So it seems that several states in the Northeast are sitting atop several million feet of natural gas trapped deep within a layer of rock called "The Marcellus Shale" Natural Gas producers are interested in extracting the gas a developing this multi-billion dollar resource. The companies have developed a technology called hydrofracking, or 'fracking' to extract the gas so that it is now possible and cost effective extract the gas. Reasons that supporters use for moving forward on this issue are economic and creating a secure energy source for the US for the future. Oppononents suggest that the environmental risk is far to great to allow dilling and fracking to take place.
What is your opinion?
The impervious limestone layers of the Onondaga directly below the Marcellus, and the Tully Limestone at the top of the Hamilton Group, have trapped valuable natural gas reserves in this formation. The gas is produced by thermogenic decomposition of organic materials in the sediments under the high temperature and pressure generated after the formation was buried deep below the surface of the earth. The rock holds most of the gas in the pore spaces of the shale, with vertical fractures or joints providing additional storage as well as pathways for the gas to flow; gas is also adsorbed on mineral grains, and the carbon in the shale. The United States Geological Survey had estimated that the Marcellus contained only 54 km3 (1.9×1012 cu ft) (where x1012 = trillion, and is referred to as 1.9 TCF) of technically recoverable natural gas in a 2002 publication. In April 2009, the United States Department of Energy estimated the Marcellus to contain 262 TCF of recoverable gas. State University of New York at Fredonia geology professor Gary Lash has calculated that more than 14,000 km3 (4.9×1014 cu ft) (490 TCF) of natural gas may be contained in the Marcellus black shale beds that lie between New York state and West Virginia. At the present level of technology, he believes approximately 10% of this – 1,400 km3 (4.9×1013 cu ft) (49 TCF) – could be recovered. This is enough to satisfy approximately two years' of total U.S. consumption, or a total value of approximately one trillion United States dollars.