Nuts and Bolts of Marcellus Shale Drilling and Fracking

Event Date: 
April 14, 2011

Abundant, inexpensive, and lower in emissions than traditional coal power sources, natural gas is expected to play an enormous role in our energy future. Although the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" has made it possible to extract natural gas from "plays" such as the Marcellus Shale Play, some members of the public have become increasingly concerned about problems alleged to be associated with fracking and drilling, such as groundwater contamination, leaks into homes, and air pollution. With the increase in drilling have come economic upheavals and municipal burdens for the communities that have seen an explosion in natural gas drilling.

The economic, energy and environmental implications of natural gas are amplified by fast-moving legal developments, including many proposals for new studies, regulations and legislation. For example, although Congress exempted fracking operations from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, except when drillers use diesel fuel in the fracking fluid, recent reports indicate that for years some drillers may have been using diesel fuel without permits. Added to federal developments are efforts by some state and local governments to ban drilling within their jurisdictions or to require disclosure of the contents of fracking fluid, and recent allegations of drinking water polluted by uranium in drilling wastewater.

Join an expert panel in a discussion of these developments in Marcellus Shale, where the issues mirror those of other gas fields across the country, and stay tuned for our second installment on May 19, 2011, Policy Implications of Marcellus Shale Drilling and Fracking, where we will build on this discussion and talk about policy implications of Marcellus Shale drilling in a national energy context. Special thanks to Joel Burcat, Saul Ewing, for helping to develop this series.

WHEN: April 14, 2011, 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM


  • Joel Burcat, Partner, Saul Ewing LLP (moderator)
  • Terry Bossert, Vice President of Government Affairs, Chief Oil & Gas LLC
  • Deborah J. Nardone, Senior Campaign Representative for Natural Gas, Sierra Club
  • Elizabeth A. Nolan, Assistant Counsel, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
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