Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gas royalties investigation wins Pulitzer Prize

There's lots of news in the world of Marcellus Shale drilling lately. Mostly bad.

Lately I've been thinking of making a research trip to Dimock to see the effects of large-scale gas extraction projects firsthand. But now it looks like that won't be necessary, as EnCana just won approval to begin gas extraction operations in Lehman Township, which is much closer to me. It's an area that has long been a favorite weekend destination of mine, a short drive North of Wilkes-Barre into the region known as the "Back Mountain", a place of rolling hills and lush forests and pastoral farmland and rustic houses and, soon, hydrologic fracturing rigs.

Susquehanna River Sentinel: Peaceful Valley more

Meanwhile, in what may be an unrelated situation (but around these parts, everything is connected), the federal agents who have taken up full-time residence in the area staged a raid of offices containing information about the Hazleton Creek Project, a glorious plan to bring in Delaware River dredge considered too toxic to touch by many other municipalities and use it as fill for mine reclamation site that will be turned into an amphitheater.

Circumlocution for Dummies: The Frackahanna

But the fun news: The Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday. And the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service: "Awarded to the Bristol (VA) Herald Courier for the work of Daniel Gilbert in illuminating the murky mismanagement of natural-gas royalties owed to thousands of land owners in southwest Virginia, spurring remedial action by state lawmakers. "

Yep. Natural gas royalties - mismanaged? Owed to thousands of land owners? Maybe anyone with visions of dollar signs dancing in their head as they prepare to sign a "lease" with a natural gas extraction company would do well to have a look-see at David Gilbert's articles.

The articles:
Underfoot, Out of Reach: A series on the conflicts over Southwest Virginia's natural gas wealth

An interview with David Gilbert:
Four Questions for Pulitzer Prize Winner Daniel Gilbert - FishbowlNY

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