Gas Drilling and the Fracking of a Marriage
By Stephanie C. Hamel.
After receiving an offer to lease the farmland of her idyllic childhood summers for natural gas exploration, Stephanie Hamel saw her hitherto strong convictions rattled by dreams of royalties and signing bonuses. With a PhD in environmental health sciences, she could not ignore the possible ill effects of gas drilling and fracturing ("fracking") of the shale beneath the surface. Her decision was complicated further by Pennsylvania's Law of Capture, which would allow energy companies to collect gas from her property via the neighbor's well without paying her a dime. Stephanie's search for answers turned into an in-depth examination of her responsibility to the earth, her spouse, her neighbors and her children. As she consulted friends, colleagues, officials, and online sources and recalled stories from childhood vacations, she faced hard truths about the inconsistencies of her beliefs. She also tested the patience of her husband, who had no qualms about signing the lease. A poetic, heartfelt, honest yet light-hearted memoir, Gas Drilling and the Fracking of a Marriage will strike a vein for anyone who has played weekend farmer or agonized over their role as steward to the earth's resources. How much sacrifice is required of us? What if our sacrifice means little in the general scheme of things? Hamel may not have the answers, but she poses the right questions.
Published by Coffeetown Press, 2011