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Marcellus gas pipeline gash across the mountaintop between Tombs Run and Salladasburg, Lycoming County.

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Once PA Wilds, Now PA Wells
By David Ira Kagan

       The invasion of northcentral Pennsylvania by the Marcellus shale gas industry has opened up an entirely new state tourism promotional possibility. It’s no longer “Come see the PA Wilds.” Now it’s “Come see the PA Wells.”
       Come see the thousands of gas industry water, equipment and construction trucks rolling along our two-lane roads, 24 hours a day, every day. Come and listen to their steady rumbling and roaring, their screeching “Jake” brakes.
       Come see the shattered bodies of our deer, bear, opossums, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, porcupines, and groundhogs along these same roads.
       Come see our beautiful pines and oaks being transported by truck out of our forests to clear the way for the gas well pads.
       Come see our bald eagles, hawks, blue herons and other birds frantically flying in circles, startled by the constant truck traffic and the drilling-related activities.
       Come see the “frack water” spills and crashes involving gas industry trucks.
       Come, especially in the summer, to see the dust-covered houses along our roads, caused by the many trucks wheeling through.
       Come see and enjoy bouncing through our potholes and along our washboard roads, especially in the spring.
       Come see the water trucks feeding from our waterways, and the pumps sucking water from the same to be transported in pipes over and under our land.
       Come see the gashes across our mountaintops, hillsides and valleys, where gas and water pipes are being laid.
       Come see the lurid, red glow at night of the burn-off of methane gas at the well sites. It’s our own aurora borealis show.
       Come see the gas riggings gracing our land, especially on the mountaintops, our industrial-age scarecrows.
       Come see our hiking and cross-country skiing trails, severed and interrupted by gas company pipe and property lines.
       Come see the helicopters whirring above the treetops, dropping off equipment and supplies at the well pads, and surveying for new drilling sites.
       Come see the happy landlords, renting their apartments and houses out to gas industry employees at exorbitant rates.
       Come see the happy residents who have signed leases allowing the gas companies to drill on their land—their smiling faces reflecting their hope for future wealth from royalties.
       Yes, the PA Wells has all this technological age excitement to offer the tourist looking for a 21st century vacation second-to-none. Visitors will certainly leave and tell others back in their hometowns to come up here. They’ll no doubt say, “It’s a real gas vacationing in northcentral PA!”

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