These letters were received in response to "Marcellus Shale: Pipe dreams in Pennsylvania? " (December 2009)

'A disaster of epic proportions'

Thank you so much for spotlighting the serious environmental consequences associated with extracting gas from the Marcellus Shale.

The vast majority of Americans who do not live in this region are seeing/hearing ads and news stories touting "clean natural gas" without realizing the enormous amount of pollution generated by the extraction process.

Pennsylvania is facing an environmental disaster of epic proportions, with its government officials and many residents acting as willing co-conspirators.

It's especially heartbreaking to me because my family settled in Bradford County more than two centuries ago and I was planning to move back there with my mother when the "boom" hit.

Now, we intend to move as far away from the Marcellus Shale formation as possible.

Thanks again and keep up the great work.

Marsha Ann Tate, Ph.D.
Submitted via e-mail

Look at the big picture

I find your article on the Marcellus Shale to be incredibly biased and just basic fear-mongering.

The amount of water needed to produce the Marcellus is much less than what golf courses need in the same geologic area.

Many of your "cocktail of chemicals" are the same products used in food additives, lipstick, etc. The amount of motor oil that drips from cars in the region way exceed anything that comes from the development of natural gas.

Nothing is more environmentally damaging than war. Sending our dollars to the Middle East, Venezuela and Russia for imported energy is doing huge amounts of economic damage to our country.

Now we have discovered the third largest natural gas field in the world and you are only negative about it? Low carbon emissions, jobs to keep the youth in areas where they have been leaving for decades due to lack of jobs, and you see that as a negative?

It would be much more mature of your periodical to look at the big picture rather than sensationalize.

William Fehr
Submitted via e-mail

Protect our lake, streams

Excellent story! Thank you. I wish other people read this. I'm a landowner in Wyoming County at Lake Carey. I have heard talk about drilling under lakes-there is discussion about who owns what under the state-owned lakes and I believe it may be the county.

Do you know of any groups in the region/state/federal level with whom an active group of citizens can work to push back on this mad rush for money at the expense of our beautiful environment and wonderful lakes and streams?

Hetty Baiz
Submitted via e-mail

'It's all about the money'

I have many comments about this story, but here is one glaring example: "In Dimock, Victoria Switzer was watching something else-the rural hamlet where she and her husband were building their dream house had become an industrial zone. She lay awake at night as Cabot drilled. Water trucks trundled down dirt roads, while pickups with Texas license plates sped by. The great horned owls left, and her favorite hiking trails were marked with 'no trespassing' signs and fluorescent ties."

If her favorite trails were closed to her, then she was trespassing on "her" trails.

I never see any interviews of people other than a few crybabies. These same people are constantly quoted because they didn't get a lease or they don't own the property.

It's all about the money and you should be asking those questions.

Then we have the supposed constant noise from trucks and well rigs.

If you knew anything about gas drilling you would know that the well is completed in a few months, then the site is reclaimed.

I dare you to go find a well that has been completed, and I will even tell you where it is. You will never be able to.

Wildlife does not leave the area, by the way, they prefer the clearings because food is easier to come by.

I live here! Every time I see a story like this with twisted and/or incomplete information, I know it is written by someone who has never lived in the country.

Most of us have no problem with natural gas drilling, even if we have not leased.

I have 68 acres here in Pennsylvania and 45 in New York state and have not leased either place although I have had dozens of offers.

If and when I get a lease that covers all of my concerns I certainly will sign.

But I also intend to live here and drink my water, eat my garden veggies, and continue to buy my apples from Dimock, PA!

Robin Scala
Submitted via e-mail