I'm from a small town in Western Pennsylvania and recently we've been affected by the Marcellus Shale boomconstruction of wells and rigs started about a year or so ago, and in my county (Mercer) we're expected to have over 2,000 wells added within 5 years (probably expecting even more now, that's just the last statistic I've heard about 3 or 4 months ago). This county isn't really that large and to have that many would mean one or two rigs per country block. This makes me very sad to say the least. Anyways, the oil companies have been going door to door asking people to sign off their mineral rights in exchange for these large sums of money (that they might not even see for years) that's only a fraction of a percentage of what the companies would be making from their land. Not only are they ripping off the locals in my area, they're saying that it shouldn't have any environmental impact on the area. This makes me laugh. Their claim is that they're replacing the oil they suck from the earth with "a brine mixture" which I've found with various research actually contains chemical waste and carcinogens among simple brine water. In areas across the US where this method was used after several years, people were able to run tap water from their kitchen sink, hold a lighter to it, and it would catch on fire and burn as long as the water was running. I believe that no filtration system can possibly take out all of these contaminants from drinking water no matter how or how many times its filtered. Already I'm afraid to use and drink the tap water I have at home, it already has a strong chemical smell to it. Not that I've always trusted tap water (I haven't) but I at least felt safe boiling it to take out most of the flouride, chlorine, etc. out and refrigerating it for future use.We have also seen a HUGE increase in the amount of earthquakes in my area. Not to say we've never had an earthquake before, we usually would have one every 10-20 years. In the last 6 months we've already had a few minor quakes. Coincidence? I think not. What angers me the most is that the geologists that work for the oil companies are STILL trying to deny any environmental impact and to me (a 20 year old that hasn't even gone to college) its very obvious that its creating a large, rapid, negative impact. People are saying how good it is for our economy and giving people jobs (over 90% of the employees on these rigs are from southern states). I agree that it really is doing something for our local economy but surely there are better ways to improve it. I've attempted to get together protest groups but too many locals are actually FOR fracking simply because they're getting a little but of the oil companies pocket change. Is anyone else affected by fracking in your area, and has anyone tried anything to stop it? I have, but there's just not enough support in my area and as one person its just not enough to stop these monsters from the oil companies no matter how much I talk to other locals, they're turning a blind eye to all of the facts I give them just for the sake of cash.sad, sad times for Mother Earth in mercer county.
updated by @megan-atwood: 01/13/15 10:02:43PM