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 3 of 4)

Kathryn Z. Klaber
President and executive director, Marcellus Shale Coalition

Responsible shale-gas development is producing thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, generating millions in tax revenue and billions in local development while improving air quality and reducing the environmental footprint of the industry.

State tax revenues from this industry for the first quarter of 2011 totaled $238 million—up $20 million from last year. The Department of Labor and Industry estimates that Marcellus activity generated an average of 3,000 jobs per month during the first three months of this year, and more than 141,000 Pennsylvanians work in Marcellus Shale industries.

By any metric, these economic figures are staggering. But with this historic opportunity comes the obligation to leave our environment healthier and stronger for future generations. Our industry’s professionals share with their neighbors the goals of environmental stewardship.

Highly advanced equipment and controls allow for tight monitoring of drilling activity. Dozens of state and federal regulations oversee all stages of the process. Natural gas offers consumers and power-generation companies a clean, cost-effective and reliable source of power while improving the air we breathe and reducing the footprint from energy generation.

As in any industrial process, there are risks. However, managing those risks—through sharing best practices and strengthening workforce training—is key to environmentally responsible shale-gas development.

Working alongside state environmental officials, our industry has helped modernize regulations to protect our environment and water supply. Specific to water, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has implemented new well-casing and construction guidelines to further protect ground water supplies. And more recently, DEP took action to prohibit the discharge of treated water into our rivers. Our industry supported and worked hard to meet this challenge.

Developing the Marcellus Shale in an environmentally responsible manner is not a voluntary directive; it’s a mandate that our industry has imposed upon itself. As a lifelong Pennsylvanian raising two children in the area, I am one of so many who see this homegrown resource offering opportunities for generations to come.
 

David L. Porges
Chairman, president and chief executive officer, EQT Corporation

Natural gas is vital to the U.S. economy. Because of newfound resources, the price of natural gas has come down dramatically over the past few years, leveling off during the same time as crude-oil prices have been increasing.

EQT is one of the largest exploration and production companies working in the Marcellus Shale, the largest shale resource in the United States. We have worked hard to refine and improve our production techniques so that our region and our country can benefit from these natural-gas resources, which are cleaner, cheaper and much more abundant locally than imported oil, while protecting our environment. During our 120 years of operation in southwest Pennsylvania, we have learned an important lesson: Preserving the environment is good business.

EQT sets high standards when it comes to protection of the environment and safety. The company has developed a comprehensive production plan entitled “Marcellus Operations Guiding Principles,” which defines numerous areas critical to the safe production of natural gas and provides a foundation for training and operations within the company’s drilling, completions and production activities.

EQT is committed to protecting water supplies. For instance, we conduct pre-drill testing on all domestic water sources and have increased our recycling of water used for hydraulic fracturing. We guard freshwater supplies using a process called “triple casing”: multiple layers of steel casing and concrete between drilling equipment and the water aquifers.

EQT has also developed industry-leading spill-prevention plans, and we were one of the first natural-gas production companies to publish monthly reports detailing our fracturing fluid additives on our website, EQT.com, and on FracFocus.org, a national registry maintained by the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC), a leading environmental group.

EQT has also been active in promoting natural gas as a clean, alternative-fuel source, which will lessen America’s dependence on foreign oil. This summer EQT will open a compressed-natural-gas (CNG) fueling station in the Strip District. The station will provide cleaner and less expensive fuel for privately owned and commercial natural-gas vehicles (NGVs). EQT’s distribution company, Equitable Gas Company, is converting a significant portion of its own fleet to natural gas vehicles.

These new resources represent a great opportunity for economic development and a better environment, but only if they are developed responsibly. Part of doing so is recognizing that natural-gas companies are the new neighbor in southwest Pennsylvania, and EQT is committed to conducting itself as a responsible neighbor.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in August

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in August

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
The Region's Top Dentists 2016

The Region's Top Dentists 2016

Our latest list includes 368 topDentists in eight specialities from around the region.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

ReplayFX Turns Convention Center Into Giant Arcade

ReplayFX Turns Convention Center Into Giant Arcade

The second annual gaming festival at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center brings 8-bits of weekend fun.
Environmental Art Project to Light Up Pittsburgh Bridge for the Holidays

Environmental Art Project to Light Up Pittsburgh Bridge for the Holidays

Riverlife hopes the temporary project will lead to permanent, decorative lighting of all three of the city's Sister bridges.
Mt. Lebanon Native Daya Nominated for MTV Video Music Award

Mt. Lebanon Native Daya Nominated for MTV Video Music Award

It's the first MTV nomination for the 17-year-old singing sensation.
Remembering A Rescuer of Gentle Giants

Remembering A Rescuer of Gentle Giants

Richard Kohl devoted most of his adult life to caring for homeless large-breed dogs.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in August

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in August

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
The Region's Top Dentists 2016

The Region's Top Dentists 2016

Our latest list includes 368 topDentists in eight specialities from around the region.
Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

The first crop of chefs in the Strip District restaurant incubator are four real.
The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.
Edit Module

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


ReplayFX Turns Convention Center Into Giant Arcade

ReplayFX Turns Convention Center Into Giant Arcade

The second annual gaming festival at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center brings 8-bits of weekend fun.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
A Thyme and Place

A Thyme and Place

Old friends Tricia Cohen and Lisa Graves reconnect via Facebook and collaborate on a historical cookbook.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


Garfield Bar Mixtape Is a Great Hangout (And a Good Bar, Too)

Garfield Bar Mixtape Is a Great Hangout (And a Good Bar, Too)

Part craft-cocktail joint and part coffee bar, the welcoming spot wants you to stay a while.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Optimism With An Asterisk As Good As It Gets In Steelers Training Camp

Optimism With An Asterisk As Good As It Gets In Steelers Training Camp

Although NFL teams never simply pick up where they left off the previous season, there’s reason to believe the 2016 Steelers could resemble the team that came agonizingly close to knocking off the eventual Super Bowl Champion Broncos in Denver last January.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Sanuk’s Yoga Sling Sandal are super comfy yet chic.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

Reviews of "Ghostbusters" and "The Infiltrator," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Whimsical Wedding in Wonderland

A Whimsical Wedding in Wonderland

This Pittsburgh bride brought all the details together for a flawless “Alice in Wonderland”-themed wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Coming Soon: Historic Lawrenceville Building Ready for Makeover

Coming Soon: Historic Lawrenceville Building Ready for Makeover

Real estate crowd-funding platform Small Change Pittsburgh is raising funds to transform the Butler Street building.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

The university landed in the top 10 schools for disabled students seeking an online education.

Comments