Greener than 'Green'

December 3, 2013

A constant, mild hiss.

That was my chief observation when I returned to Anadarko Petroleum's Landon Pad A, a natural-gas site in Lycoming County, Pa. October's quietude was totally unlike the cyclone of equipment, personnel and activity that dominated this spot last June, when Anadarko and the American Petroleum Institute hosted journalists and policy analysts here. Back then, engineers used a pressurized blend of 90 percent water, 9.5 percent sand and 0.5 percent chemicals to shake subterranean shale deposits and awaken natural gas that has slumbered since the dinosaurs died. This hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" occurs some 6,000 feet underground. This is 5,000 feet beneath the water table — deep enough to bury three Empire State Buildings.


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