Will Pennsylvania Become Gasland?

After watching Gasland this weekend at the State Theatre, I decided being able to light water on fire isn’t as awesome as it sounds. Gasland was basically 104 minutes of “Big oil is poisoning your water and lying to you about it.” Unconcerned with problems that don’t directly affect me, I thought about the Marcellus Shale. Could drilling it hurt the person I care for the most (me)?

Gasland taught me that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of oil deposits often leads to contamination of water supplies. This could cause chronic health effects, such as various types of cancers. It also taught me that director Josh Fox can play some awesome banjo. Unlike Fox’s banjo-playing, having natural gas in your water does not rock. See it in action here:

“Who cares?” you are probably thinking. While most drilling up to this point has taken place in the western United States, the untapped natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale has oil tycoons ready to drill. The MS runs right through Pennsylvania and oil companies are leasing land from Pennsylvanians to drill it. Recently, Penn State received Division I hockey thanks to a donation from Terry Pegula, who got mad rich off the Marcellus Shale.

When OS’s own Davis Shaver asked him about the donation, Pegula said:

I would tell students that this contribution could be just the tip of the iceberg, the first of many such gifts, if the development of the Marcellus Shale is allowed to proceed.

My personal take is that he assumes students don’t know what the word “bribe” means. Am I alone in my skepticism?

About the Author

John Dempsey

John is a Junior majoring in Journalism from Hazleton, PA. He is so awesome that sharks dedicate a week to him. Likes: Video games, vigilante justice, irony, talking bears, Burt Reynolds, El Chupacabra, coloring books, chainsaws, and Australians. Dislikes: Zombies, clowns, zombie clowns, turtleneck sweaters, Apple, poor mustache grooming, nuclear winter, Roman architecture, guacamole, robots, LCD TVs, the color yellow, Velcro, ceiling fans, sprinklers, tornadoes, Belgians, squat thrusts, and romantic comedies.


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