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Delaware may get gas drilling commission

July 18, 2012

A virtually unprecedented crowd of more than 75 people jostled into the tiny, sweltering Town of Delaware Town Hall on Wednesday night in the expectation of hearing some talk about a resolution passed, apparently on the spur of the moment, during the public comment period of the last regular town meeting. The resolution supports residents disposing of their mineral rights as they wish, and is viewed by many as being an open invitation to gas drilling within the town's borders.

It wasn’t specifically listed on the agenda—the council sprinted through that in less than half an hour—but when the Council Comment item was reached, town supervisor Ed Sykes announced that town residents Stephan Lundgren, his challenger in the last election, and Zeke and Ginny Boyle had come to him with a proposal to form a commission on gas drilling, similar to that formed last year in Cochecton. The commission would allow citizens on both sides of the issue to come together and discuss the pros and cons in a thoughtful way.

The proposal was a reaction to the resolution, which fracking opponents deem precipitate and ill-considered. Indeed, according to a comment made later in the evening, council member John Gain, absent on vacation Wednesday, had commented at a meeting convened earlier in the month to consider the purchase of a truck, that he regretted his "yes" vote on the resolution as having been too hasty.

Lundgren said in describing his reasons for proposing the commission, “It’s very clear that the town board meetings and the public comment period are not the best and most appropriate venue for the entire town discussing in a fair, and impartial, and thorough way such a controversial and important issue… The public comment period does not allow all the stakeholders in the town to express their thoughts and feelings on the issue.”

According to Sykes, he, council member Cindy Herbert and council member Hal Roeder (absent Wednesday on family business) would all be open to such a proposal. He had been unable to reach John Gain for comment. The fifth member, Al Steppich, said he didn’t see anything to be gained by it.

Thanks for the history lesson but,...

If the "vast MAJORITY of residents" stand to suffer from shale gas why was Ed Sykes elected over Lundgren? Could it possibly be that the real MAJORITY of VOTING RESIDENTS are solidly PRO-GAS? Do you need a 'study' to figure that out Barfy? After all we know how much reverence you hold for those academia whose intellect is far superior to us simple mortals possessing mere common sense.

The reality is, nothing, no commission, no dialog, discussion, studies, whining, crying, acts of civil disobedience, or anything else will bring these two sides to any agreement. The anti fossil fuel people like the guy in your mirror, are convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt fossil fuels of any kind will someday make our planet uninhabitable. At the same time they all use those very fuels every day and offer absolutely NO viable alternative to them. Every time someone proposes a wind farm out come the anti crowd, crying and whining, 'don't kill our trees, the bats will have no place to roost', on and on. Even that saintly enviro-lawyer Robt Kennedy, Mr. Pro-environment, had a $h*t fit when someone proposed wind turbines off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. NIMBY-ism is your cult and you are all it's blind followers.

But the thing that makes me laugh the most is your accusation that EID and others are "supplying you with talking points" ! WHO gets supplied with "talking points"?!?! Anyone around the locations shale gas is produced can see for themselves the benefits and the drawbacks from it. We can judge it for ourselves which is why the overwhelming majority support shale gas. The anti crowd however relies on skeevy low-life film makers and Hollywood whores to give them the words they spew like zombies over and over.
You claim we are nothing without energy extraction companies, we ARE energy extraction companies. Even if some of us don't actually own stock in them or sell minerals to them, over 9 million VOTING Americans work for the gas & oil industry which put over $475 BILLION into the US economy in 2010! How much has The Park Foundation or The Sierra Club contributed? The O&G industry invests tens of BILLIONS in low carbon and emerging technologies, almost half of all investments made by industry and government combined. Everyone knows fossil fuel is a limited resource and new sources of energy must come. Until they do we have to make the best use of what we have.

The only point in your post I can partly agree with is government subsidies, I don't want our government subsidizing energy companies of any kind. Let the industries stand on their own, they can afford it.

You wallow in pride from the fact you and your kind wastefully burned hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline driving to DC to gather like fools in the hot sun only to have your whining be heard by no one, not even the mainstream media thought your 'march' was news, only a few farther than left rags even made mention of it. Congratulations.

Mr. Pen Named "George Wythe"

Complained (see below) that my revealing post that quotes the Penn State (a very pro drilling school if there ever was one) study, was a "rule" breaker because it had no relation to the Delaware Commission story, that he could see. I disagree, of course, but his position is clearly baseless, since he posted a trifling attempt to mock the march held in D.C., which was against shale gas extraction, first. THAT had absolutely nothing to do with the article in TRR, so why would he object to something posted in response to his first irrelevant post?

Of course, it is relevant to the issue in Delaware Township, as it is across the entire spectrum where shale gas extraction is occurring. The small minority of residents have potential to prosper, at the expense of the vast minority of residents, and many of those who might prosper are non-residents. That is disgraceful, shameful, and it scares the hell out of the people who do not want this truth to emerge, or to be taken seriously. That is why they don't want to see that information posted.

As to property rights, and legality, as David Mamet would say, "things change". What is legal one day (slavery for example), is not the next (thank God to all but Mr. Wythe?).

His legal property rights concept considered human beings as "private property". Corbett wants PA to be another Texas, but, Texas joined the U.S. to get away from Mexico, who wanted to abolish slavery in Texas, and then, Texas seceded from the U.S. about 15 years later because it wanted to protect it's "private property" slaves. Isn't Texas sweet? What a place to idolize!

What is illegal one day (the right of women to vote), is legal the next (thank God to all but Mr. Wythe?).

That is part of the issue that all but the Mr. Wythe's of the world are trying to come to grips with.

What should the future hold? What should be legal? What is harmful and destructive? Mr. Wythe would have us deal with everything else but the real questions.

As far as lying, what we see is the likes of you, the pro shale gas extraction crowd, lying through their teeth, just like the tobacco industries, and so many other extraction industries, before. Your referrence to "industry blowing the whistle", stands truth on it's head, straight from your playbook.

As for your Vote4Energy rally in Richford, NY, that is exactly as I thought! How can your feeble mind compare a rally held in the middle of "lessor land", or "JCLNY world", between Ithaca and Binghamton, where the lessors who have been paid to lease their land, and who hope to gain royalties from extraction (they have been paid for goodness sake), to a rally in Washington, D.C., which asked people to travel a minimum of five hours by bus, and who not only have been paid nothing, but who have had to pay to get there, and back!?

Mr. "Wythe", you, and your type, are nothing without Energy in Depth, or The Marcellus Shale Coalition, or IOGA, or the energy extraction companies, supplying you with talking points.

You are for the ignorant, distruction, of the planet as we know it. Contrary to your propaganda, you are the flat earth, "owning slaves" is moral, burn (independent thinking) women as "witches", let's stay in the 19th century (worse, extreme energy), extraction and burning technological societal structure.

Those of us who do not want our government to subsidize, and change, the coal based electrical generation infrastructure to a shale gas generated infrastructure (at a projected cost of a minimum of 700 billion dollars), but, rather, want our government, and private industry, to create an infrastructure that is based upon renewable energy electrical generation; we are the future.

You represent the death of our natural Earth, the creation of God. You should all just pass "Go", and proceed on to some dark place, created by your lack of imagination, your mentally ill, greed, your lack of will, and, most importantly, your lack of common decency.

Be "raptured", and let those who remain, attempt to restore the Earth.


The second paragraph:

"The small minority of residents have potential to prosper, at the expense of the vast MAJORITY of residents", is how the sentence should read.

A Commission ?

What would a commission do? Attempt to create yet another reason for delaying the inevitable? It is and has been more than obvious those on both sides of this issue are not going to change their views. Nothing new will suddenly surface. It is accurate to state hydraulic fracturing has been unlocking shale gas reserves for over a dozen years with Hydraulic Fracturing itself used for over 60 years in vertical wells. The anti side, or "visionaries" argument is based solely on assumptions and fears brought about by activists pushing their 'green' agenda. If those people would put their efforts into the efficient development of green technologies so as to make them competitive instead of attempting to derail fossil fuel they might prevail. Today, there is no green energy that can compete economically with shale gas, it owes it's very existence to government subsidies and mandates more than anything. For this reason these activists are desperate to discredit shale gas and vilify fossil fuel energy companies.

The pro gas people, who are mostly realists, won't want to waste their time on a farcical commission. Unlike the pro side, the anti's argument lacks substantiated facts, a commission will most likely be dominated by the anti side. This will suggest the majority is against shale gas, which of course will be headline news for all the liberal rags even though in truth it is not.

Just as it was in Callicoon, Lundgren and his anti-drilling mantra ran against Sykes and was soundly defeated. No matter how many wailing mothers beg for their babies lives or threaten to move away, or how many bring their friends and relatives in from other places to pack town meetings, the majority of voters know the truth and are in favor of shale gas drilling.

Shale gas is harvested in over 30 states including by our neighbors in PA. If the claims of paradise lost and horrific health issues were in fact true, why aren't they common in these places? Why do people like the DEC's Mr, Martens, a life long champion of the environment, believe shale gas can be safely harvested using HVHF? While accidents will and do happen, as they do in every activity in which humans participate, they are rare and manageable.

To deny a landowner the right to harvest his minerals based solely on the fear of what might happen, is wrong and will always be wrong. Whats right has prevailed and will continue to prevail.

The Noel Van Swols of the World

Civil dialog?

I'm happy to see TRR quote Van Swol. It is he, and his colleagues, such as the Shepstones of Energy In Depth, who reduce the discussion concerning shale gas extraction to such a minimal, personal, divisive, farce.

Those who oppose shale gas extraction, especially in the Delaware River Basin, the Catskills, Pennsylvania, and New York, are "trust fund babies"?

I don't see how his lessor colleagues can see the pathetic "taxi to the toilet" level of his words, if they continue to swim in the same septic tank of delulsion, and self interest.

A quick question to Mr. Van Swol: "How many lessors of large properties in Sullivan, Delaware, and Wayne Counties have inherited their land, from mommy and daddy, and they, from their mommy and daddy, and they, from their mommy and daddy"? How many of their opposition have paid for their land, and houses, with money earned from our own labor?"

Yet, we are accused of being "trust fund babies"?

Van Swol, Shepstone, and their colleagues, beat a horse that never lived, let alone is dead.

They are creating outrage by their behavior, and their denial. Soon, even the industry will be forced to deny them, if the industry is to maintain even a shred of "plausible deniability".

I don't think either the industry, or the lessors, are capable of an ounce of true, self examination.

They will end up like big tobacco companies, hopefully before another 46 mile, Manhattan size, chunk of ice breaks off of Greenland.

They keep digging their own, and our, graves, ever more deeply, as they desperately push to maintain the status quo, fossil fuel burning energy, from ever extreme sources, and locations.

How does a phoenix of "civil discussion", arise from such ashes?

The mythological Phoenix (fire bird) has a life cycle of between 500 and 1,000 years. It seems the United States will experience a much shorter one, and might take down most of the rest of the world with us.

Mr. Van Swol, and Mr. Shepstone, along with E.I.D. and M.S.C., are not visionaries, to say the least.

Our Earth, and the United States, need leadership, not Exxon, Hess, BP, or Shell.

Let's go down to D.C. on the 28th, and let our Congress, President, and Supreme Court, know that is what we need.

How as DC?

Quite the "rally"

By my count

There were at least 1,000 people at the rally, by 1:45, which is when I arrived in front of the Capitol. I was standing behind the stage, evaluating that very question. By the time the march started, around 3:30, there were quite a few more, as buses kept arriving. Some say 2,000 to 5,000, but I say more like 1,500 to 2,000 by march time.

Considering the distance that we traveled, by bus, whether from Pittsburgh, NYC, Liberty, to name just a few, and those who came to speak from Colorado, Texas, Pittsburgh etc...considering the sun was relentless, it was in the mid 90's in the shade (where most of the people were standing/sitting off to either side at the rally, or, they were looking for water), considering it was Saturday, July 28 (who organized this event date?), considering that I was in NYC that day to start, and the day was a 20 hour day for me, and others spent another 2 to 5 hours getting there, depending on where they left from, considering the fierce energy of the march, the signage people made themselves, and brought to the march, along with the in your face "don't frac with me" stance, the question really is:

"How lonely are you, lessor man"?

Where is your rally? Really? What is your motivation except, money, money, money and at what cost to everyone but you?

This is just the beginning of the beginning for the sense of "national" outrage. It is the first march called at the most inhospitable time of year. We all paid for our bus, train fares.

We didn't have Hess or Newfield providing free buses as to West Trenton, for you lessor types, back in 2010, and that was the one and only rally you lessors attended, in numbers, that was anywhere outside your back yard. And, even though the fare was paid for by Hess/Newfield, how many did you manage to bring, 100 to 150, while we brought 600, and we paid our own way?

As much as I hated giving 20 hours of my Saturday time, along with bus money and preparation time, as did the thousand others, in that heat. As awful as it was, it was just the beginning, and it was worth it.

People had to have been very dedicated to have made that journey, and we were certainly not lonely.

Whereas, you lessor people have to be paid to attend a rally, and even when you barely leave your back yard, you raise hardly a hundred.

Keep LOL'ing, lessor man.

An actual honest statement from Barfy!

About 1500 is the figure I heard, which was quoted from DC Police, and from looking at the pictures I think that is probably accurate. Of course certain sources claim 5000 but that is just another exaggeration not unlike the breast cancer rates, polluted aquifers, mutant cattle, on and on blah blah blah.

Could it be the low turnout has something to do with people starting to realize Fox and his cronies are nothing more than cheap lying filmakers looking to scoff a buck? Now that the US EPA has given Dimock water it's official OKey-dokey, more people are seeing for themselves areas with gas wells aren't polluted, industrialized or even remotely unlivable, the US government as well as many state agencies, not to mention countless business entities, are touting shale gas as an economic blessing realized from local to national levels which can be safely utilized despite what certain 'economic PHD's' claim, and now even the AP says Fox is full of bull, could it be 1500 was a true representation of how small the 'anti' numbers really are?

Our recent Rally4Energy saw three times the turnout your DC trip drew and the weather wasn't exactly pleasant that day either. Keep making up excuses Alonso Quijano, we don't believe you anyway.

The lesser/lessor, arrogant, man, revels in his minority control

Dear anonymous, lesser/lessor, "man",

Where, and when, was your "rally" held? The Honesdale pig roast, hosted by Hess/Newfield probably got 1,500 free loading NWPOA members to attend last year. Who doesn't like a local, free, party?

Rather, here is a true reflection of your pitiful, idol worshipping, minority:

Study Examines Ownership, Control of Land with Marcellus Shale Gas


The study was done by Penn State’s Center For Economic and Community Development
July 18, 2012
Note: A similar study, with similar results, was done earlier by DCS for Damascus Township, PA.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ownership of the land in Pennsylvania counties with the most Marcellus Shale natural-gas drilling activity is concentrated among relatively few residents and people living outside the counties, according to a study by researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

The majority of residents in these counties together own little of the total land area and, therefore, have relatively little “voice” in the critical leasing decisions that affect whether and how Marcellus Shale drilling will occur in the counties, noted the lead investigator Timothy Kelsey, professor of agricultural economics.

Together, half of the resident landowners in these counties control only about 1 percent of the land area, and renters have no “voice” at all, the study suggests. Rather it is the top 10 percent of resident landowners, plus outside landowners (both public and private), who are able to make the major leasing decisions that affect communities.

“In some counties, such as Sullivan, Tioga and Lycoming, nonresidents have more voice about what occurs than do county residents, because more than half of the land is owned by those outside the county,” Kelsey said.

“Our analysis indicates that a majority of lease and royalty income from Marcellus Shale development will go to a relatively small share of the resident population in these counties, with much of the remainder going to others outside the counties.”

The study, “Marcellus Shale: Land Ownership, Local Voice, and the Distribution of Lease and Royalty Dollars,” was done by Penn State’s Center For Economic and Community Development , which is housed in the College of the Agricultural Sciences.

Co-authored by Alex Metcalf, a post-doctoral scholar in forest resources, and Rodrigo Salcedo, a doctoral candidate in agricultural, environmental, and regional economics, Penn State researchers felt it was important to look at the ownership of the land within 11 Pennsylvania counties with Marcellus natural-gas development activity because land ownership determines who has a voice in decisions about the activity and for the distribution of lease and royalty dollars, Kelsey explained.

“Much of the public debate about Marcellus Shale development revolves around differing views of fairness and equity,” he said. “These discussions often focus on the environmental, health, and other risks, the proper role for local government regulation and oversight of industry activities, and the ability of individual owners to use their resources as they believe is appropriate.”

The study was not intended to evaluate or make judgments about Act 13 of 2012 — the state law that allows counties to decide whether to allow Marcellus drilling and to impose an impact fee on wells — or the current distribution of control and income, Kelsey stressed.

“Rather, we believe that understanding land-ownership patterns helps to clarify the economic implications of Marcellus Shale development and the context for the concerns some are expressing about the need for more local government control over that development.” he said.

To examine likely mineral-rights ownership, researchers collected publicly available geographic information system, or GIS, landownership data from 11 county planning offices. Counties included in the study are Bradford, Butler, Clearfield, Fayette, Greene, Lycoming, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Westmoreland and Wyoming.

The 11 counties include nine of the top 10 Marcellus counties in Pennsylvania; the sole missing top-10 county was Susquehanna, for which GIS information was unavailable. Together, the 11 counties account for 79 percent of all Pennsylvania Marcellus wells through 2011.

Because surface land owners in Pennsylvania do not necessarily own the mineral rights under their land, and because up to a fifth of the land in the counties in question is publicly owned (state forest and state game lands), researchers supplemented the GIS data with U.S. Census data, mailing address records and physical inspections of property records.

The county resident land ownership included a mix of individuals, families, local businesses, farmers, hunting camps, land trusts and others.

Kelsey said the research is important because it documents that many of the residents in the counties with much drilling activity don’t have a voice in Marcellus development, despite having to deal with considerable disruption and change in their communities.

“They are encountering rising rents and housing prices, housing shortages, significant increases in traffic and road congestion, changing demands for local government services, increased conflict, concerns about environmental consequences, student turnover in public schools, and changes in the landscape,” he said.

“The decisions by nonresident owners and by the relatively small share of residents who own the majority of land thus can have profound implications for the quality of life for everyone else in the community.”

I suggest that the anonymous, non-resident, lesser/lessor man, who calls himself Wythe, tread lightly, while in his wildly minority, status.

I also add, that I always strive to speak the truth, something the lesser/lessor man, and his EID mommies and daddies, would do well to learn from.

So, anonymous, lesser, man,

Tell us, who sponsored your "rally4energy", how many pigs were you fed that day, where was the location, was it in JLCNY land?

Did you lessors have to simply roll out of your bed to get to the party (sorry, I forgot, you only own land, you are a non resident "property owner")?

I will also ask, how does an adult write "LOL", and "Barfy"?

Are you a sixty-eight year old man who left high school in sophmore year?

Who are the juveniles that you are trying to impress?

Have a nice week.

Well I'll tell ya Barfy,...

... that's pretty much how the USA works. Private land ownership gives the owner the say in it's use, within the law of course. You see when all lands are owned by all the people and controlled by their government we call that communism, which is something Americans have a real dis-taste for and have been fighting for decades, surely even you have heard of the "cold war"? I don't think your post referring to Penn States study really relates to your DC 'rally' or Delawares 'commission'.

All people have the right to speak their opinions but that doesn't mean anyone has to listen, even town councils.
Politicians from the lowest levels of government to the POTUS depend on votes to get or keep their job. So in fact, they owe their job to their constituents and should reflect the views of the majority of those people. The actions of late by the local councils in Delaware, Fremont and Hancock accurately reflect the wishes of the voting residents who elected them. Their numbers were officially counted by their respective county boards of elections. Phony-baloney letters flooding local newspapers or even the Governors office won't change that, and shouldn't.

What we are seeing today is the anti crowd scrambling like the Third Reich in 1944 for their very existence. The truth about their lies, yours and your handlers, the NYRADs, the Park Foundations, Fox and cronies, is coming to light. It's not just the industry blowing the whistle anymore, it's agencies like the US EPA and organizations like the Associated Press, even NPR is accepting support from ANGA and running stories touting the benefits of shale gas. NYRAD is pulling at whatever straws they can think of to hang on, now they're actually sending letters to Cuomo's top 1,000 political donors begging them to withhold support unless he bans HVHF! Talk about desperate!

By the way, my mistake, it was called the Vote4Energy Rally, it was held on July 15 at the Broome Tioga Sports Center in Richford, NY. Despite pouring rain thousands came and enjoyed the day. Senator Tom Libous and Assemblyman Cliff Crouch gave rousing speeches, food was served, there was a tractor parade, businesses from energy companies to wineries had booths set up, even a fireworks display at the end. If you'd like to attend the next one, or the one after that, here's a link buddy, hope to see you there!

August 15, 2012 | Vote4Energy Event in conjunction with the Little League World Series
Williamsport, PA | 6:00 PM ET

September 18, 2012 | Vote4Energy Educational Event at the Capitol Steps
Pennsylvania State Capitol, Harrisburg, PA

Or to find a rally near you visit the events page at Vote4Energy.org

Having just read the AlterNet account

Which gives the highest figure of 5,000, I should say that I have no way to evaluate the number of marchers. I could see the stage and surrounding lawn, along with those participants of the rally in the shade on three sides of the lawn, and 1,000 plus at the rally is a conservative estimate, to say the least. Since the rally went on for about two plus hours, I don't know how many were over at the museums, looking for water, bathrooms etc, or dispersed in otherways, until the march at 3:30. It was brutally hot, and the organizers ran out of water, early.

The march extended for a large number of long blocks, and I was at the back, so I have to leave that estimate for others who had a better view.