Urban gas drilling?

Mark Taylor climbs a hill at East Resource's Fitch gas well in Tioga County. Now imagine it in a city. ( Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer )

When you think of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, you think of wells being dug in bucolic fields, far away from the hustle-and-bustle of city life.

But that picture's not entirely accurate.

Prospectors are targeting parts of Pittsburgh for natural gas development because — it turns out — the city sits on top of part of the Marcellus shale, according to The Post-Gazette.

As you can imagine, not all residents are happy about this.

Jeanne McMullen, who lives in the Lincoln Place section, is worried that drilling could start mudslides and bring up to 200 tanker trucks a day trundling down the streets of her semi-suburban neighborhood.

Think of a gas drilling operation at Germantown Avenue and West Allens Lane in Mount Airy, and you get the picture.

The local councilman told the paper that leasing agents began seeking out neighborhood landowners in the fall, to get them to sign over drilling rights to their properties. He’s talking about trying to at least get prospectors and leasing agents to register with the city, so officials know where to expect drilling.

This is really surprising.

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