No more sleeping
“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.
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
The amount of gas drilling vehicle violations in the Northern Tier were no surprise to many. “Operation FracNET“ was a three day, five county State Police enforcement initiative that inspected 1,135 trucks with a reported focus on residual waste trucks. The results: 959 citations, 208 trucks placed out of service, 64 drivers taken out of service. “The most common problems involved faulty brakes, exterior lighting issues and hauling permit violations.” Glad to see the industry has been on top of things.
By any management metric, these are sadly laughable results. The three day enforcement was a brief and thin view into the daily complex operations of the gas play . Do the same compliance rates exist throughout this industrial system?
It is chaos. It is bedlam. Trucks upon trucks of traffic, blasting here, drilling there, fracking there, and there. A thousand critical details go by each day without sufficient oversight.
This State Police initiative is welcome and appreciated. It certainly makes a case for the lack of control the industry has on its transportation sector. One can only extrapolate this dismal record to other aspects of management’s purview.
Please note, there have been previous initiates with much the same disheartening results. Guess we taught them a thing or two. They won’t dare violate the law again…
The corporation is not a person, it is a machine, it reads only numbers. It is fueled by numbers. It is run by numbers. It will die by numbers.
This severance tax debate is comical. Some legislators applaud it as a hedge against environmental calamity. It is like getting a cancer injection and crying out “Hooray! I have medical insurance!”
“The gas industry wants the Senate to give them all Pennsylvania properties which now have no gas leases.”
Clearville says: Contact PA Senators before October 12, 2012, the gas industry wants properties with NO GAS LEASES!
“If you love the Creator, you’ll love His Creation”
– Jonathan Meritt
we are not hostage
to foreign oil
we are hostage
they are in charge.
and the uninspired,
they call the shots.
see only themselves…
Do you love this world
and rejoice in it?
Or do you relish the smell of diesel?
Do you love
Or do you love
this privileged form of governance?
(It seems the difference
between God and a fallen preacher.)