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Why the rush? Soaring profits vs environmental, and community degradation?

February 1, 2011

The ‘gas rush’ is on!  Industry can’t keep up enough to satisfy the demands of fracking.  It’s full speed ahead as companies rush to fulfill their leases before they expire and ensure they recapture the money spent on land investments, and the profits held for them in the Marcellus Shale.  Terry Engelder of Penn State University stated at a recent town meeting (starting at the 51 minute mark) that he was largely responsible for the rush.  He committed industry to a land rush in Pennsylvania, spending on the whole somewhere between 200 million and 1 billion on land acquisition which is not permanent.  Leases obtained in largely 5 year increments are needing to be retained and to do that drilling must take place.  This rush “really is not to obtain natural gas necessarily…industry is running against the very severe constraints of a clock ticking away very rapidly.  If they don’t drill to hold, they lose that billion dollars…and no one is going to walk away from that billion dollars.  That’s probably the reason for the rush”  Industry invested too early and at too large an amount.  Their risk is now putting our air, our water, our soils, our roads, our communities and our health at risk as they rush to stay ahead of regulations and recoup that initial land investment.

Baker Hughes Inc. Chief Executive Chad Deaton said that “oilfield services companies can’t satisfy oil and gas producers’ growing appetite for hydraulic fracturing and other complicated drilling techniques, fueling optimism that the sector will continue to see soaring profits in 2011.”   “This is a tremendous business to be in right now,” said Baker Hughes Chief Operating Officer Martin Craighead.  “We just don’t see an end” he said.

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