SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY
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.