Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Marcellus Shale boom, "Low T" and NPR's David Folkenflik

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Nov 5, 2013 4:01 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk, Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thumbnail image for gas drill rig at rear of house 300 x 170.jpg

Has the Marcellus Shale boom injected new life into the state's economy? How many jobs has it actually created in the Commonwealth?

StateImapct Pennsylvania reporter Marie Cusick has been exploring both questions in-depth over the past few weeks. She'll join us on Smart Talk to discuss what she's found.

StateImpact Pennsylvania is a collaboration between witf and WHYY in Philadelphia to report on the Commonwealth's energy economy.

We'll also ask a doctor about the so-called "Low T" medications featured in countless TV commercials targeting men.

A recent New York Times article questions whether the ad campaigns are based in sound medicine.

Pinnacle Health's Dr. Renu Joshi will join us to break down the condition and discuss whether the prescription drugs being marketed toward men are safe, viable solutions.


Finally, David Folkenflik, NPR's media correspondent, joins us to talk about his new book profiling Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Folkenflik has called Murdoch the most important media figure in the English speaking world.

Find out why when he joins witf's Scott LaMar to talk about his new book, Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.

Listen to the program:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-06 09:24

    Stacey emails:

    Has anyone determined the total revenue benefit to our great Commonwealth as a percentage of total revenue generated by the industry - from fees and taxes, not increases in hotel, restaurant, rental revenue? Due to lack of regulations and oversight of this industry (much like the mining industry of PA’s past), we are realizing environmental impacts for which we are going to need remediation which will have a great cost.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-06 09:25

    Mary Lu posts on Facebook:

    If Pennsylvania is producing so much gas, why has Columbia Gas just raised their rates? Shouldn't we be paying less?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-06 09:25

    Lee in York emails:

    I think that many Pennsylvanians, especially those of us in southeastern Pa and central Pennsylvania, have no idea how dire the situation was in northern Pa before Gas. Truly the Depression had never left the area. As dairy farming declined, there was nothing to replace it as an economy. The attitudes of people in northern Pa are totally different from those in Lancaster, York, and SE Pa. Most long term residents see gas as the only game in town.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-11-06 09:28

    Mark emails:

    There has been drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania for decades so the only appropriate way to evaluate the employment impacts of shale gas extraction is to track the change in employment in the Marcellus core since drilling started not the total level of employment in the core.

    When you do that you get an increase in employment in the neighborhood of 20,000 jobs.

    Furthermore reporting employment growth in what L&I describes as the Ancillary as marcellus related is highly inaccurate as it captures employment in sectors like trucking and road construction which are present in many parts of the commonwealth without drilling.

    Marcellus is most important where there is lots of drilling, places like Greene and Tioga county, but it is not driving or reshaping Pennsylvania's economy as it is a sector that represents less than a 1% of all employment in the commonwealth.

    Thanks and good program as always.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2013-11-06 09:57

    As with all the other "booms" that Pennsylvania has experienced (coal. iron, lumber, petroleum) which made some very people very rich & helped some local economies to grow ----the end result was a temporary state of enrichment for the few and a more devastated environment for the many.

    The gains to be had from Marcellus shale gas extraction will be temporary for a relatively small number. . . but the legacy of this could have serious ramifications, health risks, for all Pennsylvanians.
    Every engineer I have spoken with tells me that the integrity of the well casings is around 30 to 40 years (far less if there are earthquakes) after which they begin to compromise the aquifer sources of wells and streams/lakes they pass through.

    Putting money into carbon rich fossil fuels when the atmospheric levels are expanding dramatically makes little sense.

    Germany has shown us that putting money into solar, wind, geothermal makes perfect sense: their environment will continue to stay healthy, their fuel costs decline, employment steady-growing not 'booming'
    --but we have a PA Governor whose alliance is with the fossil fuel corporations.

    I have no doubt that if those corporate backers represented solar and wind PA would be moving to implement solar and wind, not fossil gas.

    Long story short: we currently have an extraction 'boom' in natural gas in PA; no one knows with certainty what this augurs for the future health, environmental and financial, of PA.

    But if we were smart-----we'd follow Germany's lead, full scale, and do it right (not like the bad copy of the Autobahn we have in our Turnpike.)

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