SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY – opinion by Molly M


The meeting held at Misericordia University on May 11th promised to be a presentation by the Department Of Environmental Protection concerning the drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale. I attended with an open mind, I thought. At the entrance to the meeting, flyers were being handed out touting the safety of the drilling. My first red flag went up when I saw who produced the flyer: Halliburton. Index cards and pencils were handed out to be used to submit questions to John Perry, spokesperson for DEP. Mr. Perry made his well memorized speech about the history of gas drilling in Pennsylvania and threw out lots of numbers and statistics regarding the industry. After his presentation, a faculty member of Misericordia screened the questions and allowed Mr. Perry to answer her carefully selected inquiries. Sadly, my question was never answered.

A gentleman sitting behind me, who would not lease his property, showed me an invitation he received to the meeting sent to him by a gas company. He was not amused by the slanted presentation totally in favor of the drilling process.

It was a total waste of time. I learned nothing. If the Huntsville Dam is polluted, Mr. Perry’s solution would be to provide drinking water to the thousands of folks depending on the dam for water. Water buffaloes on Wyoming Avenue?

My conclusion at the end of the meeting was that the DEP is in the pocket of the gas industry and cannot be relied upon to protect us. He gave me no reassuring feeling that this process will be safe. I came away feeling frustrated and depressed.

5 Responses to SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY – opinion by Molly M

  1. Mom23boys says:

    I learned that the DEP is a tool of the Gas Industry. They’re not protecting anything. In fact, Mr. Perry told me, “I wouldn’t want this near my house.”

  2. qazse says:

    Mom23 (if I may call you by your first name…) It is amazing you heard him say that. Under what circumstances did this occur?

  3. Michell'e Boice says:

    Molly, I came away with the exact same feeling following the DEP meeting at Misericordia. When the very people who are being paid by the taxpayers to protect the taxpayers are clearly siding with the gas industry, it becomes awfully frightening. You have to wonder about their motives. The first thing that came to my mind was
    “job security”. The bigger the gas industry and the longer they are here, the more opportunity for DEP workers. Secondly their bosses are the state elected officials who have already been bought out by the big money of the gas industry. We must unite and we must fight and I mean hard and tough and demand some protection. I am scared and we need to wake up the naive citizenry. Our beautiful area is soon to be changed and our water and air supply in danger. It is time to set aside the politeness and began to demand that our elected officials listen to us.

  4. W. Felty says:

    I too attended the MU talk by Mr. Perry. I did learn a lot, as I am new to all this. I felt that the pre-selected and paraphrased questions (from cards) was a put-down (as if the public can’t be trusted to orally ask questions). And the MU prof mummbled! One, of my two questions, was addressed in part. I asked about the list of drilling chemicals and was surprised to hear Perry respond something like,”no, they’re not required to report the chemicals–we’re going to start that.” I’m confused on that issue. Others have said that OSHA requires that chemical data sheets be posted at the site. It seems the chemicals are not a consideration in granting the permit, nor are they public knowledge during the drilling. How then can we know their source if they show up in our water table?

  5. Brian says:

    Thanks for the article – I did not attend the meeting – I did read the newspaper articles. It is my understanding that the list of frac chemicals is included with the permit application and I believe one of the House Bills is requiring disclosure – I believe after the work is completed. Check the Penn Future Website.

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