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Shale Fuels Jobs Market

October 25, 2010
Kathryn Z. Klaber

In a recent column, the Sierra Club’s Gary Thornbloom lodged a series of claims about natural gas production and hydraulic fracturing that are unsupported by the facts. Thornbloom and your readers should know that hydraulic fracturing technology is an essential component of producing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, and a tightly regulated one as well.

How tight are the rules and how effective have they been? Recently, DEP Secretary John Hanger confirmed that “we have not had one case” in which fracturing technology has “contaminate(d) groundwater.”

How about that “toxic brew of secret proprietary chemicals” that Thornbloom writes about?

Fracturing fluids are made up of more than 99.5 percent water and sand, with a small portion of additives used to reduce friction and kill bacteria. These additives are listed publicly in many places, including the Department of Environmental Protection’s website.

Although Thornbloom claims that “Pennsylvania government was not prepared” for Marcellus development, it’s also important to note that, despite all the talk about “gas rushes” and “shale gales” across the commonwealth, less than 5 percent of all natural gas wells in the state today are Marcellus wells — and 10 times as many water wells are drilled each year compared with gas.

Despite that, the Marcellus Shale has provided clean-burning fuel for our residents and helped create about 90,000 jobs by the end of this year. And with continued oversight and new investment, it’s poised to do a whole lot more in the future.
Kathryn Z. Klaber Canonsburg

The writer is president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Read more: http://www.centredaily.com/2010/10/25/2292633/shale-fuels-jobs-market.html#ixzz13Ogsx2CD