On Sustainability Now, we've covered issues surrounding the natural gas rush in Pennsylvania. We in Pennsylvania live above the massive Marcellus Shale formation, a deposit of shale over one mile underground that the natural gas industry estimates to hold upwards of 250 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This volume has earned the Marcellus region the title of "the Saudi Arabia of natural gas." As natural gas companies have rushed in to get into the shale play, all kinds of worries have erupted. Most of those have been about water use, waste water disposal, water pollution, human health concerns, and community integrity. The recent film Gasland has brought many people a great deal of concern.
On October 10th - 12th, Penn State and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission co-hosted the 2010 Marcellus Summit: Building a Sustainable Future. The event hoped to "identify the challenges, opportunities, and common goals among key stakeholders." Sustainability Now's Peter Buckland was able to go to a good portion of the event and talk to a lot of people, see a lot of the tables, hear a few keynote speakers, watch a few panel sessions, and ask some question. So what happened?
On today's show, we'll cover some of what happened. We'll provide an overview of the event, its sponsorship, and its attendees. We'll talk about a collaborative initiative in Louisiana's Corrizo-Wilcox Aquifer area that prevented some water problems and that Tom Murphy (Penn State Cooperative Extension and noted natural gas drilling advocate) vaunted as a "model" of cooperation for Pennsylvania (watch video here).
Two regulation panels gave the audience a sense of what federal and state regulation is right now for natural gas wells and pipelines. Most importantly, we will talk about a few of the keynote speakers and their presentations, in particular, John Felmy the Chief Economist for the American Petroleum Institute (videos here and here).
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