Right now there is a huge controversy here in upstate over gas companies using hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking", to force natural gas from an underground foundation known as the Marcellus Shale.
While some individuals, towns, and counties are selling the gas rights to their properties as fast as they can, others are taking a more cautious approach, saying the DEC (Dept. of Environmental Conservation) needs to do more research into the drilling before allowing the gas companies to start work. In other parts of the country where this type of drilling has been utilized, there have been all sorts of problems with contaminated water, increased illness rates, and other nasty stuff.
There is an undeveloped park a couple of miles down the road from me, and the town has sold the gas rights for the park to a gas company. The DEC hasn't even given approval to start drilling yet, but the company who bought the rights has evidently already started work there, judging by some pics I took the other day.
This used to be a pretty little footpath winding through the woods:
Yeah. Think twice, people, is all I'm sayin'.