NoCana! “Dry Baby Dry!”

Wendy Wiedenbeck of EnCana

“Dry Baby dry!” has been Audrey Simpson’s battle cry (and prayer) since she first heard of EnCana’s plans to drill three experimental horizontal gas wells in the Back Mountain region of Northeast Penn’s Woods.

We first met Audrey on January 14, 2010. She was video taping a presentation by EnCana to the Back Mountain Community Partnership. I recall how simplistic and benign EnCana’s presentation was. They did not mention trainloads of chemicals, just some water and sand. When we publicly questioned them, they became defensive and contentious.

After the meeting, Audrey approached Karen, Leanne and I,  “We have to organize!”.  Then she introduced herself.   She had been following this Marcellus “play” for a while and she knew  it was bad mojo.

That was the beginning of NoDrillNEPA which eventually merged with Tom Jiunta’s group (Luzerne County Citizens for Clean Water) to become GDAC – Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition.

I called Simpson tonight to discuss the news that EnCana was pulling out of Luzerne and Columbia Counties. We recalled that back in January, we saw this outcome as a remote possibility. Here it was nine months later, and the dream was now reality.

This may be good news for the Back Mountain, but EnCana’s departure is totally fortuitous. Like being spared of small pox while others around you are wasting away.

The Susquehanna, Delaware, Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio remain threatened and suffering. Thousands of fellow citizens continue to be treated as guinea pigs, The Pennsylvania State Constitution continues to be usurped. Citizens will have their properties seized by private entities. Our governor will pay back the gas industry for its contributions to his campaign.

Ours was a chance victory in a large war. This won’t be won without a constitutional battle. For the time being we must do everything we can to help slow, stall, challenge, and ban this supposed juggernaut. Place by place. Day by day.

Otherwise, they will be back.


I would think this EnCana announcement will not effect the continuing attempts to traverse the area with pipeline.

Always remember, the landmen were there when we were not. We must find a way to help struggling family farms. They are the backbone of rural Pennsylvania.

We need to re-think and re-tool for a green humanscale future. It is the only sane path.

3 Responses to NoCana! “Dry Baby Dry!”

  1. carol caughill says:

    i just learned yesterday that one of my neighbors, who’s family has farmed the land here in susquehanna county for several generations, provided a milk supply to the local industry and is someone i thought would never give up farming – HAS! they have leased their land to one of the gas companies (his sons have, too) and have become “gobbled up” by these invaders to our health, safety – and to the environment. another nearby neighbor has also leased hundreds of acres to the gas company and now has a FOR SALE sign at the front of his property. very few of the property owners (like me) are left to fight the battle and refuse to give in – we who choose to stand up for our rights to protect what is ours and demand clean water, protection from pollution and
    infringement on what we hold dear. we refuse to give in to greed and MUST speak up and speak out – each one of us – and for all of us!

  2. Pennsylvanians from across the state are joining forces to hold a Marcellus rally in Harrisburg during the inauguration ceremony in January 2011.

    Media from all over PA will be there on that day. State senators & reps will be there on that day. We need to be there on that day.

  3. Michell'e Boice says:

    God Bless my old hippie friend, Audrey Simpson, and I wish there were more among us like her! I met her during the reassessment nightmare in Luzerne County and she was such a hard working activist and did a lot of video taping of the events back then too. I was still stuck in the reassessment fight and the unfolding corruption probe and was up to my activist eyeballs when she encouraged me to attend a meeting about the gas drilling. What I learned at this one meeting kept me awake all night and I realized I had to get engaged in this life threatening issue. High Five to Audrey, and to Herb & Karen as well. Much work lies ahead of us, so keep up the fight! We are all in this together. Thanks.

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