Signing Off – My Last Post for EID

After fourteen months and sixteen days (roughly), I am signing off as Energy in Depth’s original Field Director tonight at midnight. Life’s journey is taking me down a slightly different path but don’t reflect on my absence from this group (or website) for too long. Instead, keep an eye out for me on the ground in Pennsylvania, as I will continue to promote this great industry from my new position with Cabot Oil & Gas. That’s right, I have decided to focus my attention and efforts, assisting Cabot Oil & Gas in Susquehanna County as well as the neighboring counties surrounding it.

Farewell, But Certainly Not Good-Bye

I had to think hard about what should be included in my final post. To be honest, I am not one for good-byes, especially since I will still be seeing everyone on a regular basis, just with a different role.  So, I decided to share the top five memories about my tenure here. Picking just five memories out of a year was hard, but I hope I have put together a worthwhile list, as each of these moments have certainly made an impact on me.  So without further delay and counting down…

5) Chip Northrup – The Man with the Chip on His Shoulder

What can I say about this guy? Chip is self-impressed and, seemingly, clueless about much of what is going on with Marcellus shale development, yet, the anti-natural gas community continues to flock to him as an expert. Why? Maybe because he used to work in the natural gas industry.  But, even this can be misleading. Chip, as was uncovered in Jim Willis’ guest post, The Ordinary Opinions of James “Chip” Northrup, never actually drilled or hydraulically fractured a well in his life:

the sum total of Chip’s many years of so-called experience in the oil and gas industry was first as a planning manager of alternative (non-oil and gas) energy, and later as an investor in oil and gas drilling operations. He never actually ran an active drilling operation. One can invest in uranium mining, but uranium investing does not make you a nuclear technology expert.

My fondest memories of Chip are him yelling at an audience member for asking a question (video 1) and after asserting there is no taxing structure in New York for oil & gas – which is a stunning oversight for someone with an MBA – mumbles before running out of the room when asked about the New York State ad valorem tax. Enjoy.

[myyoutubeplaylist BvogU9q2T7E, wxhju5ODD18]

4) The Harrisburg Rally That Wasn’t

Last year, the anti-natural gas community planned a HUGE rally on the steps leading to the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Seriously, it was hyped for months and our anti-friends anticipated a crowd in the thousands (or, so they told the world). However, after a two-hour drive from Harveys Lake, I was amazed by how small the attendance turned out to be. My write up of the event, Anti-Drilling event Fizzles like a wet firecracker, tells the whole story if your interested. For now, here are the juicy parts.

The steps leading up to the Capitol Building – which were set up for a rally with podium and speakers – were empty.  All that was there to even remotely suggest a protest was occurring was a sign written on cardboard, which said the rally had moved to the rotunda.  It was like entering a movie theater to see what was billed as Titanic to find yourself alone – very weird. Next, as the first video will show, the crowd barely filled the first flight of stairs; even though the activists present continued to tell the media the whole hall was filled. Also present at this rally were Craig and Julie Sautner, Crystal Stroud, and the infamous Josh Fox.  He was, undoubtedly filming some of this for his next feature film, I mean “documentary”, Josh pushed an analogy comparing this rally to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  This wasn’t just farfetched – it was bizarre, on the order of comparing Pee Wee Herman to George Washington.  Give the world a break, Josh, you’re no civil rights crusader.  Rather, you’re a hustler.

[myyoutubeplaylist ikXa11KebEY, tO4AHmi2rQM]

3) Bill Huston’s Meltdown

Bill Huston at Public Meeting Doing Yoga (or Something)

If you are familiar with the natural gas opposition in New York, chances are you know or have seen some of Bill Huston’s creative work.  Shale Shock Media, Bill’s pseudo media company funded by the Park Foundation through the Community Environmental Defense Council (home of the Slottjes), is responsible for much of the coverage of the anti-natural gas community. You can also see him at DEC hearings and local town board meetings doing yoga and other fascinating things on the floor as demonstrated by the pictures on right.

Anyways, after seeing Bill Huston and his antics dozens of times, everything came to a head recently at a JLCNY sponsored educational forum. As usual, the JLCNY events draw much bigger crowds then that of anti-natural gas events. After two films by natural gas supporters were shown to the audience Bill Huston, by all accounts, has a meltdown and starts disrupting the meeting. As the video will show Bill is upset at what he says are industry “propaganda” films being shown on the University of Binghamton Campus without counter material like Gasland being provided. One of the student organizers of the event, politely informs Bill all of the panelists were allowed to show films and those representing the anti-natural gas community chose not to do so.  This, of course, was not sufficient for Bill, who continued to make a scene in the lobby.

As the video will show, during Bill’s ranting he truly believes natural gas development is genocide even though the United States has a very long history of doing it safely and responsibly. The other video is of Bill humming at the podium during a DRBC meeting where people usually give testimony and Bill taking part in obstructing a similar meeting. So much for objectivity in the media.

2) Matt Ryan Visits Dimock to Offer Unneeded Aid and Is Shown the Door

This guy absolutely leaves me speechless when it comes to going over the top. The Mayor of Binghamton, as he loves being addressed, envisions himself as one powerful fellow always on the hunt for any excuse to get involved with the anti-natural gas “ban” wagon. He is responsible for pushing through a citywide ban on natural gas development in an area more than likely never to see a single gas well.  Instead, it stands today as a warning to the natural gas industry that Binghamton does not want your business, Binghamton business owners and workers have a different opinion.  Hundreds of local workers already cross the border every day to work in Pennsylvania to provide services for the natural gas industry. All this ban has done, and will continue to do, is choke an already diminishing city economy.  But, none of this compares to Matt Ryan’s decision to offer unrequested mutual aid to the town of Dimock after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection determined the water was safe to drink.

Matt Ryan wanted to use Binghamton taxpayer money and services, to deliver water to a town that already had clean water.  Why, you might ask? Because, the town of Dimock is so important to the anti-natural gas community in New York.  Absent Dimock, no activist trying to block the industry from coming to the state has any ground upon which to stand.

Of course, Dimock residents knew their water was safe and didn’t appreciate this disingenuous “help”. Resulting in numerous residents loudly telling Mayor Matt to go home, the Township Board of Supervisors saying  “no thank you” to the mutual aid. Following this,  Matt Ryan lost his cool, began yelling at the audience, and at one point implied the township’s decision would ultimately leave them vulnerable to a lawsuit from the litigants on Carter Road.  What a lack of class!  And, doesn’t this guy look pretty silly now that EPA says the water is safe?

1) Tracy; From the Mouth of a Child, A Voice of Reason in the Natural Gas Debate

This might not be exactly what you expected among my top five moments, but it was truly a special one.  It was, in fact, the most special. During a Vestal Gas Coalition informational meeting, I had the opportunity to speak with a young girl named Tracy about her science project.  This bright and charming girl made a quilt to represent Marcellus Shale natural gas development. Not only did this quilt demonstrate the numerous geologic layers of rock separating fresh water aquifers over a mile deep, it also exhibited the many protective layers of casing–something many who oppose natural gas development do not understand.

So I ask, how is it possible that someone so young can understand this, but the well-educated and very wealthy members of the Park Foundation cannot?

Signing Off

I hope you enjoyed this collection of memories from the last year. It has been a wild ride with many ups and downs. I want to thank all of the landowners and individuals I have met throughout my travels in New York and Pennsylvania. Their passion and dedication in supporting this industry is simply unquantifiable. I also want to thank my colleagues in the industry and especially at Energy in Depth for the opportunity and experience.

Comments

  1. GettheFacts says:

    The best of luck to you! You will be missed!

  2. Scott Cline says:

    Good luck Bill and thanks so much for your hard work and support through many trying times!

  3. susan dorsey says:

    we’ll miss having you around, but will see you at the picnic Bill!

  4. PaRoughneck says:

    Best of luck with the new job, Bill. Thanks for all your fine pieces of work during your time at EID. Sure glad you posted your faves, I’d completely missed Bill H’s meltdown.! That has have the best quote from the anti-gas side that I’ve ever heard-
    “This audience is not being subjected to equal time in regards to propaganda films.”
    FINALLY, he admits to just what his films are! Funny how the truth just comes out when you have a breakdown!
    Once again, best wishes on your new endeavors-I’m sure we’ll be seeing you around-probably the Cabot Picnic?

    • if not this year maybe next, I think Cabot would do well to have the picnic at Chenango Valley state Park in NY. I know it won’t happen this year… but it should be an idea they ought to look at. They would have a huge opportunity to show NY residents through their exhibitions just what we can expect from a company that has a great regard for safety and community involvement. This would also be a great way to sign up landowners for the very soon drilling activities we have been advocating for in NY

  5. GOT MILK !!!!

  6. Billy Whyde says:

    Take care Bill good luck in the new job, By the way Bill you were to easy on James “Chip” Northrup! After Bill you might in your spare time look up the name Charles Mayhem gets very interesting.

  7. Best of luck to you, my friend.

  8. BH says:

    Hey, I feel like a celebrity!

    We have a running joke about the fact that if EID bothers to do a hit-piece on someone, it means either a) they are doing good work, or b) EID *thinks* the person is important (hah, I’ve got you fooled!)

    So I guess I consider it a complement.

    Anyway,
    Good luck Bill, on your next gig.
    I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around!

    Last time I saw George Stark, was at the Broome Jobs Fair.
    I was detained and prevented from video recording by a very nice guy with a TASAR. I didn’t want to test my heart out that day, so I complied. I joked with George that in 15+ years of video recording, this was only the second time I was detained by people with guns and ordered not to record. The first time was at the First Annual Cabot PR Picnic!

    So, I told George, hats off to ya! I know you’ve got a tough job. Working PR for Cabot in Dimock, and generally trying to make “fracking” sound like a good thing has got to be a PR man’s nightmare. So hat’s off to you, Bill! You’ve got a difficult task ahead :)

    You always seem like a nice person, in person.
    That is, until you get behind your keyboard…

    PS: Yes, it’s yoga, specifically Asanayoga.
    The chanting is a form of Pranayama Yoga.

    PPS: Did you see this from The Onion?

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/fracking-industry-now-largest-employer-of-recent-p,28131/

    They say it’s satire, but I’m not so sure…

    • Bill desRosiers says:

      Bill, thank you for the words of encouragement even if they seem sarcastic. Let’s clear a few things up here, this is not a hit piece. All I tried to do was show the world what is behind the camera. After all, you claim to represent the best interests of New York, why not give them more information to decide if you are the best representative?

      Sorry to disappoint, your article doesn’t apply. I do not have any formal training or education in public relations. I have undergraduate degrees in history/law and management. I also have a master in business administration and will be starting my doctorate soon. The information I conved on this blog and anything I speak on in the future will be factual and educational. That’s it!

    • Bill Houston you gotten into events by lying and saying you were with the media and presenting your made up home made media ID… you also told people you were not taking sides when behind your camera including me…I am just here to film you said… yet your behavior once you have access is atrocious. you holler woooo hoooo and throw up a golf clap to cue your anti’s when to clap (probably because their to far gone to do so on their own) look at what you did at the university, lying and screaming the movie The Great Divide was industry funded to the crowd when it wasn’t…(caught on tape.) In the beginning Bill Houston” I had a little respect for you because like me you were standing up for your beliefs…but unlike me you were willing to lie about so may things to push your agenda. It makes me wonder just what is you all about with your chanting and saying peace to all when you have waged war with misinformation.

    • PaRoughneck says:

      I must say Bill H, it takes a special sort of person to be unashamed of the behavior you displayed in that video! Personally, I’d have been damn embarrassed to observe myself acting like a petulant child, displayed on the web for all to see.
      I do, however, admire your devotion to ensuring that equal time is given to both points of view regarding this debate, as you so often maintained, even on Open to Everyone (except pro-gassers) TV.
      I expect that, being the honorable man that you are, when ‘Gasland 2′ comes out, you will be fighting for it’s audiences right to ‘equal time in regards to propaganda films’ and demanding it be played as a double feature, right along with ‘FrackNation’!

    • Sherry says:

      Quote from BH: “We have a running joke about the fact that if EID bothers to do a hit-piece on someone, it means either a) they are doing good work, or b) EID *thinks* the person is important” –

      You’re missing c) the person has made such a public spectacle of himself, it’s just too good not to share and make other people wonder how people like you are EVER taken seriously in the first place.

      • Tom Shepstone says:

        No doubt that’s what they think. However, the joke’s on them because we are only exposing the absurd. Not everyone who opposes gas is absurd, of course, and many are friends, but many have bad ideas and we believe exposing those bad ideas to the light of day is the best disinfectant.

  9. Your dedication to drilling down to the facts is what will separate you from the pack , keep drilling! Thanks for all you do.

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