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Time Magazine; Could Shale Gas Power the World?

April 7, 2011

The cover story in the latest issue of Time Magazine’s health & science section looks at the topic of shale gas and all the questions and controversies surrounding unconventional shale gas fracking.

Could Shale Gas Power The World?

“There are only a few thousand wells now, but there will be far more,” says Anthony Ingraffea, a structural engineer at Cornell University. “What will life be like when there are 100,000 wells here?”

“That’s the fear of many Pennsylvania residents. It’s not just the worries about what might be happening to their water; it’s also what they know is happening to their communities. Trucks crowd country roads, ferrying drilling fluid and equipment to and from wells. Jobs are up, but some businesses have suffered as employees have fled for higher-paying jobs in the gas industry. As rig workers have snapped up every available room in tiny towns, rents have skyrocketed, punishing low-income families who don’t own their homes. Those who had moved to the area for a quiet Pennsylvania — and those who’ve valued that peace for generations — feel betrayed.”

“For some people, though, the price may simply be too high. Cindy Copp’s family had lived in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Tioga County for five generations, and after selling her home in town recently, she’d planned to open an organic farm. But as the quiet 50-year-old learned more about what drilling might do to the land — and as the gas boom made her hometown unrecognizable — she surrendered. ‘I tried to start my community, but the community is fractured,’ she says, her eyes welling. ‘I don’t see a future here’.”

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