Give me your paw,
I have a treat!
Here are two recent stories of very violent incidents, involving out of state gas drilling employees. The victims include all taxpayers.
I was reluctant to post these stories for fear some readers might think I am trying to generalize about all drillers. That is not my intent here. It is merely to illustrate some grisly particulars in an already recognized trend:
In a press release from Rendell’s office in Harrisburg, state police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski reported more arrests and incidents involving drugs, assaults and illegal weapons in northern Pennsylvania, where much of the drilling into the Marcellus Shale is taking place in the state.
“More and more, it seems the police reports coming out of the northern tier include arrests because of drug use and trafficking, fights involving rig workers, DUIs and weapons being brought into the state and not registered properly,” Pawlowski said.
“We’ve even encountered situations where drilling company employees, who have been convicted of a sexual assault in another state, come here to work and do not register with our Megan’s Law website.” (see news article here)
Gas industry worker charged in Pa. stabbing death
By Jason Whong November 5, 2010, 9:25 pm
CHARLESTON TOWNSHIP, TIOGA COUNTY, Pa. — A gas industry worker from Texas has been charged in the Thursday night stabbing death of a local man from whom he rented a room.
Pennsylvania State Police in Mansfield arrested Billy Holden Landry, 49, of Liverpool, Texas. He is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault in the death of Shawn Charles Miller, 44, of Cherry Flats Road in Charleston Township, east of Wellsboro.
Police were called just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday to 158 Cherry Flats Road, where Miller rented two upstairs bedrooms to Landry and another gas industry worker.
Miller had no pulse when medics arrived, according to a criminal complaint against Landry filed in District Court in Wellsboro.
Miller was pronounced dead at the scene by the Tioga County Coroner’s Office.
Police said the men were arguing before the stabbing.
Kimberly A. Hess said she witnessed the argument at the home that her mother, Connie Everitt, shared with Miller, Everitt’s boyfriend of 13 years. Miller rented the two upstairs bedrooms in the three-bedroom home to “oil-riggers,” she said.
Hess said she spent the night on the couch and was awakened by Miller asking Landry and the other man, Mike Helton, to be quiet.
“They were drunk, and one had a girl over, and they were all just rowdy and making noise,” Hess said.
Hess said she heard a voice from upstairs taunting Miller and asking him to come upstairs.
Miller remained at the bottom of the stairs and asked them to “shut up, be quiet,” she said.
Hess said the men came downstairs, one with a knife, as Everitt tried to keep the men apart.
Everyone was “eventually pushed down on top of Shawn,” Hess said, as the fight moved toward the television.
“There was a candle that got broke, and I seen blood coming … from Shawn’s wrists, from the top of his hand, actually. And I thought it was from the candle getting broken,” she said.
Miller took a few steps, then fell over. “That’s when we realized he had gotten cut … right below his chest,” Hess said, as she traced a line across her abdomen with her finger.
Landry and Helton left immediately afterward, she said. “They left without their shirts on or anything. They didn’t grab their bags or nothing.”
Just after midnight, Landry went to state police in Mansfield and told the dispatcher that he wanted to speak with a trooper “about a situation he was involved in,” according to the complaint.
Landry told the dispatcher that “two females had beat him up” and that he had stabbed a man “in self-defense,” according to the complaint.
When a trooper interviewed Landry, he said he was protecting himself and that “nobody should take a beating and not protect themselves.”
Police found Helton after 5 a.m. Friday in a trailer in Richmond Township, sleeping in a pair of blue jeans “stained throughout” with blood, according to the complaint.
Helton told police the blood on his pants probably came from Miller, according to the complaint.
Police were unable to say Friday night whether Helton had also been charged in the stabbing.
On Friday afternoon, Landry told police he was hit in the head with a candle and knocked to the ground during the fight and was held down as Miller punched him repeatedly in the face, according to a court document.
Landry told police he removed a knife that was sheathed on his belt and cut and stabbed at Miller, and, as he was driving his truck later, he discarded the knife, according to the complaint.
On Friday afternoon, Hess sat in her home in Wellsboro and described Miller as a nice man who treated her “like his own daughter.”
“I just hope that they get what they deserve. They need to rot in jail,” she said.
Bar fight, black eye leads to Buckeye’s arrest
BY MIichael J. Rudolf (Staff Writer)
Published: November 4, 2010
TUNKHANNOCK – A 25-year-old former gas worker from Ohio was extradited to Wyoming County on Wednesday to face charges related to an Oct. 23 bar fight here.
Tunkhannock Police traveled to Ashland, Ohio, to pick up Nathan A. Milam, who is accused of beating another man with a pool cue during a fight at Beagles Pub, East Tioga Street.
According to the police complaint, Patrolman Dustin Cokely responded to a reported fight and found another man outside, bleeding heavily from his face, with his eye and nose swollen. Police learned the victim had fractures near his eye and nose.
The man told Patrolman Cokely that he was playing pool with three other people, including Mr. Milam, but did not know their names. Asked what started the fight, the man said he missed a shot, then someone hit him.
Patrolman Cokely went into the bar and spoke with several patrons, none of whom had ever seen Mr. Milam. A woman told Patrolman Cokely she saw Mr. Milam strike the victim, then run out the back door. The witness gave police a description. Patrolman Cokely said an anonymous caller contacted state police later that day to say Mr. Milam had been dropped off in Binghamton, N.Y., planning to take a bus to Ohio.
Dave Wenzel, a supervisor for a gas drilling contractor. told police he saw Mr. Milam shooting pool. A few moments later, he heard a loud crack near the pool table, and saw a man on the ground covered with blood.
Borough police picked up Mr. Milam in Ohio, where he waived extradition. He is charged with aggravated assault and simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment and is in the Wyoming County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday in Tunkhannock.
Tom Jiunta and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition have been working tirelessly to advance a petition in support of an ordinance which would protect the water supply of Lehman Township. Tonight they presented the ordinance which is similar to one recently passed by the the Licking Township (Pennsylvania) Board of Supervisors. The Lehman ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund Defense Fund.
The proposal presented to the Lehman Township Board of Supervisors, would make it unlawful:
“for any corporation to import water into Lehman for use in the extraction of subsurface natural gas or to deposit waste water, “produced” water, “frack” water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products of natural gas extraction into the land, air or waters within Lehman Township.”
Here is the early online edition from the Times Leader: Lehman supers hold off vote on anti-drill law
This initiative is about citizen’s rights and the heart of a democratic society. We share the air and the water. Collectively, we have a constitutional right to clean air and water. Any sane society would insure that. No individual, or corporation has the authority to usurp these basic human rights.
Although advised otherwise, the Supervisors insisted on keeping the venue at the Lehman Township Building instead of larger venues in the immediate area. Consequently some citizens left because they could hear nothing from the entrance hall. That is, they were not allowed to participate in the process due to venue constriction. It is an age old strategy of those who want to impede the democratic process rather than support it. The Supervisors’ obstructionist behavior is not a surprise given the reality that two of them were found to be ethically compromised by the state ethics commission.
(And thank you to the Community Environmental Legal Defense Defense Fund for your statewide efforts to bring power back to the people.)
The supervisors refused to take action on the proposal, citing a fear of law suits and a lack of authority,the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition and the CELDF will continue to put this issue forward. See the Citizen’s Voice coverage here: Lehman Twp. supervisors take no action on drilling ordinance
From the Safe Water Movement’s petition to support a total ban on gas drilling in low-permeable deposits in New York State:
1. With a failure rate of between 2 to 8 percent, horizontal drilling and hydrofracking pose an unacceptable risk to our drinking water and the quality of groundwater, aquifers, lakes and streams.
13.Recent preliminary assessments reveal that “natural” gas is not “clean energy” but rather just another polluting, non-renewable fossil fuel contributing to global warming”
Links about dirty gas:
The Dirty Truth Behind Clean Natural Gas (from the National Wildlife Federation)
Gas is dirty energy and may be dirtier than coal ( regarding Australia)
The Dirty Truth Behind Hydrofracking (from Environmental Graffiti )
The Dirty Truth Behind The New Natural Gas ( from Kentucky Rural Water Association) ( a comprehensive overview )
The Dirty Secret of Shale Gas (from Motley Fool)
Cornell’s Howarth Warns EPA… (good links )
Even if one manages the drilling like an angel, and has the luck of God… even if, there are inspectors hanging from every rig… and ten feet of regulations at each worker’s side, even if… even if…
It will not change the inexorable facts that with each fracking: we retire millions of gallons of drinking water from the earth’s scarce supply, and we saturate the air with pollutants. Also, we horizontally fracture miles of rock below us, and fill those sharded caverns with a toxic slurry of brine, radioactivity, and nasty chemicals. That is the present state of reality. Even if we don’t want to believe it.
“The world’s whole petroleum resource is estimated at a million terawatts, which happens to be equal to the amount of solar energy that reaches the earth every day.”
above quote from The Independent Home by Michael Potts
Just as the world is moving forward with sustainable and alternative energy sources and management, we are allowing our piece of it to be raped and plundered by Big Gas.
Just as the United States consumers are buying more and more locally, we allow our farmland to become an industrial zone.
We are willing to let a small minority of our fellow citizens pollute the resources one hundred percent of us use. What is sane or democratic about that? We all share this halo of air and water.
Our aim should be to make each home energy independent. No monthly bills. That is what we can leave our children. That would be American.
International energy firms have aggressively sought a bigger foothold in the U.S. oil shale industry.
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Friday it will buy East Resources Inc., a major owner of shale gas holdings in the northeast United States, for $4.7 billion from private investors.
Europe’s largest oil company said it will pay cash for East Resources, a Pennsylvania company that owns more than 2,500 oil and natural gas wells in the United States. It also controls 1.25 million acres of land, mostly in the energy-rich Marcellus Shale region that runs from New York to southwest Virginia.
Shell CEO Peter Voser said the acquisition fit with plans to “grow and upgrade” its holdings of shale gas in North America.
International energy companies have aggressively sought a bigger foothold in the U.S. oil shale industry, even with natural gas prices slumping to less than half of what they were in 2008.
Earlier this year, Japanese energy giant Mitsui Co. said it would pay $1.4 billion for a stake in Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s shale assets. India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. also recently paid $1.7 billion for part of Atlas Energy’s shale gas deposits.
See rest of article via link above.
If this evil and blatant usury of our land is not stopped by our elected and sworn representatives by listening to reason, constituents, and the constitution – if they wimp out on their duty to make sure anything done to this state is done right or not at all; if this illegal attack supplants democracy – then democracy will be wrestled back, one way or another.
Gas Drilling Will Bring You:
Lower Property Values
Polluted and Unusable Water Sources
Toxic Waste (heavy metals, carcinogens, brine and radioactive materials)
Open Waste Pits
Carcinogens Left Underground
Depleted Water Habitat
Loss of Farmland
Loss of Tourism
Disrupted Wildlife Habitat
Higher Crime Rate
Increased Drug Use
Choking Truck Traffic
Lower Quality of Life (why do you love this place?)
Fractured Bedrock Below (where 10 to 30 tons of chemicals per well, liberated radioactivity, brine, and heavy metals are left underground to slowly migrate toward your family’s water supply)
Educate yourself and take action to stop this now! The first well is drilling this August. Don’t be fooled by the propaganda you see on television and billboards. 1.5% percent of the county households will benefit, 98.5% will suffer.
NOTE – Add on top of this: mismanagement, acts of nature, maximization of profit, and out of state corporations. Then mix in weakened laws and a depleted DEP. And put it all in the context of rapid expansion. Isn’t this a case for MORATORIUM!?