There may be various opinions about the environmental and aesthetic consequences of more natural gas leasing, but was there debate over the wisdom of selling off the rights to billions of dollars of common wealth at a low point in the market for leases?

Isn’t it troublesome to anyone that this plan is a yet another non-competitive leg up to an industry that should be able to stand on its own in Pennsylvania by now? Was there any consideration given to the potential needs and desires of future generations?

Do legislators understand the decline curves on gas well production in the Marcellus? Does the very low current recovery efficiency rates of the numerous operators here indicate to anyone there is still much to be learned about how to extract the gas, and therefore the value of the asset you are selling may be much more difficult to determine than the usual time value of money calculations may lead you to make?

Is anyone concerned that this plan may be prove over time to have been a gigantic rip off of the Commonwealth, despite the impressive sounding revenue projections of the present day?

In the initial years of the development, Pennsylvania’s choice to forgo a severance tax may or may not have been wise, but the debate over instituting one now still revolves around threats from the industry that it will curtail investment. An investigation would reveal that it is the full capacity of transmission pipelines that is the main reason for the slow down of drilling now.

Until, against growing community opposition in some areas, those FERC loops and lines can be permitted and built, the slowdown will continue and then ramp up in concert with the completion of export facilities, no matter what Pennsylvania does.

When will Pennsylvania wake up to the power it has with its shale gas resource and it’s prime position in the marketplace and exercise it wisely to our economic and environmental advantage for current and future generations? Is this really the time to lease more public land, or is the budget crisis once again the justification for a poor decision, this time led by the Republican leadership, involving our trusted partners, the multi-national oil and gas industry?

Ralph Kisberg


Submitted by E-Mail