Natural Gas: Fractured Bedrock, Divided Communities

Nine thousand feet beneath the surface of several Northeastern states   lie vast deposits of shale impregnated with natural gas. The Marcellus Shale play, as it is called, is being touted by energy analysts as one of the largest in the world. For a chronically hard-pressed region in a season of recession, the promise of mailbox money just for signing a simple lease to subsurface rights is almost irresistible. Almost, that is, until they’ve signed and discover the implications of their decision. In this program recorded on site in northeastern Pennsylvania,  we follow the Marcellus Shale trail and find the fracturing of the bedrock under this gas-rich region mirrored by the fracturing of communities divided by the the benefits and blights that it brings.



Erick Coolidge – Dairy farmer, Tioga County Commissioner, Pennsylvania Tony Ventello – Executive Director, Bradford County Progress Authority, Towanda, Pennsylvania Tom Murphy – Co-director, Marcellus Shale Educational Outreach Program, Penn State University Bobby McGuire – Farmer, land developer, owner, Restless Oaks Restaurant, McElhattan, Pennsylvania Randy Pfirman – Founder, Industrial Hose Company, Williamsport, Pennsylvania Lester Greevy – Attorney, Willliamsport, Pennsylvania Maggie Emery – Co-owner, Serene View Farm Bed and Breakfast, Proctor, Pennsylvania Ron Carter – Landowner, Dimock, Pennsylvania Julie Sautner – Landowner, Dimock, Pennsylvania Deb Sawyer – Director, North Central Region Area Health Education Center, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania Mark Madden – Extension agent, water specialist, Penn State University Bill and Sheila Ely – Landowner, Dimock, Pennsylvania


Host: Mark Sommer Senior Producer: Gregg McVicar Associate Producers: Naihma Deady, Matt Fidler Production Engineer: Michael Schwartz Field Engineer: Emma Jacobs Special thanks to Tom Murphy of the Penn State Educational Outreach Program Music in this program: “And Then So Clear” – Brian  Eno  – Hannibal; “A United Earth I” – Alan Stivell and Youssou N’Dour –   Putumayo World Music; “Way Down In The Hole” – The Blind Boys of Alabama   – Real World; “Clean Water” – Dr. John – Blue Note; “Don’t Go Frackin’   In My Backyard” – Lisa Ann Wright. Duration: 55 minutes

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