Nine thousand feet beneath the surface of several Northeastern states lie vast deposits of shale impregnated with natural gas. The Marcellus Shale play, as it is called, is being touted by energy analysts as one of the largest in the world. For a chronically hard-pressed region in a season of recession, the promise of mailbox money just for signing a simple lease to subsurface rights is almost irresistible. Almost, that is, until they’ve signed and discover the implications of their decision.
Host Mark Sommer journeys across the communities lying above the Marcellus Shale Play, a gigantic natural gas deposit stretching under the Northeast United States. In this program we hear the conflicting ideas and conflicted emotions of those living and working in the Southern Tier of New York State, where gas "fracking" is proposed but not yet underway.