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.
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 )
Hello, this is Pennsylvania DEP Secretary John Hanger inviting you to vacation here in Pennsylvania. There are so many things to do in the Champagne State: Take an intoxicating and romantic trip down the bubbly Susquehanna. Milk a dead cow! Come visit one of our many new and exciting theme parks such as Cabot Patch or EnCana Land!
Remember, liberty began and ended right here in Penn’s Woods. See you soon!
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.)
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.
This planet is a terrarium orbiting the sun. The flaming star casts a million terawatts of energy upon us each day. Earth has been given all that it needs. We will either thrive, or render this terrarium useless. We make our own destiny. It is insanity to let big conglomerates dictate the condition of this planet. And, it is cowardice.
Each fracking leaves approximately 4.5 million gallons of water sequestered beneath the earth – taken out of the water cycle – never to be replaced. For every 420 horizontal frackings, the equivalent of the Huntsville Reservoir is polluted and left underground (1.9 billion gallons). Water that has touched the lips of our ancestors, now gone from the equation.
Oh, we may see it again, but next time as a spoiler of our diminishing clean water supply.
I have no beef with the guy who signed a lease, thinking it was “safe”. Or the family who was desperate and overtaxed. I have no animosity for the one who was lied to and manipulated.
But I do have a big problem with the already wealthy guy who brought it here, and the insiders who parlayed their land holdings into a rape of our sensibilities. And all those who are riding the gravy train just because it is gravy. And all those who still refuse to do their homework.
Communities are about sensibilities, such as what works best for all. Isn’t that how democracy was born?