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Enough of the name calling

August 9, 2012

I am sick to death of the childish mischaracterizations used by both Charles Petersheim and Noel van Swol to describe people who do not share their fanatic support of gas drilling by fracking.

The majority of residents in this area oppose fracking because of the proven damage it does to the environment, the water supply, the roads and infrastructure and the nature of our communities.

Not letting the facts get in the way, Mr. van Swol dismisses people opposed to fracking as “trust fund babies,” while Mr. Petersheim labels them the “pro-foreign energy crowd.”

Such ridiculousness would be worth no more than an eye-roll was this issue not so important. By labeling opponents of fracking as “trust fund babies,” Mr. van Swol would like you to believe that these are just spoiled rich kids who oppose fracking because they don’t need the money it could bring here. Really? If every person who has signed a petition opposing fracking or attended a town meeting or a rally to voice their opposition is a trust fund baby, then this area must be loaded with them. I’ve never met one. Have you?

Mr. Petersheim’s characterization of residents opposed to fracking as the “pro-foreign oil crowd” is equally bizarre and misleading. He would have you believe that the gas obtained by fracking the Catskills will stay local and the price at the pump in our area will drop. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the Millennium Pipeline doesn’t go to the gas stations in Fosterdale, Callicoon or Jeff. The gas companies are global multi-nationals and natural gas is a commodity on the world market. Catskills gas will be sold to the highest bidder, with most of it being exported to foreign markets. Does this make Mr. Petersheim “pro-foreign oil?” Of course not. It just shows how such name-calling is laughable.

If we are going to have a reasoned debate on fracking, let’s at least try to stick with the facts and leave the mischaracterizations and childish name-calling to the schoolyard.

Laurie McFadden
Cochecton, NY

Ignorant, or liars?

Either way, there is no excuse for their words, or behavior.

I'll skip van Swol, since I commented on his words a couple of weeks ago, and he has sickened people for a number of years, now.

I haven't seen, or heard, Petersheim first hand, but I'll trust Laurie McFadden's quote, "pro foreign oil/energy crowd".

Are van Swol and Petersheim liars?

To a person, these lessor leaders speak out against Federal Government (or State Government), intervention (especially environmental regulation), except, of course, when it supports their goals, their own enrichment (compulsory integration within drilling units, eminent domain for the construction of gas pipelines).

Yet, they want the Federal Government to subsidize the Pickens plan, so that shale gas extraction powered vehicles become supreme, and shale gas supply stations sprout across the country. They want the Federal Government to subsidize this!

They want electrical generation, powered by coal, to be replaced by electrical generation, powered by shale gas. Conservative estimates amount to $700 billion to change the infrastructure, from coal generation, to shale gas generation. They want the Federal Government to subsidize this!

Now, the ultimate chutzpah, they want the Federal Government to subsidize the plants, and the pipelines, and to create the market, for the export of liquified, shale gas!

For the last four years, I have been deluged with the idiocy of their "American energy independence" propaganda, now, I am listening to Congressmen and women, from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and other oil and gas States, as they clamor for Federal Government subsidies for the creation of the infrastructure that would export the shale gas?

There it is. So called "conservative", anti-Federal Government, propaganda spewing, lobbyists, want to get rid of all Federal, environmental oversight of oil and gas extraction, of laws that might protect the population against the socialization of the costs of extraction (let alone toxic contamination), SO THAT THEY CAN MAXIMIZE THEIR PROFIT! That is right, the Corbett, Mitt Romney playbook that calls for the privatization of profits, and the socialization of the costs, of extraction.

On top of that, they want the Federal Government to create, and subsidize, markets for the extraction of shale gas: automotive fuel, electrical generation, and now, export to foreign markets.

All of this so that the price of shale gas will go up immensely, hurt the consumer,and therefore, create profit for the international companies, and these greedy, small minority of large landowning, non-residents, and residents.

All this at the expense of the vast majority of property owners; all this resulting in a huge industrialization of relatively pristine lands, water, and air. All of this incredible, negative, transformation of our Delaware River Basin, Catskills, and Finger Lakes region, so that these international companies, and the relatively few residents and non residents, may make a larger profit?

They must think we are fools. They certainly think they have won "the lottery".

My question is: "Are we going to sit quietly while they try to "frac" us?"

The lessors, and the industry, want

The Federal Government to make shale gas extraction profitable for them, at the expense of all investigation, and support, for renewable energy generation.

They want massive financial suport for extreme energy extraction, no matter what the social, economic, and environmental costs.

As to the gas and oil congressmen and women, here is the link:


Lawmakers urge Obama to help make nation an exporter of natural gas
By Zack Colman - 08/07/12 12:45 PM ET

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday urged the Obama administration to green-light liquefied natural-gas facility construction across the country in order to turn the nation into a natural-gas exporter.

The coalition of 10 Democrats and 34 Republicans from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas said the expansion of domestic shale gas production in other parts of the country has given the United States a need to find markets outside its own borders.

They argue that if the United States cannot export its natural gas, production in their area will actually decline for lack of a market.
“With the discovery of vast shale plays in certain parts of our country, many states and regions are now enjoying the benefits of their own natural-gas production,” the legislators wrote in a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

“This has meant large portions of the country which were previously served by our region via pipeline now have a closer commodity at hand. As such, without the ability to market to international customers, this could have a severe impact on production in our states.”

Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) spearheaded the letter. Other notable signatories included House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-Texas) and Texas Republican Reps. Ron Paul, Joe Barton and Lamar Smith.

More than 232 trillion cubic feet of recoverable liquefied natural gas exists in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, the lawmakers said, citing a 2011 Energy Department report.

The lawmakers say the Energy Department should expedite permits for the construction of plants, which they say would lead industry to green-light infrastructure projects, creating jobs. They argue the expansion of natural-gas production and its export could also help reduce the nation's trade deficit.

Exporting natural gas is more difficult in the current market than exporting crude oil. The tradeable global market is not yet big enough to center around a common price for natural gas, which causes prices to vary by region across the world.

Republicans in both the House and the Senate have pushed the administration to expand natural-gas drilling both offshore and on. They say greater access to natural gas would benefit the economy, and argue the Obama administration’s green energy policies have done little to increase growth.

Environmental groups have protested plans to export natural gas. They contend opening the pipelines for international trade would amplify air pollution and expand hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, before its full health and environmental risks are known.

Fracking injects high-pressure mixtures of sand, water and chemicals into tight rock formations to unleash natural gas. The method has been linked to contaminated drinking water and increased seismic activity.

President Obama initially disappointed environmental activists with his actions on energy, but more recently has acquiesced to their demands to slow oil-and-gas exploration. He has delayed ruling on the final piece of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would bring Canadian oil sands to Texas refineries, in part because of environmentalists' concerns. The federal government has final say over that pipeline because it crosses international borders.