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“Hidden in the Hollows: My Frack-finding Weekend in West Virginia” was distributed by Bay Journal News Service, May 2013.
“A shiny new drill rises like a monument to risk-taking in the view from Diane Pitcock’s porch; its low rumble, like a perpetually busy superhighway, rolling across the half-mile of fields between them.
“’West Virginia is the heart of the Marcellus shale gas formation, but nobody had heard of that when we retired here seven years ago,’ Pitcock said.
Since 2005, when Congress gave gas developers a key exemption from provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act, a form of drilling called “fracking” has exploded, sometimes literally. Fracking involves drilling thousands of feet vertically and then horizontally, then pumping water mixed with sand and toxic chemicals down to crack the shale and release gas.”