Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Marcellus Shale: The Trillion Dollar Question

We’re sitting on what may be the second-largest natural-gas field in the world—but is it possible to improve our air and water while making the most of the enormous economic opportunity?

(page 2 of 4)

Nicholas J. Deiuliis
President, CONSOL Energy Inc.; president and chief operating officer, CNX Gas Corp.

CONSOL Energy’s roots run deep in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We have embraced innovation and continuous improvement as part of that deep culture. During the last 150 years, we have witnessed and deployed innovations that have improved how we access our energy resources, how we convert our fuels into energy and how we deliver that energy to our homes and businesses in increasingly efficient ways.

Domestic, abundant, reliable and affordable are coal’s strongest attributes, which is why it continues to be the lifeblood of the country, producing nearly half of our nation’s electricity. Advancements in technology have allowed coal to make incredible strides to improve its environmental legacy.

Regulated emissions from a coal-fired power plant built today are 90 percent cleaner on average than the plant it replaces. Natural-gas discoveries in the Marcellus Shale have the potential to shake up the energy markets and geopolitics across the globe, and it is all because of the application of horizontal-drilling technology. We are able to safely tap into resources that we could not tap into historically.

Stewardship of our natural resources must go hand in hand with their development for energy use. At CONSOL, we take a holistic approach to water management and conservation, actively employing advanced water-treatment technologies and processes in our operations. We are proud that our Marcellus Shale gas operations are recycling 100 percent of our flowback and produced waters.

Today, there are more than 3.5 billion people on planet Earth without access to affordable and reliable electricity. Global demand for energy will increase by more than 50 percent between now and 2030. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a rich mix of energy assets and institutional know-how to enable our resources in a responsible way. The greater Pittsburgh region is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this rapidly changing balance of trade. All of the elements exist to transform the global energy challenge into an energy opportunity—an historic opportunity to develop new supply chains, invest in and apply new technologies, and create new American jobs right here in our local communities. This is an opportunity we must not and will not squander.
 

Jan Jarrett
President and chief executive officer, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture)

All forms of energy production have environmental impacts. The Pittsburgh region’s air is significantly compromised by pollution from coal-fired power plants. The Post-Gazette’s series “Mapping Mortality” revealed that 14,000 people died prematurely from breathing pollution emitted by these plants. The region has long lived with the legacy of coal mining with many of its rivers and streams degraded by acid pollution from abandoned mines.

Natural gas is a much cleaner-burning fuel than coal. It emits virtually no mercury or soot pollution and has markedly lower emissions of ozone smog forming nitrogen oxides and acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide. Many coal-fired power plants in the Pittsburgh region are more than 40 years old and do not have modern pollution controls. Those plants should be either shut down or converted to gas-fired power plants.

However, to ensure that the benefits of natural gas as a fuel are not outweighed by the environmental impacts of drilling, we need stronger regulations. Gas-drilling operations involve many sources of air pollution: diesel generators, increased diesel truck traffic, compressor stations and more. In order to ensure that the drilling does not further degrade the region’s air quality, drillers must control the pollution from these new sources.

There also need to be greater protections for water, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has made progress. As of May, gas drillers will no longer be permitted to pass their wastewater through sewage-treatment plants that are not equipped to treat the water. But we also need to expand protection for water by requiring well pads to be set back further from waterways and drinking-water supplies, prohibiting gas wells in flood plains and tracking the use of water from withdrawal to disposal.

If we set world-class standards that protect our air, land and water, then all Pennsylvanians can benefit from the development of the enormous and valuable resource under our feet.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

Two local priests –– riding the Phantom's Revenge to promote Catholic Day at Kennywood –– create a viral video. Along the way they deliver a most unusual sermon.

The Homestead Artist with a Worldwide Reputation

Jesse Best maintains a presence in New York and Tokyo. But, he says, Pittsburgh has been 10 times better to him than any other place.

The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth "Jurassic Park" film is fun. Empty, somewhat disappointing fun.

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

After Pitt ordered Voodoo Brewery to stop production of its "H2P American IPA," the company relaunched the beer under a new name.

Sprout Fund Passes the Torch

50 Pittsburghers to receive $1,000 Legacy Award to carry on the nonprofit’s vision.

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Pirates Pitcher Steven Brault has Pretty Good Pipes Too

The Pirates reliever sang the national anthem Tuesday night before the Bucs hosted the Brewers at PNC Park. It's worth watching, especially for his teammates' reaction at the end.

Crime in the South Side Has Fallen Dramatically

Illegal activity plunged along East Carson Street following several new security measures.

Fired by City Paper — Charlie Deitch Won’t Be Silenced

The former editor of the Pittsburgh alt-weekly is creating his own "more inclusive" publication.

Czechoslovakia was Forged in Pittsburgh

Rick Sebak details how the establishment of the European nation began with a meeting Downtown.

Brick by Brick: Legos Go High Art

Made entirely out of Legos, the sculptures on the display at the Carnegie Science Center’s new Scaife Exhibit Gallery range from the whimsical to the otherworldly.

Mike Chen, Dean of the Chinese Kitchen

The owner of Everyday Noodles looks to encourage more regionally specific Chinese food in Pittsburgh restaurants.

MultiStories: Real Estate – The Machesney Building

Visitors can still ogle the lavish marble and bronze interior crafted to appeal to the original owner's banker and stockbroker tenants.

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Pittsburgh Might Mow Your Lawn for Free

The city is launching a free grass cutting service for the elderly, disabled and veterans.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

Two local priests –– riding the Phantom's Revenge to promote Catholic Day at Kennywood –– create a viral video. Along the way they deliver a most unusual sermon.

Comments

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

After Pitt ordered Voodoo Brewery to stop production of its "H2P American IPA," the company relaunched the beer under a new name.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

Reflecting on the loss of a person so many of us admired.

Comments

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Chef You Shan Pei comes to Pittsburgh after cooking in Flushing, N.Y. restaurants for 18 years.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

Looking to show off your Pittsburgh love? Get your favorite city printed on basically anything at these local shops.

Comments

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

When you're craving the real deal, these local spots consistently churn out the very best.

Comments


The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Comments

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

The relaunched entertainment complex in Harmarville is casting a wide net, with some success.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Comments

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk found out last August, in the wake of a six-hour surgery that removed 14 inches of his colon and “a tumor the size of my fist,” the severity of what he was suddenly confronting.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth "Jurassic Park" film is fun. Empty, somewhat disappointing fun.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The documentary about Fred Rogers' work and philosophy inspires even more wonder about the television legend who called Pittsburgh home.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Toppers That Take the Cake

Toppers That Take the Cake

Over the traditional bride and groom standing on top of your cake? Try some of these different ideas for cake toppers.

Comments

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

This Pittsburgh couple is using their engagement photos to raise awareness about one of their most passionate causes.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

Paying homage to the restorative power of nature, this deep green shade is one to watch in the coming year. Here’s how to use it on your walls.

Comments

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

From furniture to wall art and beyond, these local makers created one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or office.

Comments