Generations of Energy: August 4, 2013

Published 08/05 2013 01:26PM

Updated 08/21 2013 12:34PM

Damascus Township, Wayne County-Farmers have seen the benefits of marcellus shale ...and how it can be a transitional type of energy into the future.
  But for years now, some farmers have been unable to cash into this energy crop... And they're starting to get frustrated.
For three years now, part-time farmer Bob Rutledge has wanted to cash in on marcellus shale leases on his land.

"In my opinion it's the best, maybe the only hope, for a lot of the local farmers around here to continue."

But he and some fellow farmers have been unable to -- because of a moratorium that bans drilling.  The Delaware River Basin Commission placed the ban back in 2010 -- affecting parts of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Pike and Monroe counties.  Before the ban -- farmers used the lease money to invest in their farms.

Dave Williams, the owner of Williams Valley Farm Market,  used money from drilling leases to buy a modern greenhouse.

He says the extra money helps to invest in newer technologies -- like a solar-powered fence to keep deer out.

For now -- Williams thinks we should use the resources we have.

  "We have a lot of natural gas. That is the cleanest, maximum amount of energy we have, and to a farmer, cleanest is the number one thing."

He says natural gas is the segway to hand farms down through the family.

  "They realize how important this new crop is. Because we want to see our children take over these farms. We want to see the next generation go on."

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