Tarrant County, being in the epicenter of the Barnett Shale natural gas boom, served as the national guinea pig for urban drilling.
Most everyone around here was clueless about the industry and its methods of operation when the drillers hit town wooing politicians and spreading money around to schools and museums. Landmen, some of them lying through their teeth, promised riches for gas leases. Only time revealed the ramifications — air, water, and noise pollution; extensive truck traffic; infrastructure damage; myriad pipelines; eminent domain abuses; unethical politics; lower property values; and on and on.
Residents in the northeastern part of the country near the Marcellus Shale play were ahead of the game when drillers converged on them. They’ve been seeking more safety regulations and demanding more information.
A group of New York University students in collaboration with ProPublica.org is writing a series of investigative and informational articles on the industry. They’ve also produced a music video about the hydraulic fracturing process used by drillers to extract natural gas from the ground. The video is designed to draw listeners in and guide them toward more explanatory articles that give a full picture of the industry.