Why I Support Natural Gas Development in My Township

A Washington County, Pennsylvania homeowner from one of the townships represented by Attorney John Smith offers her views on what’s going on and has a few things to say about Representative Jesse White as well.

My name is Janice Gibbs. I was born and raised in Cecil Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania and have raised my family approximately a mile from where I grew up and a stone’s throw from my grandparents farm. Both of my grandparents were farmers and because of my father’s love of growing vegetables to feed the family, and hundreds of daffodils and blue spruce trees, I also grew up loving the land. Now we have a fifth generation growing up in Cecil Township – my granddaughter.

A day spent in the outdoors enjoying what nature gives us is never a day wasted. I feel this is important because I don’t want people to think because I support natural gas development, I don’t care about the environment. I do. And, second, I have no gas lease so, with me, money is not involved.  For me it is what’s best for our township, county, state and most of all for our country to become energy independent. This doesn’t mean I don’t want responsible development.  That has to be at the top of the list, in fact. If by any chance the industry causes any damage they need to make things right and, based on what I see, I feel they will.

imagesWhen I started to learn about hydraulic fracturing and natural gas development in our area, it had to do with the compressor station they wanted to build on Route 980 a short distance from my present home. At first, I was a little skeptical. I didn’t know much about the natural gas industry or hydraulic fracturing and what affects it might have on the environment. I started to attend township meetings in 2011 and began my research about the industry. I read many articles concerning both sides of the issue.

My first contact with Range Resources was February 9, 2011 when they attended a Cecil Township (see map to right) meeting where the township proposed changing the classification of this activity from a permitted use to a conditional use in their ordinance.  There were a few back and forth changes between the Range Resources representative and the chairman of the board of supervisors, with nothing resolved.

After that meeting, Range Resources returned several times and at each meeting there was a different list of items the township didn’t like about their proposals. Month after month, the delays regarding the ordinance continued.  It was finally made a conditional use in September, 2011, and then the talks with Range Resources broke down. Watching this go down, I noticed several of our supervisors and their solicitor had no intention to compromise.  It was their way or no way. The compressor station project on Route 980 has ended up in the court system.

Along came Act 13 and I believed that this would be a good thing for the gas industry to have a level playing field instead of different laws from township to township.  However, with the help of Attorney John Smith and a few of our supervisors, our township is now suing the state. About this time is when I heard our Representative Jesse White state “I’m for drilling. I am for jobs” but I have yet to find one article that he has written that supports this comment.

Cecil township is now at a stand still with natural gas development on hold and lease holders who just want to sell what they own, their natural gas rights, waiting. Our neighboring township of Robinson, which Range has also asked for permits to be approved is now getting the same runaround and delay after delay.

You have to ask yourself why are Cecil and Robinson delaying development when townships like Chartiers are going full steam ahead? What is the common link?  Could be the their shared solicitor? Could it be some supervisors who are just not thrilled with the industry and have personal agendas to stop it?  What you hear from these parties is “we have never denied a permit” but you can bet they are making it as difficult as possible. Also, click on this link to see how Rep. Jesse White commented on an article when a group of citizens had a meeting to discuss issues in there township and see who is dividing the community.  It seems he doesn’t like public input from constituents like me.

Comments

  1. Donald Roessler says:

    Jesse White needs to get over his own personal agenda against Range Resources and using it to prevent those who want the drilling to have it. I posted an article to his Facebook page a while back from EID about the junkyard and it was removed. I posted it again and it was removed again. When I tried to post it the third time I found that I had been banned from posting. I thought I was the only one who this happened to until I started to hear from other people that it happened to them. Then when he was confronted about it he called us all “trolls” and denied doing it. I take serious offense my myself to that comment and consider his actions to be censorship. He claims that it is his personal page but yet he uses it as a State Represenative page to spread word on government issues. His personal page should be used for personal contact contact from his friends and family like I use mine for not for a place for censored public opinion on an issue that is very important to all of us because this could mean energy independance for all of us.

  2. As a Moderate, long time political activist, and long time worker in the Oil & Gas Business, I take umbrage on anyone who badmouths Jesse White, and by the way Jesse is not My Rep in Harrisburg. Way to many so called “advocates” posting here and on other blogs are very anti E&P Companies and sell “information” to beat the company. Remember Jesse’s fight against the Bucks County Drilling Moratorium? I do!!! I have communicated with Jesse about jobs for Pennsylvanians, but every time he comments on the plethora of illegals in our business, you all get your panties in a twist. I have been doing this for about 35 years and there is a very “ugly underbelly” in the employee ranks in Gas & Oil, at least if you are so anti Moderate & Progressive. Our industry cannot fill the ranks with white workers, so we rely on minorities, who outwork these whites, who cannot pass a drug test or even want to try. There is a saying on the Gulf Coast from both Inspection & Construction Companies stating that when a all white crew is onsite they pucker up. When a mixed crew or a brown/black crew the companies know they will get quality work. Yep, a lot of illegals are being used by the vendors and have been for many years. “2 things” come to mind! First there is a company whose president I have met with who uses nothing but illegals becasue they work long hours, work well, and work cheap. This company, to be unnamed has even worked in Washington County. Secondly, we all see the Mexican Roofing & Siding Crews working cheaply and taking work off of you and/or your neighbor. Why do you persist in using them, does it make you feel a little bit bold or naughty knowing that illegals are working on your house? I have 1st hand experience here with that around Westmoreland County. My daughter was dating one and secondly, they have taken over the by the hour motel, 3 mobile home parks, almost all of the cheap rental stock (living 10 to a unit), were an unseen cause for the local strip club shuting down by promoting prostitution & drug use (that was a great event for the community by the way), and a couple of pubs in the area.
    All typos are owned by me and I fully accept them and my viewpoint.
    A healthy 2 sided debate is needed, something that seems to be lost.
    Go kick some more BUTT, Jesse.

    • I am part Hispanic, but don’t think that illegal aliens should be hired. They should be able to get a green card to work though, if they have special skills that are needed, or at jobs others won’t do. We need to cut our welfare state down to get some people to work also. Have you been unable to get immigration laws enforced? Sounds like you need a new sheriff.

      • Spot on Ron,
        A few are incarcerated for drugs and even murder now, but all of the local cops know them & refer to them as undocumeted workers and I hear ICE makes an occasional pass, but to the best of my knowledge, noone has been deported in the last couple of years.

  3. Richard Latker says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    Although I oppose Act 13 for some of the same reasons that you support it — particularly the unprecedented exemption the industry was granted from local regulation — I think you can count on great deal of fracking and all the associated economic benefits in Washington County, PA whether or not Act 13 survives into the future (which I doubt).

    You guys are setting many precedents. You’ve got some serious money flowing into the area to support some very sophisticated extraction operations. There appears to be some real competition in the industry, too, with room for smaller players. That’s how the free market spreads wealth. Washington Co, which has been a resource extraction area for more than two centuries, is the kind of place the industry can put its best foot forward and earn, rather than purchase, political influence.

    But in my view, Act 13 is a classic over-reach. It forfeits too much control to the industry at the direct expense of the townships. It weakens the townships’ negotiating position to near irrelevance, and hobbles county government as well. Even in Texas and Oklahoma, the townships don’t cede nearly as much control to the state. Challenging it is very much in the long-term interests of Washington County.

    You and those in your community should be getting the best possible deal from the industry that you can. You should expect new and rehabilitated infrastructure, land reclamation works, school tax relief and other significant investments that improve the quality of life in the county. Within reason, you should expect local contractors to have certain advantages, so more spending power stays in the area. If you have no power to negotiate with the industry, you won’t get much of this.

    You should also have the right to assess impact fees in relation to your true market strength, and set your community spending expectations accordingly. Thus far, your gas seems to be easier and cheaper to extract than it is in other parts of the state. Your region has many active wells. Act 13 forces you to squander that advantage. As it stands you have no control over revenues or permitting, and the frackers can sidestep your township — the only place you as an individual has direct influence over policy — and instead deal with some state bureaucrat in Harrisburg.

    I find growing unease with Act 13 among libertarian-minded Republicans as well as the Dems, and that includes at least a few landowners with successful gas leases. The law may not survive the next legislature and even if it does, it may not survive a constitutional challenge, which some hope will be sponsored by the new attorney general.

    If Act 13 is not modified or extinguished, either through the legislature or the courts, the logjam in Harrisburg will eventually impenetrable, not least because the law failed to account for the liability issues with any clarity. Those liabilities will ultimately rest with state, which must account for any permitting decision that is challenged. Act 13 must ultimately lead to many lawsuits brought against the state.

  4. Donald Roessler says:

    I could care less about Act 13 and what Jesse White did in the past. I don’t like the way he is being disrespectful to people with his comments on this issue.

  5. Paul Roden says:

    I think everybody is getting seduced by all the money to be made from fracking and are not looking at the long term effects of fracking. Where is all the waste water going to be stored forever and how much will that cost? How will you clean up any accident, leak or spill? Where is all of this water going to come from and what happens in a drought? If this gas is needed for our energy independence, why does the industry want to build or converty 19 terminals at seaports to export? Who is going to inspect these well casings in drilling, operation and final plug and closure? How much is that going to cost for eternity? If these fracking chemicals are so safe, why are the gas drillers exempt with complying with Federal environmental laws and the names of some of the chemicals classified as “proprietary”? No, the safest and most cost effective path that is sustainable for future generations is a conversion to a combination of conservation, energy efficiency, mass transit, bio mass fuels, solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, hydrogen and hydroelectric. Jacobson and Delucchi have developed such a plan outlined in their Nov. 2009 Scientific American and updated in their two articles in Energy Policy. How did the Germans develop the political will as they call it to convert their economy to renewable energy by 2022 and shut down their nukes? They will be at 80% renewable energy by 2016 and shut down their nukes by 2022. If the Germans can do this, we can do this. Fracking and nuclear power are too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. Our water supply is too much to risk and sacrifice for the profits of a few for 100 years.

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      You keep bringing up that German example but the truth is that German is cutting solar subsidies and building coal plants. The whole renewables plan you describe has been a failure and is quietly being abandoned. Look at what they’re doing.

    • Donald Roessler says:

      Paul the industry is using teatment and recycling of the frac water used in the process. See the website below:
      http://www.aquatech.com/

      • Richard Latker says:

        I apologise for my pessimism, but I can’t agree that Germany (or the US) has the ability to convert to 80% renewals any time soon.

        Wind and solar efficiencies still drop off at relatively low volumes. There’s a limit to how much these technologies can feed the grid, especially if you expect them to do it profitably. To produce steel & cars and to refine large volumes of hydrocarbons into plastics and fuels, you need still coal or nuclear energy. There’s precious little dam/hydroelectric left for Americans to tap, and tidal energy demands massive govt-backed investments and huge public construction projects that could never pass Congress. Biofuels are horrifyingly inefficient at larger scales, once you account for the energy costs involved in producing them. In supplemental quantities, they are useful for auto emission control and a few other applications, but they will not be generating municipal levels of power except at very high cost.

        Fossil fuel consumption is an insurmountable certainty for many decades to come. That will remain true even when energy prices soar, because no other portable fuel source provides the energy density and energy volumes of fossil hydrocarbons.

        It’s tempting to believe that the energy industry conspires and lobbies to keep renewals out the equation, and maybe that happens, but our utter reliance on fossil fuels is really a matter of thermodynamics and the laws of physics. As long as we have extractable supply, fossil fuels provide the most available energy at the lowest cost. No government policy can overcome this advantage unless it taxes carbon — fuel, emissions, or both — heavily. But that’s unlikely, too. Politically speaking, taxing carbon is akin to taxing oxygen.

        Thus far, nuclear is the only globally available substitute for fossil fuels capable of producing industrial quantities of energy. It is not that useful for producing liquid fuel, but nuclear can efficiently produce ample quantities of hydrogen, a low-density energy carrier that could solve a lot of local emission problems. But for the foreseeable future, most hydrogen will be made from natural gas, not water, because it requires much less energy to do so.

        • fred jones says:

          Richard, your “pessimism” is fully warranted my friend and 80% is a lofty goal, but lofty goals are what drives the desire in mankind. Anytime “soon” is an open opinion too. Right now, Germany is producing an amazing 10% of it’s energy from renewals, 10%! A few years ago, that number would have seemed outlandish, so never say never. Now….80% is a bit. Would 30% or more seem unreachable by 2030? It all depends. And renewals need subsidies to succeed, but let’s not be so critical of subsidies…….we all can look up the staggering numbers the fossil fuel industry gets in hand outs. Few folks also fail to understand renewals and a thing called the “Merit Order” Here is a quick link on that subject. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merit_Order
          Personally, I think renewals need all our help in ramping up their % number. After all, any renewal usage helps the fossil fuel craze and could be a significant part in extending the limited supply in the ground.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Renewables are great when they’re affordable but they’re typically not. See:

            http://www.beaconhill.org/BHIStudies/PA-AEPS2012/PA-AEPS-study-BHI-Dec-2012.pdf

          • Richard Latker says:

            Thanks for posting the Beacon Hill paper, which I just read.

            The interpretive bias is palpable. I hate it when good science is saddled with a political agenda. The authors clearly oppose the state renewables plan. They word every negative in the emphatic, while every positive is whispered like an admission. I see such “editorial creep” in the anti-frack literature as well. I hope the government isn’t funding one sided studies like this. It’s a good, informative read, but it lacks the credibility that flows from academic balance.

            The efficiency & emissions data provided seem credible enough, and the overall inefficiency of renewables isn’t in dispute. I don’t doubt at all that it takes 25 square kilometres of windmills to produce the same energy as made by a 500 sq metre coal-fired turbine. That’s a lot of land that needs to be taken from forestry and agriculture.

      • Fred says:

        Or, they can just dump Janice Gibbs frack water in Ohio and poison rivers and people. Then she can put that extra $20 in the church offering and feel all good about herself as she poisons everyone else.

      • Great product, great people, great plant, great jobs, great wages, located in Canonsburg, PA and well known worldwide.
        Many visits through the years for International Clients and have been promoting them for years. What other Manufacturer will have the Upper Echelon Management meet with a Client Representative after the Kickoff Meeting for a project and at times throughout the manufacturing process.
        Respectfully

    • Germans, and other Europeans pay three times what we do for energy. I support your right to sign up for solar and wind energy only, and pay the same prices they do. Just don’t expect the rest of us to do so. Make it voluntary. Solar and wind create visual blight that fracking does not. I am not against them, I like them, but not if they have to be subsidized.

      • fred jones says:

        Ron, the fossil fuel industry is also subsidized. Globally, subsidies to fossil fuels may be on the order of US$ 600 billion per year.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          That is ludicrous and irresponsible! I am personally opposed to all subsidies of any energy industry Except for modest R&D but the numbers for oil and gas are minute compared to renewables.

          See http://www.eia.gov/analysis/requests/subsidy/pdf/subsidy.pdf

          It’s $2.8 billion for oil and gas and $14.7 billion for renewables.

          The IEA comes out with big subsidy numbers but those reflect subsidies issued by Middle East and North Africa countries, not the U.S. Indeed, this illustrates the need for the U.S. to develop its own resources and not depend on those turkeys.

          • Richard Latker says:

            I think Fred is lumping together formal subsidies with other kinds of support from the public purse, like tax breaks or parallel expenditures.

            One could say that the trillions we have spent on defence over the past 40 years are in part a fossil fuel subsidy. One of our most important strategic aims, after all, is to keep the price of crude oil down even though we import so much of it.

            The reality is that the fossil fuel industry can externalise many costs — notably the public infrastructure, environmental and security expenditures necessitated by the massive use of fossil fuels — while escaping commensurate taxation.

            But these public expenditures are increasingly unsustainable. We should be producing tangible wealth with all the energy we use, but we have wilfully, in quite suicidal fashion, exported our productive assets and investment capital abroad, from where it will never return. Our economy is based on skimming transactions rather than producing tangible goods and meaningful services. Without a manufacturing industry, retail sales, finance brokering and resource extraction can’t support a developed society for long. That’s the real reason we’re unable to respond to climate change and the urgent need to diversify away from fossil fuels. We can’t afford it. That’s why we can’t even maintain our existing infrastructure. And that’s why obscurantist thinking plays such a dominant role in our politics.

            Once energy scarcity evolves into a full-blown crisis — which appears inevitable — the US will be in a very vulnerable position. A strong dose of sovereign economics is the only plausible way forward. Like it or not, that’s going to require domestic gas extraction on a massive scale. We’d better hope we can manage that effort without turning our country into a degraded third-world resource colony.

      • fred jones says:

        And Ron, you might find this link interesting my friend. All Germans are not paying….and a growing number, including farmers are making money with their renewals program. Their citizens are not content to be totally dependent on corp. energy, with all the price swings we are subject to, every time someone sneezes at OPEC.
        https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/15-1

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          Again, Germany is building coal plants and reducing solar subsidies because they don’t make sense.

  6. Janice Gibbs says:

    I’m one of the people he block from his site when he found out who I was. He doesn’t like to be challenge about what he prints.

    • Donald Roessler says:

      There’s been others Janice. Were not the only ones. We need to get more to speak out about it.

  7. Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty old coal plants, and dangerous expensive nuclear plants. It will fuel cars, trucks, vans, buses, locomotives, aircraft, ships, tractors, engines of all kinds. It costs far less. It will help keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our blood and money. It is used to make many products. It lowers CO2 emissions, and pollution. Over 4,600 select natural gas story links on my free blog. An annotated and illustrated bibliography of live links, updated daily. The worldwide picture of natural gas. Read in 67 nations. ronwagnersrants . blogspot . com

  8. Janice Gibbs says:

    If some of the people running our township weren’t anti drillers regardless of saying “I’m for drilling”, because their action speak louder then words, were willing to work with the gas industry to come up with workable ordinance we wouldn’t even need Act 13. As a resident how would you like to have your permit held up month after month and each time was held up for a different reason, different excuse. Say you have a business to drill for gas in Washington county alone there are 36 township how would you like to have to follow a different set of regulations for each township. The industry is state wide and needs a law that is more uniform. Gas drilling is not going away we should all be working to make it as safe as possible. Thru our history the industries such as steel and coal all had enviromental issues we didn’t shut them down we made them better and our enviroment improved and survived. I’m all for solar and wind but you tell me one thing a windmill or solar panel produces other then energy . Gas and their by products are a part of our everyday life count the number if items in your home made with plastic for one example .Do some research the list will amaze you.

    • Janice, I am a tad confused with your thoughts on Act 13 and I am sincerely NOT calling you out. Would you rather have a Local/Grassroots Rule & Enforcement like Jesse proposes or a Statewide Ruling, which brings us back Full Circle to The Bucks County Moratorium. Continue to give up your Local Sovereignty for State Control of your life? The rational and subsequentnext paths would then be Control at the Washington, DC level, The World Bank, The UN, The EU, etc.

      • Janice Gibbs says:

        Donald L. Crusan I think I have been very clear about why I feel Act 13 is needed thru my article and my comment. One more thing to clear up Representative White does make our township ordinances our board of supervisor do.

        • I never said that Jesse makes the ordinances, if you would read my comments, you would see that I sated He Proposes them. And yes, it is Jesse’s job to represent your community as a whole and advise, not our Governor. That is exactly what I believe he is doing.

          • Janice Gibbs says:

            Mr Crusan I have had many debates with Rep. White on the Patch and as one of the people he represents I have asked him several times if you are for drilling then post me one article that shows that . So far none have been posted it is all negative postings. I have been attending meeting in our townships for over a years and I have seen Rep. White maybe one or two times. In the spring of 2012 these was an energy symposium at South Point during the Mylan classic not one person that represents our township other then Senator Solobay attended. I asked Rep. White why didn’t he at less attend and listen since this is an issue in his district his answer I wasn’t invite, it was open you didn’t need an invite. Rep. White is an elected offical that is suppose to represent all of us he needs to keep himself informed on both side of the issue and keep that in mind when he is posting. Our govennor job is to do what is best for the people in the state and the gas industry is a state wide industry that needs a uniform state law so that all of the people in Pa. that want to sell their gas right aren’t be held up by people who have issues with drilling.

          • Richard Latker says:

            Janice:

            I’m sorry to hear that your rep is unresponsive.

            You have obviously have the right to lease your land. But others have rights as well, including landowners in other PA counties who are battling eminent domain orders and mandatory easements, and townships forced to accept sweetheart deals made at their expense between the state and well-funded players in the industry.

            While Act 13 sure makes it convenient for the drillers — which in turn might allow you to cash in your gas quicker — it extinguishes the rights of the people to govern their own affairs in their own communities.

            Imagine, for a moment, what might happen if a bunch of green, shaggy, Volvo-driving democrats take power at the state level. Act 13 would empower them smother the industry even in townships where there’s overwhelming support for it.

          • Janice Gibbs says:

            No law is perfect that is the reason laws have to through a process before becoming a law and each district had a represenative that could have had imput and that is where the law should have been worked on. The system may not be perfect but it is what we have. Take the trucking industry how could they function if each county in the state had different regulations on how much weight they can haul. Can you imagine the nightmare going from Pittsburgh to Philly.

          • Richard Latker says:

            There are many industries that would love to avoid dealing with local govt in the communities they impact. Land use and permitting issues are inherently local, and local politics are messy and slow.

            Act 13 certainly takes care of all that for the gas industry. Local zoning can now be obviated with the stroke of a bureaucratic pen in Harrisburg.

            Wal-Mart, McDonalds and Target can only dream about such preferential treatment.

  9. Janice Gibbs says:

    The statement local politics are messy and slow is the main reason for Act 13.

  10. I have not been running from the debate, but!
    1.Very often a significant Quality Concern mandates Rapid Mobilization and Addressing. Such happened recently and I had to devote my time to rectifying so the show could go on without a hitch.
    2.And, I needed time to address my Passion for Safety, Quality, & Integrity in this fabulous business that has given me many new friends, allowed me to be reacquainted with old ones, learn new things, and share my knowledge and beliefs.
    3.That said, I thought through the many ways I believe we need more control at the local playing field and then this happened:
    EPA: 40K Gallons Dumped; Hagan Demands Arrest
    http://businessjournaldaily.com/drilling-down/epa-40k-gallons-dumped-hagan-demands-arrest-2013-2-9
    Wow, did that give all of us pause for thought and concern? In fact, so much concern that posts of it have been deleted on some LinkedIn Pro Utica & Marcellus Groups. Censorship is not good from either side, we need open dialogue to generate new ideas and police ourselves. Almost the whole month of Jan-2013 before the state agencies could respond, because of their restrictions!! With Local Jurisdiction, the Police Department or Sheriff could have made an arrest and stopped in at the start. What causes one to have so many disregards for the environment, such greed, and possibly even so much hate? I am sure that you all agree that 99% of us would not do this, nor would we want to. We should openly discuss it to more readily have answers if it happens, which is something that a few of us do (So much for a Social Life, but it is what we love). If you have been around for a bit, you would know that I have longed questioned Deep Injection Wells, both because their instability has been called into question since the Rocky Mountain Arsenal quakes that started in 1961 and D&L Energies long time evidence of pollution, the many violations on both PA & OH, and some very pro-active fans of drilling who work at some of the Youngstown area Tubular Mills, making Casing, OCTG, and Line Pipe.
    http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2001/12dec/colo_quakes.cfm
    Historical Precedence
    There is definitely historical precedence for manmade causes of earthquakes in Colorado.
    “This state is the biggest natural laboratory in the world for human-induced earthquakes,” Matthews said. “There have been three major experiments in the state concerning human-induced events that prove human activities can indeed touch off earthquakes.”
    The most famous episode of a human-induced earthquake began in 1961, when a 12,000-foot disposal well was drilled in the U.S. Army’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal northeast of Denver. The well was used for disposing of waste fluids from arsenal operations, and injection commenced in March 1962.
    Shortly thereafter an unusual series of earthquakes erupted in the area, and by the end of December 1962 about 190 earthquakes had occurred. None caused damage until December, when several structures were damaged in Dupont and Irondale.
    Over 1,300 earthquakes were recorded between January 1963 and August 1967. In April 1967 the largest earthquake since the series began in 1962 occurred, and damage was recorded in the arsenal, Derby and Boulder. This tremor measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.
    Even after the Rocky Mountain Arsenal waste dumping practice stopped, earthquakes continued to be felt in the Denver area, so in 1968 the Army began removing fluid from the arsenal well very slowly in an effort to reduce the earthquake activity.
    The second episode was in the 1970s at the Rangley Field in northwest Colorado, Matthews said. The USGS heard reports that earthquakes in the area were touched off by water flooding in the field.
    The USGS got permission from Chevron, the field’s operator, to conduct an experiment in part of the field on some abandoned wells. The USGS stopped injection in the area, and earthquake activity dropped from about 50 a day to one or two. Scientists then began injection again to determine if the earthquakes would increase again when the pressure built up. Sure enough, the episodes jumped back up to about 50 a day.
    The USGS shut down injection operations and the tremors died down.
    The most recent experiment is in the Paradox Valley, where the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is attempting to prevent salt from entering the Dolores River and then flowing into the Colorado River, according to Matthews.
    “The Paradox Valley is a salt anticline, and the salt in the Delores River comes from the ground water,” he said. “The Bureau of Reclamation has drilled a series of wells all along the river to intercept the ground water flowing into the river, and that water is then injected into a 14,000-foot injection well.
    “The bureau has a very talented seismo-tectonic group that researches earthquakes related to dams and other projects, so when this Paradox Valley injection program began they expected to generate earthquakes,” he continued. “They installed a network of instruments to monitor any activity and, sure enough, tremors did start when they began water injection.”
    The program has generated over 4,000 earthquakes, but most are too small to be felt on the surface, he said. The earthquakes built until June 2000 when there was a magnitude 4.5 event. That earthquake was large enough that Bureau of Reclamation scientists began looking for a remedy to the situation.
    Today the USGS said the bureau is injecting water every other month to minimize the earthquake activity.
    “There’s not another place in the world that’s had as many manmade earthquakes as Colorado,” Matthews said. “For that reason we have to look seriously at any series of tremors we have and determine their cause.”
    There have been earthquakes in the Trinidad area in the past, and no manmade cause for those earlier quakes has been found. Also, there have been earthquake swarms in the state.
    But this swarm is unique in that the events occurred so close together. That’s why residents are hopeful that data from the USGS instruments will provide some answers — fast.
    4.So back to the debate. From early 2011 to early 2012, I was a Vendor Field Quality Assurance Manager for a Major E&P working in The Shale Gas Fields at a Vendor of the products needed to bring a well on line and keep it producing safely. In my business my only task is to assure the INTEGRITY of Equipment, including the GPUs or Gas Production Units seen at the well pads. This vendor had no real Quality Program in effect and really didn’t care about anything, but get it out the door. My client was paying a premium to have some equipment upgraded and it was an almost daily task to keep on top of assuring that the welds were Quality and the Equipment had a high Degree of Mechanical Integrity. The philosophy of your too picky was there and if it looks good, ship it out, and process the invoice.
    5.Now, you have to remember that when a PO for Equipment is processed, the Vendor Agrees to Comply with what is known as a Standard and any Governmental Rules, Laws, and Regulations and then a Customer Specification, which is usually much stricter than the Standard or Law. So, think of it this way, API and The State Environmental Agency write the rules, the client (Which In This Case is YOU) then writes an ordinance (their Specification) and work proceeds. If you have to wait for a distant agency or Organization to determine an answer days can be lost, as happened in Youngstown last week. I am the eyes of the Customer, educated & trained to interpret the Standard and authorized to make the decisions on site. Since both the State Seat of Government and API are distant, someone needs to be onsite to make the needed quick decisions. In your case, it would be the Township Supervisors or at best an Agency such as myself.
    6.Lest you think I am even thinking of taking Range Resources to task, a situation that they are aware of happened at this vendor. Unbeknownst to me, before I started on my project, Range had purchased some Equipment and found, as I hear it, upwards of 50 bad welds after delivery to the field. This just gave me more determination to be stricter with the various weld issues that I encountered. Now, I know you do not want bad welds that may possibly be the cause of a fire or explosion. Just think of the publicity of deaths, destroyed homes, destroyed equipment, loss of livestock, pollution, law suits, and just overall negative publicity, nor does Range Resources or any other E&P. I commend Range for being proactive on this and immediately getting the bad welds removed and replaced, putting the Equipment in Proper Operating Condition and their admirable Safety Record in Washington County attests to this. During this period a lawsuit was in progress and this vendor actually boasted about it. Professional Accountability kept me from contacting Range, but believe me, I often thought about it during the times of frequent frustration and rework to comply… I am not really sure how the lawsuit ended as I finally told the vendor, this was something that I didn’t want or should know about.
    7.I will take the chance that a may make a few foes because of this entry, but I bet I will also make a few new friends.
    8.Remember this sage piece of advice: “Keep your friends close, but you enemies closer”, attributed to Sun-Tzu Chinese general & military strategist & author of The Art of War, another tome that all should read. We don’t really call anyone out as an enemy, but the real Sun-Tzu’ book is really a well written practice for business success too.
    9.I do not believe that Act 13 is good, but it is a start and hopefully with local dialogue and the fact that it becomes a living document, we can achieve equity for all.
    10.I just wished the greed wasn’t a factor and for too many locals that is all it is about. PA is a Commonwealth, not a State. Look up Commonwealth and get back to me.
    Respectfully,
    Don “Luigi” Crusan

  11. I worked on my final response to this discussion and it turned to be very lenghty at 3 pages, so I posted it on my Word Press Blog and here is the link.
    Response to EID Post: Why I Support Natural Gas Development in My Township
    http://marcellusindependenttechnicalsolutions.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/response-to-eid-post-why-i-support-natural-gas-development-in-my-township/
    Respectfully,
    Don “Luigi” Crusan
    http://www.marcellusindependenttechnicalsolutions.com/

  12. Janice Gibbs says:

    Luigi you wrote a very interesting response enjoyed reading it some I agreed with some I didn’t. On the Act 13 we will just have to agree to disagree because you really haven’t changed my mind. If you have attended all the meeting I have and seen how things are being handled in our area you might also feel differently about our local politics like you once stated they are messy.

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  1. […] Why I Support Natural Gas Development in My Township Energy in Depth – NMI A Washington County, Pennsylvania homeowner from one of the townships represented by Attorney John Smith offers her views on what’s going on and has a few things to say about Representative Jesse White as well. […]

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