I've been thinking of doing a long post on the natural gas being recovered from the Marcellus Play, a shale gas deposit in NY and Pennsylvania, as it is an issue related to our impending energy problems. The Pennsylvania Geological Survey has a nice summary available on-line if you need some background. Part of what makes the shale gas controversial is the process of hydraulic-fracturing or hydrofraking. The Wikipedia site for hydraulic fracturing is well-detailed if you want more detail.
There are two things in the news today have led me to broach the subject:
A packed hearing was held by the EPA recently in Canonsberg, PA, as reported in the NY Times over the potential impacts. I will try to find out more. The tension between the groups relates to the economics and real costs, something that deserved to be examined in detail in another post.
Welders apparently sparked an explosion at a well NE of Pittsburgh. Although not part of the big issues surrounding gas shale, the incident shows that gas recovery has dangers just as coal mining and oil drilling do.