This past March, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) launched an online advocacy group called the United Shale Advocates (USA). The group’s mission is to encourage individuals in favor of natural gas exploration and drilling in the Marcellus Shale to come together and have their viewpoint heard. United Shale Advocates provides a means for those who have a passion about the positive impacts of the Marcellus Shale, but may not be directly involved in the natural gas industry, to speak out and engage in conversation. This group will act as a center where individuals can participate in supporting the economic prosperity and energy security that the Marcellus Shale provides to the communities it serves and the U.S. energy sector as a whole. The group asks advocates to visit the website as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages to join the conversation and engage with elected officials, friends, and other local advocates via personal letters, email, social media, or whatever means possible to spread the word.
Those opposed to fracking and the Marcellus Shale have long lobbied for what they think are the negative impacts of drilling for shale gas. United Shale Advocates hopes to illustrate that many times these anti-fracking groups provide inaccurate or false information to the public. USA proves that there are many positive impacts of shale gas: creating jobs and revitalizing rural areas, delivering energy to businesses and consumers that is more cost effective, and increasing natural gas production that will reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy. The group’s website will provide facts to the public and everyday citizens will share their stories about how they directly benefited from the Marcellus Shale. By providing real life details and examples from those directly affected by gas production from the shale the group hopes to open the eyes of others that may not know the whole story.
Although this group is mainly an online portal for advocacy, they are also hoping to bring advocates together for events such as the one held on May 6th in Harrisburg, PA called “Pennsylvania Jobs Pennsylvania Energy Rally”. USA encouraged fellow members of the group and supporters of the Marcellus Shale to accompany them in a rally to spread the word. The rally drew thousands of supporters to the state Capitol in Harrisburg and as expected, some anti-fracking protesters as well.
Today, years after the surge in drilling activity in the Marcellus Shale began, it is evident that advocates of each side are still actively supporting their views and encouraging others to do the same.