W. Va. Activists Campaign for Better Regulation of Natural Gas Wells Drilled by Controversial "Fracking" Method
Interview with Cindy Rank, activist with the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Activists have been battling mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia for many years, and some now have turned their attention to fighting the ravages of natural gas drilling. West Virginia ranks third among states, behind Texas and Pennsylvania, in the number of gas wells, now totaling 48,000. More recently, horizontal gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation has created even more severe scars on the land and the resulting pollution has threatened drinking water in several states. New York's Gov. David Paterson recently imposed a six-month moratorium on certain kinds of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, which extends mostly across parts of New York and Pennsylvania and almost all of West Virginia.