Marcellus Shale Newswire 04/15/2011

Vol. 2, Issue 05

A Collection of Marcellus Shale and Gas Drillling Articles from Pennsylvania and Beyond



The Philadelphia Inquirer

Study citing shale gas ‘footprint’ disputed

By David Templeton

April 13, 2011 

A Cornell University study is drawing criticism from the Marcellus Shale industry by concluding that methane produced from shale gas has as large a “greenhouse gas footprint” as coal, or larger. The study said the totals were calculated from various sources but reflected how much methane escapes into the atmosphere from venting or leaking over the lifetime of a well.


The New York Times

Methane losses stir debate on natural gas

By Tom Zeller, Jr. 

April 12, 2011 

While methane doesn’t last in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, it is a far more potent heat trapper than carbon dioxide while it’s around – roughly 25 times more potent over a 100-years time frame. Over a 20-year time horizon, methane is 72 times more potent a greenhouse gas, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


Bloomberg Businessweek

AP: Pa. accused of rubber-stamping gas permits

By Michael Rubinkam

April 13, 2011 

Pennsylvania environmental regulators say they spend as little as 35 minutes reviewing each of the thousands of applications for natural gas well permits they get each year. They also acknowledge they don’t give additional scrutiny to requests to drill near high-quality, legally protected streams and rivers.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Some water treatment plants refuse to take fracking fluid

By Daniel Malloy

April 13, 2011 

Several wastewater treatment plants in Western Pennsylvania have stopped taking in waste from natural gas hydraulic fracturing amid controversy about potential waterway contamination. Mr. Perciasepe [EPA deputy administrator] testified that some wastewater treatment plants are ill-suited to treat the fluid, which is mostly water but also includes a cocktail of chemicals that would be dangerous in drinking water.


The Scranton Times-Tribune

Casey: Voluntary fracking chemical registry ‘not enough’

By Laura Legere

April 14, 2011 

The release of a national online registry of hydraulic fracturing chemicals this week has received qualified praise but has not stemmed calls for more disclosure about the natural gas extraction process. Lesser-known chemicals are often not included on the materials safety sheets, whether or not they are toxic, and so will not be included in the registry. “This isn’t enough, but any progress is welcome,” [U.S. Sen. Bob Casey] said.


National Public Radio

Gas Drilling’s Promise, Perils Rile Townsfolk

By The Associated Press

April 12, 2011 

Fracking opponents complain the industry has taken environmental and safety shortcuts in their zeal to reap the vast stores of gas once locked tight within the shale.


The New York Times

Pennsylvania Calls for More Water Tests

By Ian Urbina

April 7, 2011  

Pennsylvania environmental regulators said Wednesday that they were calling for waste treatment plants and drinking water facilities to increase testing for radioactive pollutants and other contaminants, to see whether they are ending up in rivers because of the growth of natural gas drilling in the state. Mr. Furlan also said that the real threat of radionuclides from drilling wastewater being sent through sewage treatment plants was that it would settle in the sediment at the bottom of rivers.