Eastern Shale Gas Development
Shale gas development in the East has taken on new dimensions in recent years, where energy companies are drilling for gas in the Marcellus and Utica shales. Underlying parts of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, and Maryland, the shale deposits have made the region a hotbed for "fracking," a process that allows the extraction of gas from deep underneath the ground by injecting water, sand and chemicals under high pressure. The industrialization of remote areas -- clearing forested areas for well construction, building new roads and pipelines, and withdrawing water from rivers and streams -- all have the potential to have profound effects on fishing and hunting in the region.
TU advocates for responsible energy development across the country. Here, in a region with some of the best trout water in the country and many of the East's best remaining forested habitats, it is critical that shale gas development be done in a way that protects these places special to sportsmen and women for future generations. Among the ways TU is working to protect our fish and wildlife resources:
- advocating for strong regulations to govern shale development at the state, local and federal levels;
- monitoring gas drilling impacts across critical watersheds through a cadre of over 500 trained volunteers as part of the Eastern Shale Gas Monitoring Program;
- promoting sound management practices with willing industry partners;
- partnering with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission in its Unassessed Waters Initiative, assessing streams and sharing information with the state with the goal of finding and protecting those waters holding trout;
- facilitating the Sportsmen Alliance for Marcellus Conservation, a coalition of more than 280,000 sportsmen and women who are working together to identify and mitigate the impacts of shale gas drilling on hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor sporting activities; and
- showcasing 10 Special Places in the eastern shale gas region where expanding shale gas drilling operations could pose risks to fishing and hunting opportunities, and offering recommendations on what sportsmen and women can do to promote responsible energy development and ensure the protection of these areas.
TU has been a staunch advocate for the protection of fish and wildlife habitat when it comes to shale gas exploration. From testifying at U.S. Senate hearings on energy and natural resources and participating in setting standards for best practices of energy development, to bringing the voice of sportsmen and women to state capitals in the region, TU is a valued voice when it comes to protecting coldwater habitat from shale gas drilling impacts.