Learn About Shale Launched in Philadelphia

On the final day of last week’s Shale Gas Insight conference last week in Philadelphia, natural gas industry leaders were joined by key government and business organization officials to launch Learn About Shale. The initiative – a true community conversation – will build upon the MSC’s earlier Ask About Shale effort, which gathered a broad set of questions related to natural gas development from individuals across southeastern Pennsylvania.

In addition to the launch, MSC chairman Dave Spigelmyer of Chesapeake Energy Corp. and MSC president Kathryn Klaber appeared on CBS Radio’s Dom Giordano Show. Listen to Dave’s interview online here and Kathryn’s here.

The Youngstown Business Journal and Peters Patch highlighted the Learn About Shale launch, as well as the Philadelphia Inquirer and Gas Business Briefing. Here are excerpts from those stories:

  • From the Philadelphia Inquirer: The Marcellus Shale Coalition on Friday launched what it called a major effort to reach out to residents of the Philadelphia area to educate them about Pennsylvania’s natural-gas boom. The campaign, called Learn About Shale, was announced on the final day of the coalition’s three-day Shale Gas Insight conference. … Kathryn Z. Klaber, the president of the shale coalition, promised the campaign would be “a robust process of answering the questions of residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania with facts, with sound science, and with comprehensive research.” The centerpiece of the effort is a website, www.learnaboutshale.org. The effort is an outgrowth of a similar campaign launched earlier this year called Ask About Shale. … K. Scott Roy, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for Range Resources, described the campaign as an attempt “to not take the approach that other industries have taken – to be dismissive of what we perceive to be non-legitimate concerns. Our desire is to be responsible to all those concerns.” Industry executives were flanked by Michael Krancer, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, and three members of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Krancer, whose department regulates drilling activity, said it was “very appropriate” for him to appear on stage with industry representatives. “It’s all about listening,” he said. “It’s all about disclosure.”
  • From Gas Business Briefing: Several state and local officials showed up at Friday’s Marcellus Shale Coalition conference to highlight the benefits of cheap natural gas to the Philadelphia area. They cited everything from lower utility bills to landowner royalty payments to the reopening of area refineries, all to a skeptical audience in Philadelphia, where lawmakers have often voted against pro-gas measures in the state legislature, Gas Business Briefing notes. “Learn about shale.org” is the banner site for the industry’s latest campaign, and several high-ranking state officials — including the heads of the Public Utility Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection — showed up at the MSC’s Shale Gas Insight conference to lend weight to the effort. “This is a generational opportunity,” said Robert Powelson, chairman of the Pennsylvania PUC. “The economics have been a direct benefit to landowners, while Philadelphia utility customers are paying 45% less.” Powelson said Marcellus Shale gas development has already saved Pennsylvanians $1bn because of lower gas prices. And that “has a business return,” he said, pointing to the restarts of two Philadelphia refineries using cheap gas as feedstock. DEP Secretary Michael Krancer stressed the need to continue accessing gas from the Marcellus.

We’re excited to receive more of your questions, which all deserve straightforward, fact-based answers. Spread the word: let your friends and family know, too. And please follow the conversation online by using #LearnAboutShale.