Agriculture and Environment

Natural Gas

We are now experiencing a natural gas rush in Pennsylvania. The Marcellus Shale, a 350 million year-old rock formation, extends from southern New York across Pennsylvania, and into parts of Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio.  Scientists estimate that about 50 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas could be extracted from the Marcellus Shale.  This is enough gas to supply the energy needs of the entire Nation for roughly 15 years.

Pennsylvania has a long history of developing its abundant fossil energy resources, from the drilling of the first commercial oil well near Titusville, to the mining of Pennsylvania’s rich seams of anthracite and bituminous coal.  Pennsylvanians are proud of the contributions we have made to the growth and prosperity of our Nation. 

We also understand, however, that previous development of our resources has left scars on the land and communities to deal with the aftermath of poorly regulated and managed energy booms.   For example, old uncapped natural gas wells leaked methane into homes in Versailles, Pennsylvania and, throughout the state, we spend millions of dollars every year to remediate acid mine drainage and to reclaim previously mined land. 

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