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Nuts and Bolts of Marcellus Shale Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing

July 2011

Citation: ELR 10587

Author: Joel Burcat (moderator), Elizabeth A. Nolan, Terry Bossert, and Deborah J. Nardone

Abundant, inexpensive, and lower in emissions than traditional coal power sources, natural gas is expected to play an enormous role in our energy future. Although the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" has made it possible to extract natural gas from "plays," such as the Marcellus Shale Play, some members of the public have become increasingly concerned about problems alleged to be associated with fracking and drilling, such as groundwater contamination and air pollution. The economic, energy, and environmental implications of natural gas are amplified by fast-moving legal developments, including many proposals for new studies, regulations, and legislation. Added to federal developments are efforts by some state and local governments to ban drilling within their jurisdictions or to require disclosure of the contents of fracking fluid. On April 14, 2011, ELI brought together an expert panel to discuss these developments in Marcellus Shale, where the issues mirror those of other gas fields across the country.

Joel Burcat, Saul Ewing LLP, Environment and Natural Resources Practice Group, Elizabeth A. Nolan, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Terry Bossert, Chief Oil & Gas LLC, Deborah J. Nardone, Sierra Club

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