In response to a membership letter from the Sierra Club:
Dear Mr. Nilles, I am responding to your letter concerning switching from coal power to “clean” natural gas. Although I live near Scranton and the PA coal region in general, I am concerned when I hear of natural gas touted as a clean fuel. At this moment, Cabot Oil and Gas are extracting or pumping natural gas from two rigs on either side of my house, both about 500 feet away. The DEP has been investigating Cabot’s work on Carter Rd., Dimock Township PA, because natural gas has migrated into nine or ten water wells on our rural road in Susquehanna County. The process of hydrofracturing underground rock layers has contaminated the water sources for at least 12 homes in Dimock, and next week, they will be filming a documentary. One of our neighbors wells exploded on New Year’s Day, and Mrs. Fiorentino has no water supply. Cabot has refused to provide her with a new well, or to provide her and her relatives with drinking water or even non-potable water for washing. Her water well, according to her son, is 1,001 feet from a gas well, and PA law says they are responsible for water wells less than 1,000 feet away. The explosion had enough force to blow a 10×10 foot concrete slab off of her well.
My next door neighbor has both methane and coliform bacteria in her water, and had to pay for her own $6,000 filtration sistem. Several of my neighbors have flammable water. One of our neighbors has water that still tests as 65%methane after her well has been vented for a month. Kids have been sick, and pets have developed liver damage and had their hair suddenly fall out. Forests that were part of our rural landscape have not only been cleared, but all their stumps removed, and all their soil taken away, to make drilling pads and pipelines and access roads to gas wells. We have had three fuel oil spills, one of 800 gallons and two that were 100 gallons, all within view of our home, all of which were the result of accidents by Cabot employees. None of us think of natural gas as clean these days.