‘Truthland’ Helps the Rational Middle Understand Natural Gas Development

I had the opportunity to see the film “Truthland” when it was shown at the Hilton Hotel in Scranton.  It was a good, solid presentation of facts and I especially enjoyed seeing it through Shelly’s eyes.  It gave a down to earth look at the issues.

I had to speak up during the panel discussion.

Most people in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania know me.  I spent 40 years in broadcasting, from radio to TV, serving as reporter, anchor and news director for the local ABC and CBS stations.  I retired from TV news and now work in marketing for SCE Environmental Services in Lake Ariel, PA.

I got to tell you, all of you who are in the midst of the natural gas boom, thatyou are and will continue to be part of the “media feeding frenzy.”  TheMarcellus and Utica regions will continue to generate news.  The energycompanies will be under the microscope and reporters and cameras will at times be as common as a water truck.

In some cases, the focus of the story will be sensationalism.  Can youimagine a reporter, a filmmaker, a documentary crew hearing that you can settap water on fire?  Wow what video!

I used to hear a boss, reprimanding young reporters shout “disregard the facts, full speed ahead!”  You are going to run into that a lot.  And you MUST be careful you aren’t spoon fed a bunch of lies.

Thats why I liked “Truthland.”  Shelly’s premise was don’t just take what you hear, check it out!  It reminded me of what President Ronald Reagan used to say “trust, but verify!”  If you saw “Gasland” you need to see “Truthland”  if you hear something that raises questions in your mind, you need to get answers and there are lots of places and resources to get information.

During the panel discussion in Scranton, I spoke up.  I have lived in this areamy whole life (60 years now shhh!) I am the grandson of coalminers. I have seen the economic erosion of my hometown, I have seen the migration out of our area of our kids because there was no opportunity to keep them here.

I have served on boards, commissions, and blue ribbon panels to keep and lure industry here.  Now energy creates jobs, opportunity and a future. Sometimes I think we are so used to disappointment that we look forreasons to be cynical.

C’mon, natural gas has arrived. Trust but verify!  Look for ways to betterunderstand what’s happening and guard yourself against the sensationalism that will tell you that because of fracking the world as we know it is about to end!

I got to tell you, the company I work for does a lot of work in theMarcellus fields.  We are checked, rechecked and triple checked for safetyrecords, training and integrity.  Thats why so many companies call on us.The energy companies we work with have very, very high and demanding standards. So do we. I live here too, my 8 kids live here, my 12 grandkids live here, I want to see the natural gas industry thrive, create opportunity and I want to do a good job that protects the environment.

If you were at the Scranton showing of “Truthland” you heard me say, “this is our time, this is our opportunity, we must stand together and protect it.”  Igot a round of applause. Now lets stand together, and “trust, but verify.”

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Frank Andrews is the Client Manager for The SCE Environmental Group in Lake Ariel, a full service contractor.  He had worked as anchor/reporter and News Director for WNEP-TV and WYOU-TV and also worked for CBS Radio in Philadelphia.

Comments

  1. Frank, I was late to the screening because the company I work for, a tourist attraction, is threatened by the company you work for, which industrializes the landscape and makes our wilds less likely to attract tourists who want to enjoy the rural character of our region. Our forests and rivers will never run out of tourists as yours will run out of gas, will never shut down operations because of a low price of scenery, and will never bust, leaving our homes and towns undesireable. Our region will forever reward its caretakers, as long as we remain caretakers. As I fight the proposed Tennessee Pipeline route through Milford that will either cross scenic Cummins Hill Road with an above ground portion adjoining the habitat of our bald eagles’ nest or through our national park, I’m glad you no longer work as a reporter at WNEP. Your support for this industry illustrates clearly that you are not an ally to me or the Poconos.

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      So Bethel Woods is threatened by natural gas development? What nonsense. How are the farms you pass on your way to work supposed to stay in business, Alex? Who pays their taxes? Are they supposed to do it by becoming summer season ticket collectors at Bethel Woods? Your compassion is highly selective and designed to complement your ideology and massage your ego. Also, I notice you are resorting, in this particular post, to the tactics employed by so many of your allies – assertions unsupported by any facts whatsoever.

    • Alex, Tourism is your business and frankly how do you support you claims? People travel everywhere rural, urban, developed cities . A pipeline is not going to disturb your business or a bald eagle which may even nest in a tower built by man. Those who think they are stewards of the earth in my opinion have rather big heads with little inside.

    • Victor Furman says:

      Alex…being late to any meeting seems to be the norm or plan for the anti gas crowd. Perhaps a disruptive entrance such as often done by Bill Houston when he is often late and starts setting up his camera apparatus disrupting speakers at town boards is part of your civil disobedience training that being said…..

      Your lies and they are lies, that we will strip our forest, pollute our waterways and our rural landscape will not appeal to tourist is nothing more then a weak argument against drilling designed to scare old folks and people who like to be scared. I don’t know you Alex you may be the nicest person in the world but you use the gas industry as your bullet point against fossil fuels without offering up a viable solution or alternative to a low cost alternative to coal which you are also against. HOWEVER both gas and coal are used by you on a daily basis and you can’t live without either… saying you can is just another lie.
      I get a kick out of people who buy a prius thinking they are helping the earth, plugging their car in at night believing that the electricity comes from a windmill…. what a joke, much like your comments above…. Alex now that Duke University has come out and stated “if you want to stop global warming we must act now to get off of coal and switch to natural gas” are you still touting Duke like you did with the Cornell University’s non peer reviewed Howarth study now fully debunked as BS, bought by the park foundation?
      http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/April11/GasDrillingDirtier.html
      Seems like you anti’s change hero’s as often as you change your socks. your numbers are Bull and dropping like water over a gorge… Pun intended!
      Hey where are last years hero’s now that the water in Dimock was tested at their request by the EPA and NO FRACK FLUID CHEMICALS WERE DETECTED IN ALL 61 WELLS TESTED. ask and you will receive
      Enough time spent on you Alex… I have better things to do then talk to somebody pet rock… wether you know it or not you are just that

      Vic Furman

  2. In case it escaped Alex’s notice, all of us, whether for or against energy development drink the water and breathe the air. Those of us who see energy development, properly regulated, deemed safe by government agencies, as a positive economic engine also share concerns for our air, water, and environment for the generations ahead. At the same time, we rationally balance risk v. reward. There are no risk free human activities, even sitting at home can lead to accident or sedentary risks. If we were to follow the extreme environmentalists’ vision, human activity would be severely curtailed.

    Henry Kramer

  3. Natural gas suppliers pay five times more in state and local taxes on a job-level basis compared to the average U.S. company. These taxes help fund essential community necessities such as education, health care and public safety operations.

    Local tax contributions from the natural gas industry are the primary source of revenue for most school districts. Roughly 75 percent of each independent school district in Texas benefits from an average of $1.35 million each year in property taxes collected from natural gas producers.

    Natural gas production is responsible for the immense economic growth more recently achieved in South Texas. According to the San Antonio Express News, city sales tax figures are up 20 percent compared to the previous year. This stark increase is largely due to the Eagle Ford Shale activity. Production from this valuable shale formation is enabling San Antonio city officials to re-invest capital gains into the development of roads, bridges, and is increasing county salaries.

    Despite the economic benefits that unconventional oil and natural gas productions have provided these communities, adversity in the form of increased regulations and litigation costs threaten continued growth. Nevertheless, the shale boom, in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing, has and will continue to provide more favorable living conditions for communities that embrace this technology.

    TAP Management and other domestic energy suppliers are anticipating a more favorable, long-term energy solution that will provide Americans with more affordable energy and create thousands of jobs. A realistic approach to our growing energy demands, combined with a shared vision from our political officials, will make the United States one step closer to achieving energy independence.

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