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…b u t. . r e m e m b e r. . w h o. . w i n s. . i n. .t h e. . e n d .

 

 

Gas Drilling in Beautiful Susquehanna County, PA from VeccVideography on Vimeo.

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Frack Country Blues


Frack Country Blues posts feature original cartoons with salient commentary.

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Some selections from a Pennsylvania blog

Frack Mountain

2010.04.30 “NoCana”

“On the broadcast, Steve Corbett related how he has been unable to get anyone from EnCana to talk with him. They are about to change our world in a very surreal, industrial, and irreversible way – yet are too arrogant to address any of these potentialities with the public.

“Even if you had the perfect company doing all the right things, fracking is still a dirty, radioactive, water wasting, toxin injecting, air polluting, community disrupting, waste producing, land damaging, infrastructure intensive, property devaluing, inefficient way to produce energy. Add on top of that a secretive and entitled corporation – you are begging for trouble.”

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2010.04.10 Here’s an admission of the possible hazards by the industry

Range Resources Corporation (hydrofrackers) filed this with the SEC in 2006 as part of their prospectus:

Our business is subject to operating hazards and environmental regulations that could result in substantial losses or liabilities Oil and natural gas operations are subject to many risks, including well blowouts, craterings, explosions, uncontrollable flows of oil, natural gas or well fluids, fires, formations with abnormal pressures, pipeline ruptures or spills, pollution, releases of toxic natural gas and other environmental hazards and risks. If any of these hazards occur, we could sustain substantial losses as a result of: • Injury or loss of life; • Severe damage to or destruction of property, natural resources and equipment; • Pollution or other environmental damage; • Clean-up responsibilities; • Regulatory investigations and penalties; or • Suspension of operations. As we begin drilling to deeper horizons and in more geologically complex areas, we could experience a greater increase in operating and financial risks due to inherent higher reservoir pressures and unknown downhole risk exposures.  Source:Range Resources Prospectus

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2010.04.09  Dispatch from Dimock

It is like a war zone up here in Dimock. Helicopters hovering overhead all the time dropping their seismic testing “pods” – spooking my horses. Workers in the fields and woods stringing miles of seismic testing wire – trucks heavy equipment driving by constantly – dust – noise – skies lit up at night from the drilling rigs – constant noise from the drilling and fracking. Drillers park their chemical trucks next door here at work and I walk over sometimes and try to read the names of the chemical containers – can’t understand the names of the chemicals but they all have skull and crossbones next to them – what would one think that means! Sorry for the rant – just have to vent once in a while. Chuck.

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2010.04.05  an urgent email

… our family has experienced in a very direct and personal way, the devastating impact these gas leases can have on individual property owners. Now we wonder whether anyone will want to buy my Dad’s home, and, if so, at what price? Who would have thought that the beautiful woods, meadows and ponds surrounding my Dad’s home would someday become a liability rather than an asset?

For my family, this recent experience was a wake up call. We applaud your efforts on behalf of clean water and preserving a livable environment for the residents of the Back Mountain area. These efforts serve the larger community and are clearly the more important mission of your organization. However, before it is too late, we also want to bring to the attention of Back Mountain area residents the potential impact of these leases on their property values. Like my Dad, many area residents may be unaware that a gas lease exists near their home and the activities that are allowed under the lease (testing, drilling, laying pipeline, installing lease roads, installing pumps, compressors, separators, tanks, power stations, transporting oil and gas by pipeline or otherwise, “and all other rights and privileges necessary, incident to, or convenient for the economical operation of said Leasehold Premises…” quoting from the Memorandum of Oil and Gas Lease impacting my Dad’s home). I hope that you will communicate our fears to the local area elected representatives. It is truly a scandal that at all levels – national, state and local – elected officials have failed to protect ordinary citizens with reasonable regulation of the gas industry.

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May 5, 2010

“Gas Companies Are Picking the Pockets of the Citizens of Pennsylvania”

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There have been a lot of my friends in the industry who have found it necessary to begin aggressive personal attacks on me.  Several industry publications, such as the Powell Barnett Shale Newsletter have had articles and editorials stating that I am pretty much everything but a nice person.  This activity is not new; however, the intensity has been elevated and it has gotten much more personal.  This tells me that I must be making an impact, or they would not attack me personally. This also tells me that they have given up on attacking the message, now they are only attacking the man.

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Obviously, anyone who would bother to read the Powell Newsletter knows that it is industry funded.  As everyone also knows by now, I do not accept compensation or travel expenses for my presentations, and unfortunately those at the Powell Newsletter can’t say the same.  They are in all reality a paid cheerleader for the natural gas industry, join me Gene…rah rah rah…gooooo… Chesapeake.

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Frankly, if the industry wants to truly be successful they would embrace the ideas that I bring forward, which is doing business in a respectful and responsible manner.  I find that in every presentation I give, there are always a few who show up that have read the propaganda and are looking for a fight.  However, after listening to my message it is apparent that I am not some anti-drilling wacko and the picture that has been painted of me is inaccurate, and it is always nice to hear that they agree with my points before they leave.

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Everyone knows that the industry has an ugly baby, except for the industry themselves.  I know it must be difficult to admit your baby is ugly, but like they say about alcoholics, you must first admit you have a problem before you can move on.  Instead this industry continues to deny their baby is ugly.

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There is really no doubt for anyone who has accomplished even a small amount of research that there is certainly a downside to this industry.  If this downside is not mitigated in some manner we will be looking at a mess that will need to be cleaned up down the road when all of these companies are long gone.  As history has shown us, these companies are typically nowhere to be found when it comes time to clean up the mess.  That cleanup project is left for the citizens and taxpayers, not the companies who made billions making the mess.  The industry will outsource this cost to the hard working American people, just as they try to do for all of their costs.

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The industry wants us to believe that they are a fledgling industry who cannot afford to take simple measures needed to make the shale plays a win-win situation.  I think that most of us know that this industry spends billions lobbying to prevent them from being mandated to do it right.  Therefore, they could and should do this process more responsibly and respectfully.

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They are picking the pockets of the citizens of Pennsylvania, who will be paying for the mistakes made by their elected officials for many years to come.  This state is one of two that have oil and gas activities, and do not have a severance tax for the minerals.  They pay this tax in every other state, and will gladly pay it in Pennsylvania, but continue to lobby for the outsourcing of their costs to the taxpayers.  This could be billions when it is all said and done, but as it stands, the billions will come from hard working Pennsylvania taxpayers.

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Every location that has natural gas exploration in Pennsylvania has something in common, and that is destroyed roads.  Instead of being the good neighbor we keep hearing about, they outsource the cost of the road repair to the taxpayers.  However, these small communities simply can’t afford to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars in road repairs; therefore, the citizens in these areas drive on destroyed roads, worse than I have ever seen.  If the natural gas industry wanted to improve their image, they should embrace a severance tax in Pennsylvania, instead of chasing me around the country.

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As the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico shows, we are one wrong move from a catastrophic event.  As any good Texan does, I really enjoy my gulf shrimp.  Unfortunately, thanks to the reckless actions of this industry, it will likely be several years before I can enjoy it again.  That is not the bad part though; the bad part is that something similar will happen here before this is over.  It is only a matter of time before we have that catastrophic event somewhere in one the shale plays.  However, in the shale plays they have put this hazardous activity in school yards and neighborhoods.  So guess what is going to happen when the catastrophe happens here?  There will be a lot of dead people.

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The last editorial written by Gene the “propaganda machine” Powell himself, was entitled “All Hat and No Cattle” (http://www.barnettshalenews.com/documents/2010/TillmanEditorialAllHat4-27-2010.pdf).  I must admit that I do not have any cattle.  However, I would like to have cattle, but I am afraid they would die or abort their calves, like they do in the small town of Clearville, PA, home of Clearville Gas Storage.  In this area the hard working Americans have to purchase their own filtration system to take the high levels of arsenic out of their well water.  Most of the surface and ground water has been contaminated by this reckless industry in Clearville, PA.

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As one of my new friends in Pennsylvania said, I am the new villain for the industry extremists.  They rally around the Powell Newsletter, which gives me an entire section of every issue.  Whatever happens, they blame me for their problems.  If a large landowner refuses to sign a one sided lease, it will be my fault.  If a community demands that the industry be responsible, it is that Calvin Dewayne Tillman’s fault.  When people rally around the idea of a fair and equitable severance tax…yep, you guessed it…Calvin’s fault.  It has nothing to do with the industry that has contaminated dozens of private water wells in Pennsylvania, and is destroyed air quality and property values wherever they have been, leaving a path of destruction in their wake.  It has nothing to do with the industry that outsources its cost to the taxpayers, while its executives make hundreds of millions dollars in bonuses.  Nope, those things have no influence on public perception.  It is only that mayor of DISH; Calvin Dewayne Tillman, that causes all of this grief for the natural gas industry.

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If the industry would be responsible and respectful, instead of searching out a new way to attack me, they would be much better off.  However, it appears the more they attack me, the more people come to see what the big deal is.  As bad as they hate it, every presentation that I give is to a packed house.  Furthermore, I find dozens more who want me to speak in their town.  People want to know the truth through eyes of someone that has lived it, not a paid cheerleader.  I truly wish the industry would do the smart thing and let me help them become responsible and respectful.  However, they are going to continue to be the irresponsible bully, blaming me for all of their problems.

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Mr. Powell is right on another matter; I have no shortage of arrogance against this industry.  Maybe it was my Oklahoma raising, or the fact that my parents would not allow me to stand by while a bully ran over those too passive to defend themselves, but I am not afraid of this industry and certainly will not be deterred by their personal attacks.  Frankly, seeing this fear that has been struck in these industry extremists keeps me going, when my energy has run out.  You should see the looks on their faces, when I walk over and shake their hand.  So I hope Mr. Powell and the extremists keep “Poking the Bear”, regurgitating the same propaganda, because in the end, that may be what forces them to be respectful and responsible, and hopefully those companies that choose not to will perish.  God bless.

Calvin Tillman
Mayor, DISH, TX
(940) 453-3640

“Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it”

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DivideCreek.com

Journey of the Forsaken

http://un-naturalgas.org/weblog/2009/09/encana-cuts-off-replacement-water-to-homeowners-with-severely-contaminated-water/

http://frackmountain.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/nocana/

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P.S.  EnCana = EnergyCanada

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From a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, notable quotes from this week’s Marcellus Shale Policy Conference at Duquesne University:

PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger: “We’ve made mistakes before. We have to get this right or the costs will overwhelm the benefits. …What is needed is the right rules and the right staff with the independence to enforce those rulesthere’s no such thing as “zero impact drillingThe bonding regulations are pitiful — $2,500 a well or $25,000 for all the wells a company drills in the state. Well the joke will be on us when the first company leaves Pennsylvania. Right now, clearly the rational economic decision would be forfeit the bond and walk away.”

Kent Moors, director of the Energy Policy Research Group at Duquesne’s Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy, said the state’s failure to make good Marcellus shale drilling policy decisions will result in the costs being borne by local municipalities, including infrastructure impacts, especially destruction of roads, price inflation and impacts on agricultural land and water.

“Water prices will increase and drilling may cause industrial facilities to close. It’s a rising tide that won’t raise all boats,” Dr. Moors said in his keynote address. “It must be met head on, transparently and collaboratively. It can’t be rammed down the throats of the locals.

Please read entire article here:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10124/1055350-113.stm

Tragically,  New York’s regulations don’t do anything to address those issues either.

Then, too, why would anyone in their right mind voluntarily do business with an industry that will behave as badly as poor regulations & enforcement will allow?

Would you rent a room in your house to a parolee?

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Statoil to move Marcellus gas to Canada

A Norwegian corporation
is sending gas from Pennsylvania, USA,
to Canada.

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From the Susquehanna County Independent newspaper,  April 21, in the weekly “News From Dimock” feature:


“We residents of Dimock Township owe a great big “Thank You” to the neighbors who have been complaining loudly for months that Cabot’s faulty drilling practices have ruined their drinking water. Some of us did not take them seriously but they kept at it… Finally, DEP has proved them right and declared a year’s moratorium on drilling. This does not purify their drinking water but perhaps it will prevent contamination for the rest of us.  Thank you dear neighbors-especially those who live on Carter Rd. and points east.”

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