Over a Hundred Gather at Morgantown WV Marcellus Shale Protest

On Thursday, May 19, 2011 0 comments

Over a hundred protesters gathered at the local courthouse in Morgantown, WV to protest the potential of marcellus shale drilling in their area.

According to the Associated Press, "Rallygoers and others who want to continue the protest can attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Friday, in the Morgantown High School cafeteria.

John Barnes tapped right to the source of the angst Wednesday morning as he stood on Courthouse Square to protest the planned drilling of two Marcellus shale wells in the Morgantown Industrial Park.
"I'm telling you, if we don't step up, it's going to be like a moonscape around here," said Barnes, who was among the crowd of 100 who turned out to discuss ways to persuade (or force) the gas industry to slow up on the extraction process that he says ruins streams and makes farmland barren.

Barnes was talking about work that started a week and a half ago in the city's industrial park near Westover to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale, a 450,000-year-old geographic formation running thousands of feet under Appalachia and the Allegheny Mountains, including most of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Northeast Natural Energy, of Charleston, is planning the work.

Energy experts say the shale's wellspring of natural gas can meet the United States' energy needs for the next 10-15 years.

But it doesn't yield its treasures easily.

The formation lies at least 8,000 feet beneath West Virginia's mainly rugged, and mostly rural, terrain.
Drilling in the shale means using about 6 million gallons per well of chemically treated water to fracture, or "frack," the buried rock to release the gas.

The water must first be drawn from area streams. Then, in its incarnation of "frack water," it must be pumped back out. In the industrial park, water is a triple issue, since the wells will be drawn around 1,500 feet from a drinking water intake for the Morgantown Utility Board.

That's too close, Barnes and others on Courthouse Square said. "

To read the rest of the article published by The Charleston Daily Mail, Click Here.


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