Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Seamus McGraw

Seamus McGraw

Seamus is a regular contributor to many publications including Court TV’s Crime Library, Penthouse, Reader’s Digest, Stuff magazine, Spin and The Forward. He has won a number of journalism awards and is currently working on a comic novel set in Pennsylvania’s coal country. He lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with his wife, Kren, and four children, Miriam, Yona, Seneca and Liam.

The Future of the Marcellus Shale

After eight years of unprecedented expansion, the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is now weighed down by its own success, analysts say. Struggling with a market that is being flooded with more natural gas than it can bear, the industry is optimistically predicting that new markets in transportation, home heating, chemical manufacturing and…

The Problem of Price

From the moment the rush began to develop the vast untapped resources of gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, economists and industry analysts warned that the massive explosion of cash that was pouring into the state — and in many cases right back out of it — would ebb and flow.

Show Me the Money

It was hailed as a game changer. Almost immediately after the first Marcellus Shale natural gas well was spudded in a rocky hilltop in Washington County, unleashing for the first time a vast cache of domestically produced energy, the discovery was hailed as the harbinger of a revolution in energy production that would…

A Toxic Topic

There is no doubt about it. The Marcellus Shale is radioactive, in every sense of the word. In the literal sense of the word, geologists and drillers have long known that each shale deposit has its own radioactive signature.

The Utica Shale

A century and a half ago, a desperate, down-​on-​his-​luck former railroad man named Edwin Drake wandered into a remote hollow in northwestern Pennsylvania and stuck a drill a few dozen yards down into the rocky soil.

Politics and the Marcellus Shale

It was Nov. 3, one day after the stunning midterm elections that had routed the Democrats and left the party in disarray both nationally and in Pennsylvania.

The Story of the Marcellus Shale

For days, they had been rumbling up the rutted dirt track that led to the top of the rocky dome above the rolling fields of Washington County; a ’round-​the-​clock procession of big rigs carting up thousands of gallons of water.

Our Water and the Marcellus Shale

The rig, a 70-​foot steel spire, soared above the manmade moonscape atop the plateau that Chesapeake Energy’s contractors had hewn out of the hillside on my family farm in Wyoming County.

A gas-​based economy

It was mid-​afternoon in late winter, and the public relations man for one of the larger drilling companies in Pennsylvania was driving me back along a rutted country road from a rig we had just visited.

Workers Wanted: The Marcellus Shale

It’s early, the sun is just peeking up over those western Pennsylvania hills, and it’s cold and bleak as he pulls into the brightly lit service station-​cum-​convenience store to fill up the pressed-​steel canyon that is the fuel tank of the company-​owned Cummins 3500 pickup he’s driving.
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