NPR's Useful, But Flawed, Series on Natural Gas
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

By Alicia Shepard, NPR's ombudsman, responding to comment from listeners regarding Tom Gjelten's series on gas drilling in the Marcellus shale.

"New technology has made natural gas a promising alternative in reducing the United States' dependence on other countries for energy sources. Natural gas is cleaner than other fossil fuels, and some experts say there's enough untapped natural gas in the U.S. to last 100 years.

"So it made sense in late July for NPR to develop a series of reports on natural gas -- especially since the potential of natural gas was a surprise to NPR editors and to reporter Tom Gjelten, who was assigned to the project."

Click Here to read the full article.

NPR: Giant Gas Fields in Eastern U.S. Spark Land Debate
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

March 25, 2008

"Geologists have long speculated about a massive natural gas reservoir under a deep layer of rock in the eastern United States. But as new technologies have emerged to make it more feasible to extract that gas, reporter Sarah Thomas says the people living above it are facing new and difficult decisions.

"The Marcellus Shale Formation is believed to stretch from upstate New York to West Virginia, and as far west as Ohio. Thomas, a staff writer for the Wayne Independent in Wayne County, Pa., says it could be large enough to double the nation's annual output of gas — a scenario that has companies rushing to secure leases for mineral rights. Small-town residents, many of whom have been neighbors for generations, are finding themselves on opposite sides of a heated debate...."

Click Here to read more and listen to the story.

NPR: Water Contamination Concerns Linger For Shale Gas
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

By Tom Gjelten, Sept. 23, 2009.

"Advances in technology have helped boost the growth of shale drilling in the United States over the past few years. But as the practice of harvesting natural gas embedded in shale rock deep below the Earth's surface has expanded, it has raised concerns about the impact this type of drilling has on the environment — especially on groundwater.

"At issue is the practice of 'hydraulic fracturing,' which in combination with horizontal drilling is an essential part of the shale gas production process. The shale rock in which the gas is trapped is so tight that it has to be broken in order for the gas to escape. A combination of sand and water laced with chemicals — including benzene — is pumped into the well bore at high pressure, shattering the rock and opening millions of tiny fissures, enabling the shale gas to seep into the pipeline...."

Click Here to read more (no audio).

NPR: Who's Looking At Natural Gas Now? Big Oil
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

by Tom Gjelten

Second in a series. Originally aired Sept. 23, 2009 on NPR's Morning Edition heard on WJFF.

"In the energy world, Big Oil has long been the key player — with one notable exception: The natural gas business in the United States is dominated by small, independent companies. More than 80 percent of U.S. natural gas supplies are produced by companies with a market capitalization of less than $500 million. On average, these companies have only a dozen employees.

"But their business is booming. New production techniques in recent years have enabled companies to extract natural gas from shale rock formations deep underground. As a result, estimates of accessible natural gas reserves have been revised dramatically upward. Small gas producers can justifiably take the credit for the transformation of their industry...."

Click Here to read more and listen to the story.

NPR: Rediscovering Natural Gas By Hitting Rock Bottom
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

by Tom Gjelten

First in a series. Originally aired Sept. 22, 2009, on NPR's Morning Edition heard on WJFF.

"In recent years, natural gas producers in the United States have struggled, mostly in vain, to be taken more seriously in the energy world. Big oil companies like Exxon had concluded that natural gas reserves in the United States were not sufficiently abundant to warrant big investments in exploration and drilling. When small independent gas producers argued otherwise, they were often ridiculed.

But the natural gas folks now have numbers on their side due to new successes in getting gas out of shale rock. Geologists have always known that shale rock, often found in combination with coal and oil deposits, holds substantial amounts of natural gas."

Click here to read more and listen to the story.

NPR: Natural Gas - Conventional Drilling Areas And Shale Basins
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

"For many years, natural gas companies have been producing the fuel from 'conventional' gas reservoirs, relatively close to the surface and easily accessible. New shale gas production techniques have opened much wider areas for exploration, including the Marcellus area in Pennsylvania and the Barnett and Haynesville areas in Texas."

Click here to view map and find links to other NPR stories on shale gas production.

NPR: Urban Gas Drilling Causes Backlash In Boomtown
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

Originally aired August 5th, 2008, on NPR's All Things Considered heard on WJFF.

"The Barnett Shale, a natural gas-bearing formation underneath 21 counties in north Texas, is a wildcatter's dream: Wherever energy companies poke a hole, there's gas. Now they're scrambling to drill anywhere there's vacant land — at country clubs, parking lots, city parks, school grounds and airports.

But a vocal and growing minority is not getting behind the Barnett Shale, even though Texas-born actor Tommy Lee Jones urges them to on recent billboards and in newspaper and television ads. Jones is a corporate spokesman for Chesapeake Energy, the nation's largest independent producer of natural gas. [...]"

Click Here to listen to the full story.


WJFF Connections
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

WJFF Connections with Dick Riseling, originally aired on October 5th, 2009.

Guests: Wes Gillingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper and Bruce Ferguson, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy
Topic: Gas Drilling

Click here to listen. [Download link]

Gas Drilling Forum, Part 1
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

Marcellus Shale - The Impact of Natural Gas Drilling. Educational forum held in Walton, NY, sponsored by Catskill Mountainkeeper featuring experts on law and community organizing. First aired on WJFF on June 26, 2008.

Click here to listen to Part 1 - Panel Discussion. [Download link]

Gas Drilling Forum, Part 2
Posted by admin on 10/31/09

Marcellus Shale - The Impact of Natural Gas Drilling. Educational forum sponsored by Catskill Mountainkeeper featuring experts on law and community organizing. First aired on WJFF on June 26, 2008.

Click here to listen to Part 2 - Questions and comments from audience. [Download link]



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