Extension Plays Key Role in Providing Shale Gas Education, Information





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Uploaded on Jan 25, 2012

"I've been with Extension for 27 years, and I've never seen anything like this," said Stephen Schumacher, an Ohio State University Extension educator in Belmont County.

The same could be said in much of the eastern half of the Buckeye State, where reserves of oil and natural gas in Marcellus and Utica shale wait to be drawn out from rock deep below the surface.

The development could mean thousands of Ohio jobs and potential riches for landowners contracting with oil and gas companies. But landowners also need to fully understand the potential financial, legal, and environmental ramifications of the highly complex leases that could last for generations, and public officials often need guidance on community implications as well.

Extension is providing such help. As of fall 2011, Schumacher and Extension colleagues had organized more than 40 meetings attracting nearly 5,300 Ohioans.

"OSU Extension takes a non-biased approach to this issue," said Schumacher. "We just try to provide education that people need so they can make good decisions."

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