NoCana! “Dry Baby Dry!”

November 19, 2010

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.

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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.


County Zoning Board Meeting

August 1, 2010

If you live in LAKE or FAIRMOUNT TOWNSHIP, please consider speaking your opposition to ten new gas drilling sites at Tuesday’s zoning board hearing! Tuesday at 7 PM at Luzerne County Courthouse.

If you have friends who are opposed to natural gas drilling in LAKE or FAIRMONT TOWNSHIP, please let them know WE NEED THEM. to show their opposition.  –  Paula of GDAC

The county zoning board meeting is an exercise in non democracy posing as democracy. You get to voice your opinion to men who stare at cleavage.


the threat of democracy

May 28, 2010

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.


There will be thousands of gas wells drilled over the next two decades using slick water horizontal hydrofracking – the Back Mountain as Industrial Zone

May 24, 2010

Gas Drilling Will Bring You:
Lower Property Values
Higher Taxes
Polluted and Unusable Water Sources
Toxic Waste (heavy metals, carcinogens, brine and radioactive materials)
Open Waste Pits
Undisclosed Chemicals
Endocrine Disruptors
Carcinogens Left Underground
Air Pollution
Depleted Water Habitat
Noise Pollution
Eminent Domain
Loss of Farmland
Loss of Tourism
Disrupted Wildlife Habitat
Higher Crime Rate
Increased Drug Use
Choking Truck Traffic
Broken Roads
Increased Accidents
Lower Quality of Life (why do you love this place?)
Earth Shaking
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!?


Dick Cheney’s Picture Book of Energy – Page 1

May 21, 2010

sun-lrg.jpg

Obviously, the Sun is NOT a good source of energy.


drill the bitch

May 19, 2010

The beast is circling and beginning to take bites, a variance here, a clearing there. Soon will come a train of trucks carrying the rig. Like a missile on parade in Red Square, it might as well have a hammer and sickle on its side. The bit will drive into the bone of Mother Earth and leave her contaminated. This will happen in front of those who allow it.

Those who refuse to sign a lease will soon be tied down and forced to witness the rape. If big gov and big gas have their way, eminent domain will be granted to those who pipe the gas. You thought you could make a stand? Not in Corporate America (the former United States).

See Companies seek eminent domain status to lay gas pipelines:


Shared Destiny –

May 7, 2010

EnCana “leased” your community –

This map published in the Times Leader on Thursday, May 6, demonstrates how ubiquitous and widespread EnCana’s fracturing plans are.  At the County Zoning Board hearing on Tuesday night, I asked the EnCana representatives how many wells are planned  if the exploratory ones are productive.    Wendy Wiedenbeck  of EnCana said they have no idea because all this activity is strictly “exploratory” and that is their sole plan at this point.  She would not discuss any possible numbers.

So, let me get this straight, they commit to leasing over 25,000 acres without a vague notion of  possible scenarios?  They commit at least $25 million without any production projections? I don’t believe it.  Looks to me like hundreds of wells.  Looks to me like a major industrial footprint. Looks to me like a at least a billion gallons of toxic water left underground to slowly traverse the fractured shale,  seeking a point of inexorable egress.

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The Back Mountain feeds the valley its water –

The Citizen’s Voice reports:

the Huntsville reservoir is the source of water for approximately 30,000 people in Dallas, Kingston Township, Swoyersville, West Wyoming and Wyoming. The Ceasetown reservoir is the source for approximately 70,000 people in the areas of Ashley, Courtdale, Conyngham Township, Edwardsville, Hanover Township, Hunlock Township, Larksville, Nanticoke, Newport Township, Plymouth Borough, Plymouth Township, Pringle, Salem Township, Shickshinny and portions of Wilkes-Barre City.

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Guest Opinion on County Zoning Hearing

May 6, 2010

My thoughts and my sentiments are that the citizens are in a war here, a war to protect our water supply and the very air that we breathe, but are so out-powered and out-numbered by the huge money of the gas industry, who can buy our politicians and spread their propaganda faster than a wildfire. Incidentally, if and when one of these gas wells blows up, their is potential for a wildfire, not to mention the toxic chemicals it will spew into the air for a hundred miles or so.

The Zoning Hearing for the approval to give the go-ahead to EnCana to drill their well in Lake Township was a slam dunk before the hearing even began. The citizens had no chance at all, and I was convinced of this when I saw the extremely affectionate exchanges between the members of our Zoning Board and the representatives of EnCana at the table before the hearing began. EnCana sends in what appear to be ordinary citizens just like you and I. It would be far easier to enter into strong debate with the big shots in their fancy suits. These people all live in either Wyoming or Colorado so why would they care about our water & air quality. They are highly paid employees of the gas industry. While the citizens were strongly warned not to discuss water issues, EnCana proceeded to show their propaganda power point presentation and talk a whole lot about water! After all, isn’t water one of the most important issues in gas drilling operations? Millions of gallons of water are required for the fracking process of each individual well. Toxic chemicals are added to it before it gets put into the ground, and toxic chemicals remain in the portion of it that comes back up. The gas industry will put huge demands on our water supply and they have the potential to contaminate what water remains. Our small, rural communities are not ready for the gas industry. We are not trained or prepared to handle a gas well fire! In fact, we simply are not trained for any of this, and neither is DEP! Should we have the heavy rains we experienced in June of 2006 which destroyed roads and bridges, not to mention the near collapse of the Huntsville Dam, the plastic liner in the gas company “pit” will not keep it from over-flowing or the sides blowing out, and the toxic ingredients of the pits contaminating nearby creeks, streams, lakes, and yes, our aquifers!

As I take a look out over Harveys Lake and watch the trees slowly move to the breeze, and smell the clean air that is coming through my windows, I wonder what this scene will be in a few years, after the gas industry has bought out everyone, taken the gas and their money, and gone back to Colorado?

God help us all.

Michell’e T. Boice


time to join the fight

May 5, 2010

It is late and it has been a long greasy night. We took a gut blow at a packed County Zoning Board hearing.

It was to be expected. The Oil and Gas Act limited zoning board power to allow “optimal development of the oil and gas resources” of Penn’s Woods. The state took control of our communities.

The overall system is complex and segmented, it favors the ones who can afford to lawyer up. If the Zoning Board did anything outside of their tight little paradigm, EnCana could shoot a barrage of suits from the mother ship at a county already near financial ruin. Or, at least, that is how many think it would play out.

I feel so bad for those who live closest to the drilling site. I am told, there are 300 families living contiguous to the property. I want them to know, we will continue to fight for their rights. But also, they must join in.


Be in front of the Courthouse at 6:30!

May 3, 2010

May 4
we will have signs