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A breathtaking new estimate about the vast natural gas reserves of the Marcellus Shale region suggests that Western Pennsylvania is overflowing with untapped riches. The future could be dazzling.

Terry Engelder, Pennsylvania State University professor and nationally known authority on the topic, said last week at a conference in Pittsburgh that this region, and the bordering states sitting atop the Marcellus Shale, could hold much more than his initial estimates of recoverable natural gas.

Early this year, he and another expert estimated that 10 percent of a total 516 trillion cubic feet might be recovered.

Mr. Engelder now thinks the entire 31-million-acre region might hold 4,359 trillion cubic feet. If just 30 percent could be recovered, that would be 1,307 trillion cubic feet from the region.

And even if some Marcellus acreage doesn’t contain gas, a conservative estimate suggests that 392 trillion cubic feet still could be tapped. That would be more than 13 times the 30 trillion cubic feet produced each year in the United States.

Man has a responsibility to respect Mother Nature while using this rich bounty to help make life better for all. State-of-the-art commonsense methods of freeing the clear gold could lead to a green Golden Age for the region, the commonwealth and the republic.

Give thanks for another of God’s blessings.

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