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Schneiderman is right

May 19, 2011

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has promised to sue the federal government if the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) won’t conduct a full environmental impact review of its proposed gas drilling regulations by May 18.

As an angler who fishes on the Delaware River, one of the best trout fisheries in the East, I fully support the attorney general’s position. Not only is the river a prized recreational resource, the Delaware provides drinking water for 15 million people in three states. It also plays a critical role in the local economy by supporting many recreational-related jobs in the region.

As drilling in the Marcellus Shale region becomes imminent, the DRBC has ignored repeated calls to conduct a cumulative impact study of the water withdrawals, wastewater and development of thousands of wells in the basin. But the DRBC cannot ignore its obligation to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—a law designed to ensure that cumulative environmental impacts are considered when agencies make decisions.

The DRBC must fully review how water resources—and the fish, wildlife and communities that rely upon them—will be affected before allowing drilling to happen. Only then can strong regulations that protect these irreplaceable resources from the effects of gas drilling be enacted. The stakes are simply too high.

Ron Urban
Port Ewen, NY

windmill Hick?

I wouldn't love it but it sure would beat a similar-sized drilling rig that spouts a 20-foot, loudly roaring gas flame 24/7 and pollutes my well and fills my house with methane.

I'd also prefer a windmill here and there to a major earthwork, cleared land, couple of big steel tanks, and drilling tower every couple hundred yards, with corresponding roadway network cleared out of teh surrounding fields and forests, plus a network of pipelines with right-of-ways likewise hacked out of currently productive agricultural land or forests.

The windmill would also waste a hell of a lot less fossil fuel in it's construction. And it would probably take a handful of guys and a couple of trucks a week or two to put up. Much better than hundreds of tank trucks per day going by 24/7 for the next 10 years.

Of course, we're coming to find out there's probably less gas than the gas co.'s say there is, and that it may not even be profitable to extract if one discounts the money made from investors.

Plus between being deemed a non-conforming use in teh river corridor by DRBC, confirmation in NY of towns being able to zone appropriately to prvent widespread intensive industrialization, and no drilling within the NYC watershed and a surrounding buffer zone, all seems to indicate that at the very least, the majority of the local region will be off-limits to drillers.

This still doesn't fully address the potential long-term environemental, economic, and social impacts of industrilizing large swaths of currently rural, semi-wild, and/or agriculturally productive lands elsewhere in NY and PA; hopefully effective local zoning, the results of EPA's study, and rigorous NYSDEC regulation and enforcement will be effective enough for other areas to not be overwhelmed.

Soooooooooo Naive

You have no concept of the means of production of a proper windmill so this will be very tricky to explain to you. Read slowly. A windmill is made of materials which must be mined, transported machined and refined requiring a tremendous amount of energy and earth disturbance. Relax, this all takes place in someone else's back yard! Site preparation then requires tremensous clearing and road construction etc. complete with big scarey trucks, burly construction crews what not. They are then erected in an industrial manner with noise and lights. They effectively chop flocks of birds out of the air and are lubricated with that nasty stuff you hate so much that must be drilled out of the earth. Power lines constructed in much the same way must be cut into Mother Earth and installed to transport that all important power to market. They are lovely to gaze upon and make a constant strobe light chopping sound. They play hell with your TV reception so no more PBS for you. The Kennedy's love them as long as they don't have to look at them. One might say they are worse than airports. This is all part of your hypocrisy sickness and denial. When if ever might you reach acceptance?

I love the projection

of those who bury their heads in denial and say something hypocritical in every other sentence trying to pin these values on others.

I'm an engineer, I can figure out for myself how a windmill goes together. Thanks for your cursory oversimplified explanation though. I can also tell you that a lot more petroluem would need to be drilled for and a lot more metals mined to produce the fuel and materials needed to drill a gas well! Yet, you said the above almost as if you had some kind of point?

I also never said I'm a fan of wind mills. I just said they're less invasive, less unsightly, less noisy, less polluting, and less fuel-consuming than gas drilling.

Pinning the problem with windmills on the small amount of petro-based lubricants they use? REALLY???? How much oil do think a windmill uses compared with the oil it takes to keep all those Cat and Cummins engines running 24/7 for months to construct and frack a gas well? Lube oil, hydraulic oil, diesel fuel- thousands of gallons of them. Not to mention the petrochemicals in teh fracking fluid. If we listen to what the gas companies say, 5% x 1,000, 000 gallons = 50,000 gallons is a realistic estimate of the quantity of petrochemicals used in fracking each well.

And, if we listen to about 30% recovery (per the gas co's), we have 35,000 gallons of that left in the ground, and 15,000 gallons to be treated and disposed or recycled. Of course, they can't separate the chemicals from the water on-site, so PER WELL that's somewhere on the order of 300,000 gallons of contaminated water needing to be trucked somewhere for T&D, and 700,000 gallons of contaminated water left in the ground. Per well. This is not difficult math.

It is also not difficult math to figure out that you'd desperately like to retire on gas royalties and don't care about anything else.

You sound fairly clueless about how the world really works, but I think it's really just desperation and greed getting in the way of common sense.

Of course they are

- afraid of what might be found, that is. Afraid that their free meal ticket might be taken away, or that it might become a $2.00 coupon instead of a full free lunch. Why do you think the industry itself doesn't release the chemical makeup of the fracking fluids, when by law the chemical makeup of pretty much everything must legally be disclosed before sale or use? (and why is it the government is somehow seemingly "unable" to enforce the law that applies to -ALL- chemical products when it comes to this one particular chemical product???)

At the end of the day arguing pro or anti drilling is useless though. Those who stand to benefit will not back down. Those who stand to lose or are conscientiously concerned about the bigger picture will not stop their opposition. Those who stand to neither lose nor gain, or at least do not perceive that they do, and are not directly involved, will watch from the sidelines, sit on the fence, or perhaps argue one side or the other based on the minimal superfical knowledge they have or based on what they are told or what their friends and neighbors say.

At the end of the day, the above only reinforces the need for a thorough, unbiased, complete environmental impact assessment including impacts to groundwater, air, human health, ecoloigical receptors, river flow and water quality, open space, the tourism industry, second hoem values, traffic, etc. etc.. In the meantime, the EPA needs to step up to the plate and enforce the laws it is responsible for enforcing, up to and including shutting down all drilling until the industry complies with the laws that apply even-handedly to EVERY other industry in this nation- i.e., to disclose the chemical composition and prove the safe use of it's product.

Also in the meantime, anyone arguing pro-gas on an energy indepence basis should be making sure the government stands up to the energy industry and prevents the sale of US energy reserves to CHINA or others. Until then, that argument is only about as unsinkable as the Titanic.

And for those landowners who argue that what they do on their land is only thier business and no one else's, and that they are being discriminated against or deserve compensation for any prevention or delay of gas extraction- surely then, these people who believe anyone should be able to do as they please without regard for anyone or anything else, and should be compensated if they can't, would agree that in the event that the gas extraction activities on their land impact others they and/or the gas industry should be held fully liable for the damages; and that in the event that their own drinking water is contaminated or their own health is ruined, they will take on the full responsibility for the remediation or treatment themselves, with no outside help, as simply the cost of doing business?

Speaka the Litigese?

Landowners will no more be backed into a corner on frivilous lawsuits brought forth by havenots and ambulance chasers to cash in on the shale play any more than the obstructionists will promise to honor whatever science their coveted impact study turns up that doesn't support their position and agenda. I would say nice try but it's just a pathetic stab at opinion sway.

Please respond to the question

which had nothing to do with frivolous lawsuits.

Based on your previous comments, I am sure you would agree that if gas drilling on your property impacts the groundwater that your neighbor drinks or pollutes the river, you and the gas company would be the responsible party. This is how environmental law works in all otehr cases, so presumably you agree that the same laws apply?

Likewise, anyone with such libertarian views on property use as to feel they are entitled to perform any and all activties as they might please, for their own benefit, to the detriment of those around them, would agree that they should have no reason to come asking for help from other parties when said activities prove detrimental to themselves or their property. But, it is human nature to insist they are independent and free to do as they will right up until such time as they are in a bind- there are very few with the integrity to then take responsibility for their own actions and decline any outside assistance.

Put another way, it is hypocritical to expect your neighbors tax dollars to come to your aid when you need it while crying that your own tax dollars should not be spent to insure the safety and well being of your neighbors, or that your own economic gain should not hinge upon being able to make money without bringing harm to others.

Hypocrisy? That's my word!

When obstructionists speak of hypocrisy, that's, well, hypocrisy! Hypocrisy is using fossil fuels every day and benefiting from their use in ways seen and unseen and then demanding they be procured elsewhere. Don't speak to me about hypocrisy.

I do however, agree that taxpayers should not be made to bear the costs of any negative impacts caused by any industry as indeed they do not. That is not to say there will be the "imminent" disasters the anti drilling crowd salivates over and indeed prays for. By way of example, Chesapeake had a well head blow out "spewing" large quantities of frack water and were subsequently fined $1,000,000. No tax money and, hell, not even a fish kill. Come to think of it, where are your disasters and super fund sites that need taxpayer money anyway? Oh that's right, they don't exist. Only the fear of them exist and that's enough. Put plainly, you don't have a leg to stand on, so stall, stall, instill fear, stall, repeat. So to answer your question: Yes, I intend to make money on my land as indeed I already have and Yes, you will be just fine if not better than status quo as the improved economy I have created will benefit you in much the unseen ways as fossil fuels benefit you every day.

Show me the money

Who will conduct this study? What are the parameters? Who will pay for it, you? How long will it take? Does being an angler/sportsmen make you uniquely qualified to decide the river and its residents' future? Do you see any irony in the New York suit against the DRBC which they have failed to fund? Time and again we hear how important the river is to tourists. Newsflash: Tourism offers low paying seasonal jobs to a depressed local economy. Drilling represents an opportunity for real economic prosperity and the science is overwhelmingly in favor of drilling. The problem is that drilling also represents the demise of the stranglehold the affluent tourist has over the poor denizen population. Make no mistake, they will not release their grip willingly. We do not exist to provide 15 million NYC people with all the pure water they can steal out of our watershed because they destroyed the Hudson. We do not exist to provide the wealthy urbanite a peaceful quaint place to fish and relax. If it is your intention to stall/delay/postpone drilling indefinitely with your wonderful studies, you had better be prepared to offer due compensation. Show me the money.

what money??

Newsflash: There is no money! It seems the title fits, if one is so self-righteous as to feel that they deserve monetary compensation for what they may not gain if a certain activity needs to be studied before being allowed to run unsupervised or unregulated, or if it is deemed not in the interests of the greater whole to carry out. Shall the Gub'ment also be expected to reimburse every would-be con-artist, common thief, snake-oil peddler, etc. for the "potential income" which is "lost" by requiring them to comply with those laws and regulations which "prevent" them from benefitting economically from these activities? To reimburse a chemical company for the income it loses by paying for proper disposal of waste products instead of just dumping them in the creek out back? To buy mufflers for trucking companies to compensate them for the money they could save by driving around with straight stacks? Does TheHick support the limitless, impossible, infinite taxes that would be required to support such an absurd system? Or is it just a matter of "let me do what I want, and screw everyone else"?

It is ironic that many of those who oppose drilling are labeled as having some kind of sense of "entitlement", when it seems those most adamantly pro-drilling are the ones demanding compensation for even so much as the "potential" income they might gain from some uncertain, as-yet non-existent, hypothetical future industry.

Failure to understand economics

One thing that I have come to understand and accept is that our school system does a very poor job of explaining basic economic principles in a way that every high school age person should be able to understand. I attended school in New York state which is supposedly one of the finest high school educations a person can get in this nation and yet I too was extremely ignorant of how the financial world works until I received my formal education. Make no mistake, the world runs on economic principles and if you do not understand them, you will be trod asunder. In western capitalist countries (which in essence the US is such), land is owned privately and the ownership/use of this land is justified through a specific tax burden. You could argue that land is the only investment you can own that costs you to own on a yearly basis compared to say gold or currency but I digress. Land has a value that is determined by a free market. That value is broken down into several categories including timber, oil, gas, minerals, water (depending on the state) and bare land. A landowner may at any time sell any of the above mentioned portions of their property and claim depletion and or depreciation. Landowners are not required to maintain their investment to the satisfaction of their neighbor any more than a person must manage his stock portfolio to his neighbor's satisfaction. However if laws are to be passed that a landowner must put down all beef cows from his land because of an imagined unproven hysteria whipped up by the media involving mad cow disease, that person is going demand compensation. They have an investment involved. Infringing upon a person's God given right to do business based on unfounded fear is unethical.

The battle cry of the anti drilling crowd is "wait for the science". This is clearly a farse. They don't respect the existing science. They will never respect any science that does not support their agenda. The want limitless delay as a means to an end and they want the burden of this delay to rest squarely and solely on the backs of the already struggling landowner. Truly, the only snake oil sales men are the people such as Josh Fox who are preying and profiting on the fear of the weak minded. Fear is not a commodity. Natural gas is. It is a very real and existent industry and the only chance America has to attain energy independence.

A farse? I dont think so. . .

"Infringing upon a person's God given right to do business based on unfounded fear is unethical."

Sorry hick, I can't agree with you here. No one has the god given right to do business in this country, even if it means energy independence- althogh you and I both know that will never happen. We have waited decades to tap this resource, and we need to be certain that this process will not endanger our environment. I'm beginning to think that pro drillers are afraid of what may be found. There just too much at stake.

Pray tell.....

Define your impact study please, and be specific. Who shall pay for it? How long does an appropriate study take? Do you promise to honor the findings if they are not in your favor? Stall, stall, fear, stall, repeat. Text book definition of a farce.

Funding

Well, one could argue that it would be funded by taxpayers like most studies of everything from the safety of highways to the protection of endangered species to the prevention of a disease.

But one could also argue that the gas industry should be the ones to fund it, as would be the case for any other environemntal impact study for any other proposed development activity.

The problem is that if you make the responsible party pay, they likely will be using their own consultant who will have business reasons for reporting findings that favor their client while downplaying findings that their client doesn't want to hear about or that would prevent their client from reaping full benefits (i.e., $$$).

No farce, it's the way the world works my friend. Nobody is stalling but the government which is waffling on the whole thing instead of getting the required studies in motion by one party or the other. As for suddenly supporting drilling, if by the disclosure of the compounds in the fracking fluids and a through enviromental study it is demonstrated that no unacceptable impacts or impacts above legal thresholds would occur to the environment, local economy, or human health, then at THAT point- and ONLY then- could a FURTHER discussion on whether drilling should occur, where, how much, with what limitations, etc. take place. You're still not going to get everyone to agree with the pro-drillers, and you'r still not going to get carte blanche from the DEC or EPA to drill baby drill, wherever, whenever, and however you might please. The study would only be the first step in responsible gas drilling and extraction. It is naiive of the pro-drillers to argue from a platform of insisting that the study should not even be done before drilling occurs. In every other case, for every other industry, the study is ALWAYS done. Those who fight tooth and nail against even doing the study are simply looking to make their quick buck as soon as possible, and are afraid of knowing, or having anyone else know, the truth. At this point I'm not even arguing pro- or con regarding gas, simply arguing in favor of responsible government and in favor of holding the gas industry to the same laws and standards as everyone else in an even-handed way.

Thank you for your candor!

You speak plainly, sir, and I applaud that. Most of the anti drilling crowd (I call them "obstructionists" not to offend but it is fitting and easier to type) would beat around that bush but you hit the nail on the head. Someone has to pay for a study which I think we can agree will be wildly expensive and time consuming. You would like to see the gas companies do it (my guess is because you think they could afford it) but wouldn't trust the results. So, the burden would fall on the tax payer who would largely be comprised of individuals such as my self who actually pay taxes. In fact it would be a double burden when you factor in the ridiculous amount of time I must wait for results. A triple burden when the obstructionists refuse to honor the results as you say "then and only then could further a discussion" (b.s.!). What incentive could you think we possibly have for this obscene strategy in which we get porked six ways to Sunday? A clear conscience knowing that obstructionists' as of yet unfounded fears might possibly be alleviated (fat chance)? The truth, my friend is that you are against drilling in this area. You will always be against it no matter what. If you can't admit that to the general public, at least quietly admit it to yourself. Don't hate us for seeing through this stall tactic. Show me the disasters. Show me the body count. I can show you the one in Iraq. What study was done before they drilled for oil in the mideast which you use everyday? What study was done before they drilled in Venezeula? Canada? Texas? I don't think you actually believe in studies so much as NIMBY and need a study to rationalize NIMBY.

Cost of doing business

Yes, that is indeed it. You nor anyone else should be able to profit from a business which damages others without reparations.

Put simply, I'm opposed to any business that makes money to the detriment of others. We as humans need to get over this idea that the earth is ours to destroy and we should enjoy the ride right up until the last acre is plowed under or made toxic. You are one who would seem to rather perpetuate this.

I could choose to want to cash in on this cash cow too, but I have the conscience to at least realize we need to justify the reasons for doing so and be sure it can be done safely before forging ahead. You, on teh other hand, cry into your milk because you have to wait to get your cookie, because you've already decided that you deserve that cookie no matter what the cost. That mentality is certainly no better than the urban liberal yuppie tourist telling the rural landowner what to do on his land. I tire of the libertarian rehtoric when there is no follow through, or when it is taken to the extreme of "me first and screw the rest of ya'll". You just want your money now and don't care about what is right, what is law, or what is good for the land or its people.

All else being equal, you are right- until there is full disclosure from the gas companies instead of this obvious red herring attempt to avoid it, and until there is science and economics to justify the safety and the benefit (i.e., something more than money for the landowner, money for teh gas co., and money for China), you're damn right I'm not supportive of gas drilling here or most anywhere else. If the science and economics are there, then I might be swayed. But I will never be swayed by certain people's claim to a right to make money by any means possible regardless of the outcome. The means alone do not justify the ends.

As for fossil fuels- the Marcellus shale in it's entirety is a drop in the bucket. You are not kidding anyone by trying to claim that it will be our salvation or even begin to wean us off of foreign oil. We need alternative sources (which exist, but are not being developed because there is still far too much profit in oil for the oil companies to allow it to be developed), higher efficiency (again, being held captive by big oil which profits from a LACK of efficiciency!), and better management and conservation, from choices about driving to being less consumerist.

Triple burden?? Anyone who considers the simple cost of doing honest business a "triple burden" starts to sound like someone from Exxon-Mobil or Enron where any threat to the almighty profit is made out to be a calamity. If it's not a profitable business, then don't try to stay in it!

Ideals vs. Reality

You say you are opposed to any business that makes money to the detriment of others. What I think you fail to see is that describes every business in some way. Furthermore I think you fail to see that it is not the business that is evil for supplying the product, rather it is the consumer that is evil for financing it. You can't put your garbage on the corner and be against landfilling. You can't eat filet mignon and be against animal cruelty. You can't wipe your hiney and be against logging. You can't drive a car, fertilize crops, transport anything, use plastics, heat/cool your second home, or a myriad of other things and be against drilling. Indeed I don't believe you are against drilling per se, so much as you are against it here. You seem to attempt to hinder it to the point of making it unfeasible and then call it the cost of doing business. You are not fooling anyone either, my friend. We can argue alternative sources of energy all day, but I think we can agree "it ain't happening".

Long story short, I applaud your ideals up until you fail to live by them and then it all becomes hypocrisy in my mind. By your standards we would all be living in caves and I'm OK to admit that there are costs to our lifestyles, mine and yours. It is too easy to be short sighted. It is too easy to say I'm against drilling yet enjoy the benefits of drilling. Welcome to your turn in the barrel.

Fail?

No sir, you my friend are the one who fails to live by your ideals. You wish to be compensated for not being able to cash in on an indsutry that as yet doesn't exist in the region until we colelctively can agree that there is justification for the mere existence of this industry. You wish to be allowed to do as you please, and act as if you are totally independent and can do as you will, then complain that others aren't financing your vision. You want others to give you big bucks simply for letting someone else do something on your land, then demand retribution for the "delay" in being able to cash in on it. Yu say you should be able to benefit economically while not beinbg held liable in the event that your economic activities contaminate someone's drinking water or make them ill; YOu justify horizontal drilling and fracking in this area based simply on the fact that someone (you and teh gas company) will benefit tremendously in an economic sense (provided, of course, that you and the gas industry do not have to foot the bill for ensuring that it can be done safely), without even being willing to entertatin the concept that whether or not that happens should hinge on the ability to do it without destroying your preoperty and thatof your neighbor, and without destroying what remains of the local ecnomy for those who are not leasing out to the gas companies. YOu speak of your fears that someone might impose laws that prevent you from milking this cash cow, while also arguing adamantly that you and the gas companies are not even obligated to adhere to the laws that already EXIST and aplly to everyone else! You claim that it is hypocritical to drive a car yet oppose drilling, without realizing that there are plenty of areas already being drilled and that I unfortaunately cannot retrofit my car to be as efficient as the car companies could if they and the oil companies would focus on producing more efficient engines (but do not because it is not in their economic interests to sell less oil), or that there are alternative energy sources out there (which do exist and are perfectly feasible; now yes, you are correct, technically speaking wind energy is a farce- but is there any reason in the world why almsot every roof in america can't have solar panels on it instead of heat-absorbing asphalt shingles, or little round gray rocks?). Animal cruelty? Yes, nature is cruel and every creature needs to eat, but that certainly doesn't justify unneccesary violence or abuse to animals! You are really clutching at strings with that one. You put down the "city people" for getting rich doing cushy jobs elsewhere, then complain that someone is getting in the way of you sitting back on your porch with a beer and watching the cash flow into your back account without lifting a finger (other than the backbreaking labor of signing a gas lease form). Hey, I'm sure you work hard, so do most of us- but we don't all want to cash it at all costs, and those who do can't say much negative about the "lazy rich city people" while seeking to emulate them.

In the end, every defense of drilling that you give hinges purely on the "god-given" right to make a profit for yourself without ever paying the true cost of doing business or of doing the necessary due diligence to do it safely. And every complaint that you level is based on a fear that you and the gas companies might actually have to follow the law, or that if the gas company isn't allowed to operate above the law it will abandon the region and you will have to continue to make a living doing a real job (the true fear of the most outspoken pro-drillers?); or that those who question drilling, oppose it, or suggest that it should be proven to be safe, effective, and worthwhile before proceeding with it owe you compensation while then arguing that you and teh gas companies do not owe EVERYONE else the opportunity to look out for their own interests, and that in the event that anyone else suffers from your gain you should not be in any way responsible for it.

Put simply, I am opposed to continuing our dependence on fossil fuels without developing alternatives simply for the reason that the oil companies won't be as profitable if we do; I am opposed to spoiling the habitat and natural beauty and economy of the region for everyone else simply to make you and the gas company rich; I am opposed to pumping chemical compounds into the ground intentionally, as a part of business, without full disclsoure, when in any other instance simply pouring 50 gallons of teh same fluid onto the ground would constitute a reportable spill case for which the spiller would be responsible for all cleanup costs; I am opposed to our government allowing the fossil fuel industry to operate above and independent of the laws (and expenses) by which everyone else must live and do business.

Short sighted? No sir, short sighted would be to think that the Marcellus Shale can be fracked without any damage to our groundwater, or that the gas thus extracted will make any damn difference in our energy policy, use, independence, or the length of time that will pass before it's gone if we continue to allow those who profit from fossil fuels to be in control of where our energy comes from. You say alternative energy sources "ain't happening"- well, I guess you either choose not to see them happening all around you, or figure by the time a few decades have gone by and the fossil fuel is gone you'll have cashed in and then be dead before you have to deal with a world that has no more fossil fuels and never bothered to develop an alternative. Frankly, my friend, I'm quite sure you are NOT that ignorant- you know as well as I that the altenatives are out there, but just like BP, you're not ready to let them out of the bag while there is still money to be made extracting every last ounce of fuel from the ground and bilking the consumer for it (or more accurately, you're going to deny and refute them until you've had your turn to cash in on the fossil fuel gravytrain). And you blame the consumer, who admittedly is part of the puzzle- but you deny that the consumer's hands are tied by what is available, what the options are, what the industry charges, what products and technologies are or aren't made available for his/her use by said industry, and by the amount of money he/she can afford to spend. You state that sewage from second homes is a greater threat than fracking, when the truth is that fracking (which increases teh ability of both gas and groundwater to flow from one place to another through the natural rock formation), pipelines, and gas well drilling present greater threats of contamination from the effluent of existing homes.

Like I said, I don't expect you to change your mind- you just want the money, so of course you won't. You want to opeate in the world of the late 1800s robber baron, with no environmental or safety protections (i.e., "costs") for anyone or anything- the "good old" days where if someone lost a limb on the job they were on their own, when nobody knew that coal smoke was even bad to breath- and when there were a hell of a lot less people to twist, bend, and contaminate the earth with a lot less powerful technology to do it with- I'm sorry, but you can't argue what we should do today from a platform of "That's how it was done in a less populated, less informed, less technologically adavanced age". And I see that there are things just as important as money in this world and in this life, and that this world will go on without us even if we push it to the point of no longer being able sustain us (it's not a matter of tree hugging and fuzzy bunnies)- so neither shall I.

In closing, I highly encourage anyone on either side of the fence to take a ride out to central or western PA and have a look first hand at forests and farm fields cluttered with small metal indutrial plants every few hundred feet, each reached by a network of gravel roads; or even just check out Bing Maps or Google Earth satellite photos- the network of roads, pads, and pipelines is not hard to find. Then take a good hard look at energy, where it comes from, how it's used, who owns or buys it, what the options are, and what does or doesn't happen happen when it comes to all of these things- and why. Also take a look at environmental law as it applies to all other individuals and industries, and compare it with what the gas industry is trying to strongarm or hide. Then form your own conclusions...

Impasse

It would seem we have reached an impasse. I didn't bother to read your entire rant as it was both offensive and inaccurate. I take comfort in knowing which side of the issue will win no matter what is stated in these pages. In closing I can assure you that you don't work nearly as hard as I and that you never have and never will so please don't question the motives of the good people of this region. Last night I went by a production pad being built in Thompson (I believe that is in the region). It's coming thanks to you and your wallet. Get ready.

Good people?

Please don't label yourself as the good people of the region and ignore the rest of us including those who want no part of your industrial fantasy.

You don't even know what I do so once again you prove yourself to be rather self-righteous to be labeling others or caliming that your possess some superior status to other who you also know nothing about.

As for being offensive, surely nothing I said is more offensive than your repetitive assertations that you and your wealthy gas industry cronies have more rights than the rest of the residents of this region simply beacuse you (or they, your friends at Cabot) have more money. You criticize others whom you suspect might be transplants and tell them they have less rights than you, while turning around and saying that the gas company, which is not a human individual nor a resident of the area, has the right to ram itself down the throats of the tax-paying residents who DO have every human right as stipulated in the US Constation and Federal and State Law. Just because I own a fairly substantial parcel, you don't see me claiming that it gives me power over those neighbors who own less. They are not my subjects, servants, or inferiors simply because I might have more land or a bigger bank account than some (and certainly much less than others). At the end of the day, they still have the same basic human rights that I do. And so do you. No more, and no less.

As for accuracy, I stated nothing false about myself or gas drilling, nor anything about yourself that you have not already told us repeatedly.

Yawn...

It is very clear to anyone who reads your tirades that you would absolutely claim power over you neighbors. You demand to dictate what is suitable land use on land you do not own. You are right that I don't know what you do but unless it is commercial fishing, you don't work harder than me.

No sir

you are the one who denies your neighbors the right to protect themselves, to be informed, or the right (even though it technically is an OBLIGATION) of the government to protect it's people and their land. You do not get off nearly so easy as claiming that your own rights are being violated simply because you are not allowed to, or have restrictions placed on your ability to, violate the rights of those around you- or to at least evaluate whether or not you would be violating their rights by persuing the activties you wish to.

You seem to not comprehend that we are not even at the point of being able to discuss whether fracking should or should not occur, yet insist that it should proceed full bore and that there is no reason to even know one way or the other what the impacts are yet on a larger scale, other than the obvious irrefutable fact that groundwater pollution will occur. There is simply no way to state that pumping diesel fuel and a list of at least 50-some-odd other carcinogenic or potentially carcinogenic compounds into the ground at high pressure (or even just spilling it onto the ground for that matter)will not result in groundwater pollution. It is a GIVEN that it will result in groundwater pollution- there is not even any question on that one. Your only platform for argument hinges on a current legal loophole which is most certainly not backed up by any science or "facts".

I do believe a mentality of consumerism, "god-given rights" to exploit the planet and our neighbors for our own comfort or benefit, paying off the governemnt to look the otehr way or do some of us "favors", and economic greed are how we got to where we are in the first place- not the solution to our problems!

Frankly I've got my doubts that a lot of the outspoken pro-frackers are struggling local landowners rather than simply a case of the rich wanting to get richer by putting their second home properties, absentee land holdings, or unused former farmland to work for them. Not all, but I am certainly not convinced that this is anything close to a "natives vs. transplants/tourists/second home owners" or "poor locals vs. rich yuppies from away" argument. For those who actually are struggling, hard-working local residents (and there are many of you), I wish you no ill in your quest for a better economic situation for yourself or your family- but your right to do so does not infringe upon the inalienable right of others to a safe, healthy environment or for the protection of their own land, water, homes, and economic situation.

Give yourself away every time

"For those wo actually are struggling hard working local residents (and there are many of you)" NOT "us" says it all! Thank you oh arrogant one for your pity and sympathy. It will carry me through in my time of need. That and some gas extraction. Have you no humility?

hard working

I meant just what I said. I'm not convinced you are hard working based on your apparent greed and selfishness. I also don't know if you are struggling- you may be, you may not be, you may be quite rich and just trying to get richer (this is certainly the attitude you convey here, one of an arrogant person of wealth who is used to being able to use his money to wield power over others, in this case his rights vs. their {our!} rights). I am certainly not rich, but thankfully at least for now not struggling. For those of us who are hard working, I understand the desire to boost economic well being- especally for those who really truly are struggling- but it must be tempered with a respect for the rights of others and the larger whole. It is perfectly accepted use of the english language to address others as "you", especially when distinguishing one group of people (in this case, hard working local residents) from others (lazy people or people from elsewhere). I could have said "us" or "them", but I chose "you" to distinguish the group being discussed. Perhaps a better choice of words would have been to call Hick "you" (does that "say it all", Hick?) and hard working local residents "us", but it does not change the meaning.

You will not succeed in trying to twist my words simply because it is the only lame argument you have left. "If you can't dazzle them with facts, baffle them with irrelevant incoherent meaningless distractions" is the tactic you and your Natural friend fall back on every time. Nobody is falling for it, we can see right through it. And you.

Twisting words?

Who's twisting words. Admit it, you are not a "hard working local". You made your money elsewhere. I can only speculate that it was by selling off that 90 some acre farm in Jersey to land developers and then moved here for some cheap land and peaceful lifestyle or do I miss my mark? Now that the "hard working locals" of which you admit there are a few, want to do the same, they are greedy. Twisted words indeed.

yes

twisting words.

Sullivan county family since the 1890s when great grandpa came over from Germany.

Land developers are just as bad as you are.

Who said anything about Jersey?

Nice try, thanks for playing.

no

I'll see your German grampa and raise you English settlers prior to the Revolution. I agree about the land developers being bad (not as bad as me, but pretty bad). Do with your 90+ as you see fit if you still possess it. Don't tell me what to do with mine.

As long as

you're farming it that's fine. If you're leasing it to a mutlinational corporation for their use, and that use impacts those around you, then you've got some explaining to do and some mitigation to be done to prevent those impacts from recurring and to repair any damages done. You also need a better reason than "it makes me money" to justify those impacts to everyone else. There are no "right to gas" laws for you to fall back on or claim umbrella coverage.

Maybe I'll find out where you live, buy all the property surrounding you, and build a commercial jetport and lease it to UPS and FedEx. That's fine by you, right? I mean, it would be MY land.

Oh, and southeastern Massachusetts, early 1600s. But you don't see me telling Bostonians (or French or Italian or later English settlers) what to do. Give me a break.

No thanks

I have no explaining to do to you whatsoever. Do what you want with your piece of the pie. 1600 Mass, eh? You might be the descendant of one of my ancestors' indentured servants. I do see you telling everyone what to do (or not do in this case).

Nice Dodge

You didn't answer the question about your feelings about my proposed commercial cargo jetport next door to you.

And once again in your defensive greed and self-righteousness, you have confused telling you that you shouldn't be able do something simply for your own gain if it harms others, or that you must wait to do something until such time as you have a valid argument (i.e., backed up by something other than your own words) that it doesn't harm others, with telling you what to do. I'm sorry, but short of anarchy, in America that is just something everyone must live with- we are not all free to do anything we might please, simply for our own gain, without regard for anyone or anything and with no laws. It is simply not a socially accepted norm that one may take their personal and property rights to the extreme of being able to harm or damage those of another with impunity. Unfortunately money is power and often speaks louder than the people, both to fellow citizens and our "leadership". The fact that the gas indsutry currently operates "above the law" does not make that the right course of action for the future. And your right to do what you will within the confines of your own land does indeed, by law, go out the window when there is a damaging impact to a second or third party (although the enforcement of such laws is inconsistent, especially when one party wields vast financial advantages over the other- but the possession of a large portfolio does not equal "right").

Dodge Ram

I did answer your feeble question. Do what you want with your slice of the pie. I will not be so arrogant as to tell a person the limits of their property rights. What damage, third party?

ok then

at least if what you say is true, you'd not be a hypocrite.

But I'm also not so convinced that when actually confronted with the prospect of Fedex cargo jets flying 40 feet over your house, you'd just sit idly by and let it happen and simply resign yourself to the fact that money is power.

Indeed

Money isn't power. Land ownership is power. A hypocrite is someone who uses fossil fuels every day but doesn't want them harvested where it will inconvenience him.

No

a hypocrite is one who argues "my land! my land rights!" while telling other landowners to go pound.

A hypocrite is one who clamors for energy independence while arguing for the exctraction of a reasource in part to sell it to other countries.

A hypocrite is one who says anyone who uses fossil fuels should favor increased extraction and consumption of them, while ignoring the fact that increased extraction of fossil fuels will only excacerbate the problem of our over-reliance on and overconsumption of them.

And since I own my land, you have NO power over it! No gas rights, no pipes, no effluent, no air pollution, no water rights, no right to contaminate my water, no right to spew drilling dust onto my land, etc.

One could also argue that since I pay taxes, you have no right to destroy the roads I pay taxes to maintain and then increase my taxes to repair them. The rest of us have no obligation to subsidize you or the gas industry.

Hypocrite is my word, baby!

Clearly, you don't know what a hypocrite is. A hypocrite is someone who rides on planes but abhors airports. A hypocrite is someone who uses a plastic keyboard to voice his incoherent rants and hates fosssil fuels. A hypocrite is someone who heats their home, drives cars, uses electricity and enjoys all the comforts of modern western society which is made possible by fossil fuels yet fights tooth and claw to stop its extraction. That is a hypocrite. You are a hypocrite.

p.s. I peed on your land when you weren't looking. It was a powerful experience.

Exhibit A

^^^^Ladies and Gentleman, for your entertainment, I present to you Exhibit A of the kind of deep thinking upstanding individuals of intellect who blindly support unchecked drilling and have read up on every one of the gas companies' claims and therefore KNOW there is no need for so much as any further study of anything regarding gas drilling in this region.

And yes, I do know what a hypcorite is, Hick. I see it every time you spout some self-serving drivel about land rights.

Perhaps it is not so much hypocrisy as ignorance though in your case. Ignorance of thos around you, ignorance of the problems of fossil fuels, etc.

So Hick, since you tell everyone living in western society that it is "wrong" to oppose increasing or continuing the same degree of reliance on fossil fuels, how exactly do you propose that extracting Marcellus gas is going to help us in the future? Or are you just saying that you don't care about the future and there is fossil fuel to burn, so we may as well be paying you for it?

Have you read up on the research suggesting that long-term, gas may be nearly as bad, or just as bad, a greenhouse emitter as coal? Do you know if that research even took into account the very diesel-intensive extraction processes (drilling, hauling sand, hauling water, running pumps, etc.) when arrving at their results?

Reading Material

Did you turn the lights/AC/lawn sprinklers up when you read that propoganda? I can't wait to watch you whine Kennedy style when someone tries to slap a 150 foot windmill in your back yard. You know you will.