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.


You are trailer trash until they need you

July 28, 2010

Goons
wanna bees
and baby
kissers,

they are in charge.

Users
bruisers
and the uninspired,

they call the shots.

Preppies
lawyer-ed
and uncaring,

see only themselves…

Do you love this world
and rejoice in it?

Or do you relish the smell of diesel?

Do you love
democracy?

Or do you love
this privileged form of governance?

(It seems the difference
between God and a fallen preacher.)


Many Workmen by Stephen Crane

July 20, 2010

Many workmen
Built a huge ball of masonry
Upon a mountaintop.
Then they went to the valley below,
And turned to behold their work.
“It is grand,” they said;
They loved the thing.

Of a sudden, it moved:
It came upon them swiftly;
It crushed them all to blood.
But some had opportunity to squeal.


drillsylvania

May 9, 2010

Why is it that the Constitution is paramount, until it comes to money?

I found out who built on the Huntsville reservoir.

Can one sign the ethics pledge and still support the gas play?

Drilling under the sacred Susquehanna, and eminent domain seem like aggressive (somewhat sociopathic) moves.  Many are getting very very frustrated. Count me in.


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.


NoCana

April 30, 2010

The new Don King

I was on television last night.  I was an audience participant on WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania live broadcast.  I asked a question on camera.  This was not easy for me.  I don’t like the limelight.  Last night’s show was hosted by Suzanne Kapral-Kelly.  Her guests were WILK talk show hosts Nancy Kman, John Webster, Sue Henry, and Steve Corbett.

When it was almost my turn, I was ushered to a spot marked by masking tape, directly in the line of fire.  Then before I could run away, all lights and attention swung to me.  I think I did okay.  It was my first time on the tube.   I kept it simple.  I thanked the WILK radio hosts for providing a platform to discuss the Marcellus Shale issue.  Then, I simply requested that both stations sponsor a debate between EnCana and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition.  The dreaded GDAC.

I did this without consulting anyone else from GDAC. But I am sure each one would say, “Bring it on”! This gas play is so wrong in so many ways for our communities.

I remember the first and only time I heard representatives from EnCana speak.  They were making a presentation to the Back Mountain Community Partnership.  The Partnership is a group of  local township and state representatives.  EnCana  presented hydraulic fracturing as a benign and safe process.  You have seen the Chesapeake ads.  Makes it look like a park.  During the question period, there were some of us who began to ask reasonable questions about safety and environmental impact.  They became visibly defensive and dismissive.  The EnCana reps could not or would not provide answers to most of our questions and were then asked by the Partnership to report back in writing.  They did eventually submit an inadequate response in writing.  But that is a whole other story for a future date.  The point here is they don’t like questions.  They seem to expect us to be compliant and quiet. Watch the movie Split Estate to get a glimpse of EnCana’s dark side.

On the broadcast, Steve Corbett related how he has been unable to get anyone from EnCana to talk with him. They are about to change our world in a very surreal, industrial, and irreversible way – yet are too arrogant to address any of these potentialities with the public.

Even if you had the perfect company doing all the right things, fracking is still a dirty, radioactive, water wasting, toxin injecting, air polluting, community disrupting, waste producing, land damaging, infrastructure intensive, property devaluing, inefficient way to produce energy. Add on top of that a secretive and entitled corporation – you are begging for trouble.

Come on down EnCana! Name the time and place.