Merry Christmas America! Terry Engelder’s Marcellus Shale Story!

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Terry Engelder is on of the godfathers of the shale revolution, the guy who first realized its enormous potential. He tells his story in a “TED” talk from 2013.

The story of the Marcellus Shale and the revolution it produced is the stuff of legend. The man there at the beginning is a Geology Professor from Penn State University (my own alma mater). He just retired, technically speaking, but he’s still active and having a lot of fun digging into new aspects of shale production. It is, though, an appropriate time to look back a bit to put things into perspective as to just how significant the whole thing was and remains. A talk Terry Engelder gave in 2013—a TED talk—provides a just such a look back  and offers fascinating insights into the revolution.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and is the work of a non-profit group “devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less).” TED talks have been going on since 1984 and, today, universities often involved in the program, encouraging some of the best among their educators and researchers to engage the public through them. Terry Engelder, Professor of Geology at Penn State was encouraged to give such a TED talk in 2013. His entire talk is but a little over 12 minutes in length and capsulizes what the Marcellus Shale revolution is all about:

Terry Engelder talks, in this video, about his realization, during research, that Christmas was coming to America in the form of potential economic development from shale. He tells how he went to Gary Lash, a colleague from another university to confirm his startling calculations. He addresses the contributions of fracking to reducing the CO2 emissions, the fact those emissions matter far more than methane and various other aspects of the fracking debate, noting fracking has been a huge environmental opportunity realized without government regulation.

He even mentions Dimock and how that one word and the misuse of another—”toxic”—affected the debate:

Never mind the fact that neither the US Environmental Protection Agency nor the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection found one shred of evidence that fracking was somehow or another contaminating groundwater with fracking fluids. Now, it is true that there are large water management issues. It’s true there are air quality issues. And, it’s true that there are a lot of other very important questions that need to be answered about fracking. However, the term “toxic” has become one of the most used, overused, terms in the fracking debate; so overused that Pennsylvania author Shamus McGraw claims that the two most toxic chemicals in the fracking debate … are adrenaline and testosterone.

He’s absolutely correct, of course. Still, to me, the best part of Terry Engelder’s TED talk is how the Marcellus Shale revolution came to be. It’s a little Christmas in July for me as he conveys the excitement he felt a decade ago when sudden realizing Christmas was coming to America both economically and environmentally. Watch the whole thing!

The post Merry Christmas America! Terry Engelder’s Marcellus Shale Story! appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

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