Wellsboro Tioga County feels the boom and the concern
Many residents of Pennsylvania’s Tioga County are caught between embracing and opposing the industrialization and exploitation of their land by the natural gas companies.
There are memories of the destruction wrought by the oil boom not far to the Northwest starting in the late 1800’s, which brought with it both opportunity and ruin. Landowners are collecting leasing royalties. Local business are collecting on an influx of out of state workers. Some think it’s their salvation. But there are many who also worry about the industry destroying this rural landscape. An example of these environmental concerns being the January 17th spill which spewed fracking wastewater when workers lost control of a Marcellus shale drilling rig in the Tioga State Forest. Many residents are being pushed out of the realty market. Many tourists can no longer find lodging or the serenity once held in this landscape now overrun by drill rigs and 24/7 truck traffic and compressor stations.
There are concerns over the fact that almost all of the land in Tioga county has been leased to Royal Dutch Shell and “there could be a 3-acre well pad every square mile” once drilling is done according to Earle Robbins, a former Penn State Cooperative Extension agent who is now a consultant to landowners in Tioga County.