Sorting Through the Confusion

A lot of the comments and public statements about the Chesapeake Energy dust-up mistake opposition to the Pulteney disposal well, and opposition to Chesapeake Energy, with opposition to drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Saying that Tier residents must bow to the demands of Chesapeake Energy in order to extract gas is the same as saying that one should marry the first person one kisses. Chesapeake is just one of many companies that could successfully extract gas from the Marcellus Shale. There may be other companies with better fracking technology that could extract the gas more cleanly. Perhaps in a couple of years, the combination of new technology and higher energy prices will make everyone glad they waited.

The key point is that the valuable resource here is the gas, not the ability to drill it. Those who have allied with Chesapeake often sound like Chesapeake is the only game in town, and that the economic future of the Southern Tier rests on getting Chesapeake to drill immediately, no matter what the cost.

The truth is that the gas in the ground will only get more valuable over time, and the Tier will see a boom sometime in the near future because of it. This will happen with or without Chesapeake Energy, no matter how much they, and their supporters, want to make us think otherwise.


As always Rottenchester a well thought out analysis of the problem. Most people in the Keuka Lake area are not against drilling for natural gas but want it done responsibly. What Chesapeake is proposing to do on Keuka Lake is the cheap and easy solution.

Dr. Tony Ingraffea, a Fracture Engineer at Cornell University, in his talk last Sunday in Pulteney said there is no reason to go fast drilling the Marcellus. The price of natural gas is low right now and the drillers will not put that much new gas on the market because prices will drop further. Dr. Ingraffea also pointed out that there are at least nine new techniques that shortly will make drilling the Marcellus safer. The gas isn't going anywhere, lets do it the right way not the cheap and easy way. Chesapeake will make a gazillion dollars on drilling the Marcellus, spend some money and do it right.

Exactly. Or as Eric Massa said at that meeting, the gas has been there for millions of years. What's a few more?

The same could be said of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and oil.

Let's avoid sinning in haste and repenting in leisure.

well said!!