Appalachian Basin

Time to Ramp It Up

When Energy In Depth (EID) was launched by IPAA way back in the days of antiquity known as 2009, our mission was pretty simple: to engage as many folks as we could find, with as much good information as we  could muster, on the once-in-a-generation opportunity that responsible development of natural gas from shale could make possible.

Pretty straightforward right? Well, let’s just say through the ups and downs of the past 2.5 years, we’ve learned an awful lot. For one, we’ve learned that the opportunity is even greater and more historic than we previously thought possible. Just take a look at the Marcellus Shale. Sure, it’s been around for the better part of the past 390 million years. But the idea that the Marcellus could represent the second-largest natural field in the entire world? Enough natural gas to power the entire country for a generation or more just by itself? Enough to completely disrupt plans by Russia and Iran to create a world cartel for natural gas similar to the one that OPEC enjoys on oil? Hold onto your hats, fellas; this thing just got a whole helluva lot more interesting than we were expecting.

Which brings us to the second thing we’ve learned: not everyone in the world is quite as happy about this massive new discovery as we are, notwithstanding the enormous and obvious benefits that come from the development of a secure, reliable, job-creating, clean-burning resource. Some of these folks’ concerns are legitimate – too many trucks on the roads, too much traffic, too long a line at the grocery store checkout. Other folks appear to be driven more by ideology than anything else. Today, they oppose hydraulic fracturing. Tomorrow? You’re just as likely to see them protesting the opening of a new Wal-Mart downtown. And believe it or not, for many of the same reasons.

Of course, the most important thing we’ve learned over the past 2.5 years is that there’s only so much you can accomplish sitting behind a desk. To make a real difference, you have to be out where the action is, engaging people where they live and in ways that are relevant and additive to the efforts they’re already leading by themselves.

Enter EID’s Northeast Marcellus Initiative. Starting the month, EID will be on the ground, in your town, rockin’ the facts whenever and wherever we see an opportunity arise. Same EID you’ve come to know and love (we hope), but this time: much more focused on the grassroots scene. To aid in that charge, we’ve enlisted the help of several field organizers who, whether they know it or not, are about to find themselves logging a lot of miles in the car, and a lot of time in front of the MTO window at Sheetz. Initially, we’ll be focused on the northern tier of PA and the southern tier of NY. As good a place to start as any, that’s our view. And to borrow (and mangle) a familiar phrase: if we can make it up here, we feel like we can make it anywhere.

In subsequent posts, we’ll have our field team take a minute to introduce themselves, and maybe lay out a brief sketch of their plan of action moving forward. For now, let us welcome you to EID’s online Marcellus outpost. Please take a moment to look around, and please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can be helpful moving ahead.

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