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This is part 1 of a series of articles on Fracking the Farm.

Some farmers look at potential Marcellus shale drilling as a boon: Lease rentals and royalties could make it possible to pass the family farm to the next generation. Others fear that the highly industrialized drilling process will contaminate land, water, and, ultimately, the food we eat.

This is part 2 of a series of articles on Fracking the Farm.

In June, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) asked Pennsylvania’s governor and legislature to place a moratorium on unconventional gas extraction (commonly called hydrofracking).

This is part 3 of a series of articles on Fracking the Farm.

On an August Sunday in 2009, Angel and Wayne Smith were relaxing on their porch after finishing the farm chores. Suddenly they heard an explosion.

The fracking boom hadn't begun yet in Pennsylvania when J. Stephen Cleghorn and his wife purchased a rundown 50-acre farm in Jefferson County with the intention of building it up into a certified organic farm selling vegetables and goat dairy products.

Environmental concerns surrounding drilling for gas are intense due to expansion of shale gas drilling operations. Controversy surrounding the impact of drilling on air and water quality has pitted industry and lease - holders against individuals and groups concerned with environmental protection and public health.

Injection-Induced Earthquakes

Article Background: Human-induced earthquakes have become an important topic of political and scientific discussion, owing to the concern that these events may be responsible for widespread damage and an overall increase in seismicity.

Fracking and Earthquakes

Fracking, a process that intentionally causes thousands of “microearthquakes” when the rock containing oil or gas is fractured apart is shaking things up — literally. Fracking, along with the disposal of toxic fracking waste through underground injection control wells has been linked to induced seismicity — in other words, to human-caused earthquake activity.

Causal factors for seismicity near Azle, Texas

In November 2013, a series of earthquakes began along a mapped ancient fault system near Azle, Texas. Here we assess whether it is plausible that human activity caused these earthquakes.

In response to complaints by domestic well owners regarding objectionable taste and odor problems in well water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated a ground water investigation near the town of Pavillion, Wyoming under authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

Comprehensive summary of science, facts & documents relating to groundwater contamination & methane migration from coal bed methane and hydraulic fracturing in the US and Canada 1985 - 2013. Jessica Ernst

Jan 2015 - Doctors for the Environment (Australia) is a non-profit, non-politically aligned, independent, national organisation of medical doctors which advocates on health issues due to environmental factors.

Review of hydraulic fracturing in Tasmania (2014)

The industrialisation of the rural landscape brought about by unconventional gas (UG) activities with its associated air and water pollution, would significantly damage the Tasmanian environment andr its reputation as the ‘clean green isle’, without adding substantial economic or social benefits.

This report analyses recently released 2013/14 National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) data for air pollution from CSG processing in the Darling Downs, and discusses implications for community health and government policy.

As one of the least economically diverse states in the nation, West Virginia relies heavily on its natural resources for revenue. Funds from these resources fluctuate and, one day, will be gone. As the Marcellus “Gold Rush” comes to West Virginia, it is time for policymakers to consider establishing a permanent mineral trust fund in West Virginia, similar to what six other states have done.

How Can Energy Fund OUR Future?

On February 13, 2012 Executive Director Ted Boettner presented at the Annual Conference of the West Virginia Association of Counties on the benefits of an economic diversification fund in West Virginia. Such a fund would provide revenue for the state during times of economic slowdown which can especially hard-hitting to local and county governments and school systems.

This policy memo is a comparison of how West Virginia and Wyoming tax their mineral resources.  While there are similarities, there are also many differences. This paper continues the discussion of how states which are reliant on extractive industries can make policy decisions, like the creation of a permanent mineral trust fund, and how those decisions can impact state budgets for years to come.

Within the next decade, Pennsylvania is poised to enjoy a natural gas development boom. Long-term projections of rising natural gas prices and the advent of advanced drilling techniques have made it economically feasible to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, a deep geologic formation that underlies 54 of the 67 counties of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has a long history of supplying the nation with natural gas that provides energy for cooking, heating, and other important uses. Only Texas has more currently active wells.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly is drafting legislation to institute a severance tax on the natural gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale formation. The state budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11 set a deadline of October 1, 2010 for enactment of a severance tax that would take effect in January 2011. No revenue from the tax was included in the final budget agreement.

People and businesses contribute to public services in the state, to police, fire protection, schools, roads, clean water, and all the things we need. We pay taxes. We pay income and sales taxes and businesses pay business taxes.

Virtually every state in the nation with mineral resources, including natural gas, oil, coal, and even sand, collects revenue from the companies that extract these finite resources. Severance taxes provide these states with an important source of funding for investments in education, colleges, transportation, and other infrastructure that help to build a strong economy.

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