Prof. Terry Engelder of Penn State and Prof. Anthony Ingraffea of Cornell â€“ Jan. 14th, 2011 at Laporte High School, John Trallo, moderator…Engelder opened with a diagram of the Natural Gas Circle from landowner to end user then referred to himself as the Representative of Environmental Rewards with Ingraffea as the Representative of Environmental Risks. He cited his motto of “Do It Right” which means that the gas industry must pay close attention to details. He warned, however, that drilling in the Marcellus Shale is a learning process and that mistakes will be made. Engelder then posted his “Gusher of Hogwash” meter and gave examples of what he considered hogwash from both sides of the natural gas controversy. He then discussed methane loading of the atmosphere as a big unknown. He believes that the gas industry will find and fix methane leaks but that it is a learning process. Citing, Huber and Mills book “The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy,” Engelder said that energy seems to be a fundamental input that determines both employment and productivity. If fracked gas, which represents 20% of American energy, were to be turned off, then the GDP would drop by $2.5 trillion, one in five workers would lose their jobs and everyone’s income would drop by 20%. Engelder said that American sustainability involves a robust economy built on energy security and shale gas offsets other declining US supplies to meet increased consumptive demand and lowers import needs. Engelder then discussed Dimock as a learning experience and said that industry could not learn if it was not allowed to practice; also, the industry can’t come in without leaving scars. He quoted President Kennedy on sacrifice and that the Dimock residents have made the sacrifice to benefit the rest of us. He then explained how the first attempt at fracking was in 1971 using a nuclear device at the Wagon Wheel Nuclear Simulation Project in Wyoming. It failed because the gas released was radioactive. He then took us through a history of oil and gas exploration in Pennsylvania with multiple wells back in 1968 and even in the 1950′s in Bradford there were 104 well pads per one square mile section. That the Marcellus Shale concentrates it’s well pads all in one place for each section he considers a major advantage. He then began a detailed explanation of what happened at the Meeks blowout in Wyoming which was featured in “Gasland.” He explained that it was in very shallow wells at less than half the depth of the Marcellus; the Meeks blowout occurred at 240 feet and was improperly cemented. The EPA has now set up a test site at the Meeks Well to study whether frack fluid can enter ground water. When Engelder said that the Meeks well contaminants were coming from the surface, he was interrupted by a heckler and then refused to proceed.
The 2-Engelder Cumulative Environmental Effects of Gas Drilling by Cris McConkey, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.