral rights owner kept up with the paperwork.

Shanna said...

I would be more worried about earthquakes, personally.

I don't see why hunters would be worried. Presumably, there are still as many deer and whatever else they hunt in pa.

rbrandt said...

Perhaps the enviros should lobby for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic to stop the baby seal hunt.

rbrandt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ThomasD said...

I also love the idea that if you are a scientist and you hunt, or a conservation officer and hunt, you're opinion on fracking or the environment in general doesn't count.

Nice strawmen you got there, be a shame if something happened to them.

If you really are a hunter then surely you knew the foolish single mindedness of your initial exclamation (I hesitate to deem it an argument.)

Some of us, scientists, conservationists, hunters, or otherwise intelligent people do recognize shakedown artists, and their NYT shills, when we see them. No matter how they try to couch their 'concerns,' be they for 'the environment' or 'hunters' or whatever.

garage mahal said...

If you really are a hunter then surely you knew the foolish single mindedness of your initial exclamation (I hesitate to deem it an argument.)


I've never in my life heard this from an outdoor enthusiast of any stripe:

"Aspen! Maple! Cherry! Replaced by — God help us! — industrial equipment! "

At least not one that didn't have their own agenda.

DCS said...

I think you nailed the sound bite right down the leaves rustling around the LL Bean boots worn by the reporter before she climbs into her Prius and hot foots it back to Manhattan. Liberals in Minnesota still produce the same kind of romantic BS about pristine wilderness and condemn the residents of the northern regions to poverty, alcoholism and spouse abuse because of the economic deprivation. Of course, then the same reporters can travel to the region and cry because the evil Republicans cut funding for programs to help those unfortunate victims.

Michael K said...

"I know plenty of female hunters in Pennsylvania as well."

Ooooh yes! One of whom is garage mahal.

ThomasD said...

At least not one that didn't have their own agenda.

You mean like hunt and have gainful employment?

Or hunt and economically heat their homes?

People who generally are willing to balance multiple competing interests without resorting to creating conflict out of whole cloth?

Are you referring to those people?

garage mahal said...

Are you referring to those people?

I'm referring to people like Althouse who have an obvious politically biased agenda. She hates liberals and Al Gore so she thinks destruction of woodlands funny. That woodland resource may or may not be needed, but it's destruction in itself isn't particulary funny.

MadisonMan said...

Ooooh yes! One of whom is garage mahal.

Huh? Garage lives in Madison?

I'm referring to my HS classmates.

ThomasD said...

she thinks destruction of woodlands funny.

Fair enough, but perhaps you could have spared us the pretension and skipped straight to your rather silly opinion of Althouse (and false characterization of the issue.)

Seeing Red said...

35-40% of this country is off limits, unless Utah can get its' state's rights back.

Fewer trees, less carbon dioxide, right? Isn't that good for the atmosphere?

dbp said...

Yeah, you know it's not gonna be my baby that is born with birth defects due to exposure to contaminated groundwater-- probably some hick's. Frack away.

Anybody that is dumb enough to think that fracking thousands of feet below the surface will effect ground water that is a few hundred feet from the surface, is probably not capable of figuring out how to reproduce anyway.

garage mahal said...

Anybody that is dumb enough to think that fracking thousands of feet below the surface will effect ground water that is a few hundred feet from the surface, is probably not capable of figuring out how to reproduce anyway.

EPA Finds Compound Used in Fracking in Wyoming Aquifer

Last year -- after warning residents not to drink or cook with the water and to ventilate their homes when they showered -- the EPA drilled the monitoring wells to get a more precise picture of the extent of the contamination.

The Pavillion area has been drilled extensively for natural gas over the last two decades and is home to hundreds of gas wells. Residents have alleged for nearly a decade that the drilling -- and hydraulic fracturing in particular -- has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment, loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.

dbp said...

I think that Althouse is making just sport out of the absurd belief that a little background noise, a widened road or the miniscule foot print from drilling are despoiling anything.

dbp said...

"EPA has not reached any conclusions about how constituents
of concern are occurring in domestic wells."

Gumby said...

Dominionist humor - yuk yuk

Calypso Facto said...

From your linked article, Garage:

"The agency did not interpret the findings or make any attempt to identify the source of the pollution."

But, I agree with you that it's not dumb to think there's a potential for contamination (as with ALL drilling) and it's important to keep testing and determining the best practices for keeping/making it safe. Here's a more balanced article for you.

garage mahal said...

A good way to make sure drilling can be done safely is remove the exemptions these gas companies receive from the Clean Water Act, and Safe Drinking Water Act. There is zero liability for contaminated wells and runoff from drilling sites. You shouldn't be able to light your tap water on fire if you live around a well site.

ThomasD said...

If only we could get the lefties to employ their 'zero tolerance' for failure approach to environmental issues to government programs.

You lead with one tainted well in WY, and I'll raise you one Eric Holder Justice Department.

Suburbanbanshee said...

Everybody calls someplace further out, and more rural, "God's country". Unless you really have a place with a ton of churches, in which case they call themselves "God's country."

BFE is a much less complimentary way to say it, and it too is always further out than you are.

Gumby said...

Fracking' blamed for Lancashire earthquakes

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/02/fracking-cause-lancashire-quakes

ten thousand holes in Blackpool Lancashire

now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert HAll

I'd love to turn you on

Suburbanbanshee said...

Also, the water in Pennsylvania comes with oil already in it, because it seeps out of the ground all over the place. If you go down to the crick, you can already light bits of it on fire.

Oil, the natural environmental component kind, surfaces all the time. You know, how they discovered oil in PA in the first place?

So making the water not have oil in it would be a drastic environmental change that would be harmful to the animals.

dbp said...

If hydrocarbons are already close to the surface, then oil will seep to the surface. This was the reason for the location for the first oil well. In a related way, if the ground is already fractured, then gas will make its way up into the aquifer. That is the most likely source of gas in wells and it is pretty common in areas that have never been drilled (for gas).

It stretches the imagination that fracking which is more than a mile underground (say 6,000-10,000 ft) will have any effect on water wells drilled 100-200 feet deep. There is a whole mile of rock between these things!

Ilyich said...

I grew up in McKean county PA - Duke Center to be exact. It is adjacent to Potter county, which happens to be the area discussed in the Times article. When you drive into Potter county - no matter from what direction - one is confronted with a large sign that reads "God's Country." Not only do the people of Potter county, and north central PA, refer to it as "God's Country," they put up signs to remind everyone entering it. It also happens to be a hot bed of white supremacy, even though there hardly exists a single minority in the entire county. The New York Times under sold the "God's Country" aspect of my former stomping ground.

Amartel said...

Lights, camera, bullshit. Uh oh. Somebody watched "Gasland" without realizing it was fiction.

"The Gaslands movie showed dramatic footage of householders setting light to the water coming from their taps – which phenomenon director Josh Fox said had been caused by fracking. Fox recently admitted knowing before he started shooting the film that the area had a long history of methane-contaminated water going back decades, but said it had 'no bearing' on the decision."

Do you enjoy being misled?
Is a lie okay if it confirms your core convictions?

Suggested new Oscar categories: Best Fictional Documentary.
Best Propaganda.
Leni Reifenstahl Lifetime Achievement Award.
Al Gore Scientific Consensus Award

SDN said...

franglo, in your case, mutation is the only hope for your children to upgrade from moron level...

garage mahal said...

Do you enjoy being misled?
Is a lie okay if it confirms your core convictions?


I assume you're talking to me, and no, I wasn't referring to Gasland.

Methane contamination of drinking water wells has been a common complaint among people living in gas drilling areas across the country. A 2009 investigation by ProPublica revealed that methane contamination from drilling was widespread, including in Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In several cases, homes blew up after gas seeped into their basements or water supplies. In Pennsylvania a 2004 accident killed three people, including a baby.

In Dimock, Pa., where part of the Duke study was performed, some residents’ water wells exploded, or their water could be lit on fire. In at least a dozen cases in Colorado, ProPublica’s investigation found, methane had infiltrated drinking water supplies that residents said were clean until hydraulic fracturing was performed nearby.
Link.

Steve Koch said...

garage mahal said...
"A good way to make sure drilling can be done safely is remove the exemptions these gas companies receive from the Clean Water Act, and Safe Drinking Water Act."

Indeed.



Just want to make sure that everyone realizes that the actual drilling can occur from a small site and cover a huge area. Horizontal drilling and measurement while drilling (MWD) permit very precise and efficient recovery of oil and gas from a single small drilling site to exploit via drilling a surface area of 1000's of acres.

I was one of the managers on the engineering team that developed the MWD technology.

Synova said...

I think that the whole concept of "mineral rights" separate from ownership of land is a scam that some turn of the century crook thought up (I'm guessing 1800's because of the preponderance of shenanigans) and that persists because it doesn't come up often enough to defraud enough people to demand it be straightened out.

Synova said...

Steve, I'd be more than happy to work in the oil/gas industry. I'm working on a geology degree (okay, so I just started) and was wondering how to prepare myself for it. Advice?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Obama's gotten very little trouble from people clinging bitterly to guns and religion, compared to the amount he's gotten from people clinging bitterly to their own money. So the obvious thing to do is keep the guns-and-religion clingers from getting hold of any money.

edwardroyce said...

"Can I get me a huntin' license?" - John Kerry, D-Asshat.

Which tells you everything you need to know about liberal Democrats and rural America.

RevGreg said...

Guess what Ann? I am a Pennsylvania hunter, I fully support the Marcellus shale exploration, and I *am* extremely pissed off at the way public land has been used for drilling operations. The area of the Tioga State Forest that I've hunted for 20 years is completely trashed and the constant noise and traffic through what until two years ago was the middle of nowhere totally belies the fact that this was set aside to preserve forests and whose maintenance was largely paid for out of licensing fees. The overgrown logging trail I used to walk back into the woods is now a gravel road 30 feet wide with trucks running over it every several minutes and the wetlands swamp, which we thought were protected, that I used to sit on the edge of has been partially filled with dirt and rocks as a base for a drilling pad.

They brag about being able to drill for 5 miles in any direction, well, five miles in any direction from where I used to sit would easily take you to private property and out of the State Forest...why not drill there?

Yeah..I'm kinda pissed off.

Steve Koch said...

Synova said...
"Steve, I'd be more than happy to work in the oil/gas industry. I'm working on a geology degree (okay, so I just started) and was wondering how to prepare myself for it. Advice?"

There are tremendous opportunities for women in oil and gas because it is a brutal industry and most women hate operating in the field. Field engineers have a big turnover so jobs are popping up all the time, especially for women. It is good to know Spanish because there is a lot of oilfield work in Mexico and South America.

Work out and get strong because the work can be very physical. For example, you may have to mount sensors at inconvenient places on the rig. The equipment is heavy, climbing to it can be a chore.

In the field you tend to be on your own and have to be hands on problem solver. You deal with a tremendous amount of flaky technology that you have to make work somehow. It costs a lot to operate a rig and if your companies' equipment is not working right, the pressure on you to get it working is unbelievable.

Understand handy man basics wrt computers, electricity and wiring, communications, physics, and chemistry.

It is a much, much harder to get a job in engineering in oil and gas. It normally requires an advanced degree in physics, EE, CompSci, MechE.

Get an internship, it just about guarantees a job when you graduate.

Synova said...

Thanks. :-)

I've been thinking that without small children at home I'd have a small advantage over a 20-somethings (particularly a woman just entering her reproductive years) in being able to travel for internships or jobs, but I will admit that my stomach just sort of dropped out at the words "Mexico and South America." I'd go in a moment, though. I just hadn't thought about that part of the world.

Synova said...

Sort of a double edged thing for women... the freedom I've got now corresponds to being old, which makes the physicality a bit of a challenge. Working out sounds like a good idea.

Steve Koch said...

Field engineers make good money right away. They used to hire mostly geologists for field engineers but now they tend to hire more engineers. The reality is that the "engineering" they require in the field is technician level stuff so a geologist with tech skills would be very attractive I think. Being a woman is definitely an advantage because it by far mostly guys in the field.

On the job you live at the rig. Typically off shore is a lot nicer than land jobs.

There is a lot of support work in the USA for Mexico and South America so speaking Spanish really is a useful skill.

The technology developed in the Oil and Gas industry is amazing and the travel can be awesome. The industry is pretty rough around the edges.

Roger J. said...

Anecdotal, but I was on the staff of Grafenwohr, the European Army's largest firing center--We fired 364 days 22 hours a day; artillery and tank guns along with automatic weapons--Graf had the largest deer and stag herds in that part of Germany--also wild boar--the animals adapted. As soon as firing would shut down for range maintence the animals came out and fed.

The herds were large because much of the larger trees had been lumbered, and second growth proliferated because of the need to keep ranges relatively clear. Its second growth that the deer browse on.

Kirby Olson said...

Up from the ground came a bubbling crude.

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