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Energy company announces plan to increase drilling on Marcellus Shale

6/6/2012 | Real Estate Blog

Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon announced last month that the financially strapped energy company plans to pick itself back up by drilling more wells on Marcellus Shale real estate. According to McClendon, the center of the activity would be the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, as well as regions in Ohio and West Virginia where wells can extract liquid gases like ethane and propane, which are worth higher prices nowadays.

Chesapeake was reportedly the most active drilling company in 2011, well before the recent push for liquid gases. But the company’s new strategy has apparently been indirectly encouraged by Governor Corbett, whose aides have begun proposing a 5-cent-per-gallon tax credit for manufacturers that use ethane.

Critics of the plan have pointed out that financial ties between McClendon and Corbett call the plan into question, and environmentalists continue to argue that natural gas drilling is connected to well pollution, explosions, blowouts, livestock quarantines and public health hazards.

It isn’t only the drilling that presents environmental concerns, though, but also the shipping of liquid gases.

Natural gas drilling is obviously a big topic for Pennsylvanians, and involves public health, environmental, economic and governmental concerns. As our regular readers know, lawmakers approved a bill earlier this year to impose a local impact fees on natural gas drillers across Pennsylvania. The zoning aspect of the law dew major criticism from those who said it stripped local municipalities of their power to regulate drilling.

Source:, “Okla. Billionaire’s meltdown could mean more Pa. fracking,” Will Bunch, June 6, 2012