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Marcellus Issues in West Virginia: An Introduction


The purpose of these pages is to introduce a series of short descriptive summaries of the major issues related to horizontal Marcellus development with links to documents and videos. The documents and videos form a core of primary and secondary resources useful for understanding the topics and necessary if there's an interest to pursue a particular topic.

The Issues sidebar to the left presents the issues in a recommended order of reading though that order is not fixed. The issues interrelate -- regulations and waste management are not independent subjects.

If you're new to the subject, there are some industry videos that are useful to gain an understanding of the process of selecting a site, constructing the pad, drilling the well and fracturing it and then reclaiming the pad.

There's a great video of Dr. Tony Ingraffea talking about natural gas drilling, wells leaking and hydraulic fracturing (Facts on Fracking). It's available on YouTube or as a free download of an earlier presentation.

Our relationship to the issues of well drilling and hydraulic fracturing is tempered by our history and industry's wide reach and effective social and educational propaganda. Here are some industry supported or created movies from the past that are of interest:

Louisiana Story

This Academy Award nominated film is a "documentary" by James Flaherty made in 1948 that describes, through the eyes of a young boy, the drilling of a well in the Louisiana bayou. The film was commissioned by Standard Oil. There are good scenes of the drilling sequence. Note the acceptance of the blowout without any mention of possible environmental effects to the bayou ecosystem. This copy isn't extremely sharp but is available as a free download. The movie may be available through Netflix.

Crossroads USA

This 1950s short film takes place in a gas station that is in the process of being robbed. The oil and gas industry has been careful to connect oil and gas activity with capitalism, equating the two. This copy is available as a free download.

These Are My People

This is a short film created for Columbia Transmission in 1959. It shows the history of the development of the natural gas industry using vignettes. The film ends with a description of the transmission system. This film actually is educational and is well developed. The film is available as free downloads -- part 1 and part 2.


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