Fracking Brings Relief for Struggling Farmers

Natural Gas NOWConnie Mellin
Natural Gas NOW


Struggling farmers in the Marcellus region are often a thing of the past because of fracking. Natural gas has reinvigorated communities and saved countless farms.

Farming has always been a labor of love and profits were not necessarily the outcome. In recent years, as the economy took a downturn, farmers were especially hit hard. Milk prices were at an all-time low and gas was at an all-time high. Many faced more expenses than income.

When fracking came along, struggling farmers, with their vast amounts of land, had a perfect opportunity to change things and get some much needed income. Essentially saving their farms from bankruptcy.

struggling farmers

Gas pipes on a farm in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Image by Dimiter Kenarov

Here’s a bit of the story from Oilman Magazine, but be sure to read the whole wonderful story:

The Marcellus Shale Basin in Pennsylvania is reshaping the state from the ground up. Many of the wells sit on farmland. Being a farmer is not what it once was. Farmers face low profit margins, volatile weather, rising healthcare costs, and stiff competition from imports. However, their advantage is the vast swaths of land they own.

The odds are in their favor because there are more opportunities for wells. The wells pay money; the more wells, the more income. Income from wells has been so good, in fact, that it has saved farms that were on the verge of bankruptcy.

“Natural gas has saved family farms,” said Peter Quigg president of the Community Foundation of the Endless Mountains. “There is no more need to subdivide farms for building plots to help pay mortgages or bills. Therefore, open pastoral space has been maintained because farmers have gas leases,” he said.

For example, Cabot Oil & Gas has about 525 wells spread over 200,000 acres. Over the past eight years, the company has paid out $1 billion dollars to these land owners, most of whom are farmers. “It’s hard not to pay that much money and not see a community grow from top to bottom,” said George Stark, director of external affairs at Cabot.

As the farms grew, so did the communities they are in.

As the land owners grow wealthier, they can inject more cash into their communities and grow them as well. Stark highlighted this point by saying, “Disposable income is growing, and it’s not simply you have to be in the unit or have 100 acres or be a farmer. You’re seeing this growth across the board, in those 5-7 years, banks are opening. In our area, banks are opening because of the infusion of money. Hospitals, churches, libraries. The money is being returned to the community.”

The new-found wealth is not just making a few landowners rich; it is making entire communities rich. This is happening because energy is the foundation of our modern civilization. Furthermore, the landowners can do so much more with their income from the wells than they were able to do by farming. The fear of non-profitability has waned as the number of wells has waxed, leading to the infusion of extra cash. Infrastructure is needed, and roads and bridges are built.

Read the complete article at Oilman Magazine.

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4 thoughts on “Fracking Brings Relief for Struggling Farmers


    Isn’t this all interesting?

    Here is something that reporter Marie Cusick said to me in 2014–

    “Thanks for your email. I understand your concerns. Before moving back to Pennsylvania, I worked in Albany for two years and covered the fracking debate there.
    Over the years as a reporter, I have attended many public meetings on many topics and listened to people get on soapboxes and say irrelevant things.”


    By the way if you go to the site you will find the Jesuits were also doing relligious “reporting” on the dakota pipeline. Fascinating eh?

    One would have thought the spectacular journalism failures involved with the dakota pipe would have taught some reporters and publications an important lesson. But nope.

    Is anyone capable of reporting on a pipeline these days?

    Oh here is some more NEWS on natural gas . It appear to be about a Republican and a pipeline. Oh I mean a compressor station that is part of a pipeline project.

    Hmm. Well it sure looks like there is some organized resistance to this compressor station. Doesn’t seem like the Russian but hey what do I know anyway?


    What can we say about this stellar reporting? Oh carolyn elefant is involved again? What’s her track record with these lawsuits?

    Seriously npr and the center for public integirty sound like Robert Kennedy jr and the antifracking movement practically word to word in their “reporting” on ferc and obviously this guy who went to this hearing has no idea what’s going on. Business as usual from reporters on pipeline an ferc and frack I see. What a day!

    What will happen tomorrow one wonders? Gosh I hope karenna Gore does something!

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