Alex Lotorto, the Occupy Kid, Goes All Wobbly

The last 11 months have given us a close up look at anti-natural gas activists.  It seems, a surprising number of them share certain commonalities reflective of spoiled children unaffected by mundane cares about economic development, jobs or paying property taxes.  They are almost always individuals who have immersed themselves in a variety of leftist causes, with their anti- natural gas activities merely being a convenient platform from which to launch attacks on the capitalism, corporations and constitutional government that, ironically, have allowed them to pursue their passions or causes.

Opposition to natural gas is, for them, merely the latest tool for re-plowing the field of utopianism, often expressed today as “sustainability.”  Many of these individuals are members, or supporters, of the “occupy” movement, but all are “activists” in causes that give them the all important platforms where they can be noticed.   Chances are you know some of their names because that’s the way they like it.  We’ve written about them here and here.  Although we’ve recognized these characteristics among anti-development leaders for some time, we continue to be struck by their inflammatory claims and the actions they undertake in attempts to get noticed.  Among all the anti-natural gas activists no one serves as a better representative of these characteristics than Alex Lotorto.

Lotorto the Student

Alex Lotorto, profiled earlier here by our friend Giles Howard, appears wherever there’s an opportunity to make a scene and get his name in the lights.  While a student at Muhlenberg College he somehow managed to lead student protests at Pitt and NYU without anyone asking where he was from until after the fact.  He appears at all sorts of anti-natural gas events, and protests, even though he apparently lives at home with his parents in Dingman Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania where there is no possibility of shale gas development.  Appearing at an SRBC hearing in December, he safely asked to be hanged if such development comes to his doorstep, knowing full well, of course, that it won’t.  It was anything but a Patrick Henry moment.

Risky Business

Alex Lotorto - Self-Impressed Protestor

He is the face of Occupy ScrantonOccupy Well Street and innumerable civil disobedience training sessions.  He claims to maintain 10 different blogs.  They include Marcellus-CURE, Crash the DRBCOccupy Well Street – Stop FrackingShale Gas Activists, Americorps Workers UnionNortheast & Mid-Atlantic Regional Occupy MeetingFrack UniversityPittsburghers for Public Transit and, what I’m confident is his favorite, one simply named Alex Lotorto.

A review of these blogs was informative. For example, thinking Americorps was about community service, I naively didn’t realize Americorps workers needed a union.

Lotorto the Wobbly

I couldn’t help but notice the Americorps union Lotorto blogs, and advocates for,  is part of the Industrial Workers of the World or IWW, an extremist sect with deep communist/socialist roots.  Lotorto identifies himself as an IWW Union Delegate, Pittsburgh General Membership Branch, Safety Committee Member, also know as “the Wobblies.”  It is fascinating to read Lotorto’s remarks extolling the benefits of the IWW potentially representing natural gas workers.  He says the IWW will work “to improve their conditions, protect their health, raise their pay, and win the eight-hour work day” skipping over the somewhat problematic fact he wants those jobs to disappear (see below).  He proudly includes this little eye-opener from the Wobblies’ constitution:

Instead of the conservative motto, “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work,” we must inscribe on our banner the revolutionary watchword, “Abolition of the wage system.” 

It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism. The army of production must be organized, not only for everyday struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming the structure of the new society within the shell of the old.

This pretty much tells us what Lotorto is all about.  He’s no visionary.  He’s just one more dupe, a guy who only graduated from college in 2009 (making him about 25 years old at this point) and is, like most immature people, regardless of their age, still infatuated with himself.

Lotorto the Prince of Schtick

Lotorto says he’s employed as a “grounds technician” at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, where his father is Head of Grounds.  We have nothing against grounds technicians.  It’s more than honorable work and we suspect a lot of the folks engaged it are  allies of natural gas.  Notwithstanding this, working for your father while taking time off to do protests, train Occupy Well Street sycophants and serve as spokesperson for Occupy Scranton hardly qualifies as meaningful employment.  Rather, Lotorto is on a self-indulgent lark.  Check out this video, for instance:

http://youtu.be/UZP2AEWoMjU

Also, take a close look at that resume.  If you want someone with experience as a volunteer “Unemployment Compensation Specialist,” Americorps volunteer discussion leader, volunteer ballot access coordinator for the Nader Presidential run in 2008 or globalization dossier builder intern at the Institute for Institutional Studies, then Lotorto is your kid.   It’s not easy getting hired, though, when you have a history of spending your lunch hour singing from the Little Red Songbook and the motto of one of your organizations is “the working class and the employing class have nothing in common.”  That can get tiring real fast unless your father is your boss.

Lotorto also presents himself as a rural Pennsylvania kid who’s found himself involved in the cause of fighting natural gas because of what it’s doing to his county. Pike County may appear rural but it’s officially part of the New York City/Northern New Jersey Metropolitan Area.  Virtually every home in that part of the world is occupied (no pun intended) by someone who last lived in Bergen County, Long Island, Brooklyn or environs.  There are no farms in Pike County, just move-ins from New York and New Jersey.  And, Alex Lotorto is no country boy.

He says Occupy Well Street will only succeed, “if the movement is led by people who look and sound and think like rural residents” and managed to get a news reporter to describe him as “the guy in the camo hat” as if he were just the typical deer hunting farm boy from the natural gas fields of rural Pennsylvania.  If Alex Lotoro can get away with claiming to be a rural kid, then I might as well say I’m Mayor Bloomberg and start speaking for New York City.

Lotorto’s rural activist schtick is, at ground level, a lie.  He talks about “city people” as if they were foreigners but his father was a Seton Hall preppie and they live on a 3+ acre lot in a residential subdivision surrounded by other residential subdivisions that are home to thousands of transplants from the metro area.  It’s anything but rural America.

Lotorto the Extremist

None of this would be relevant to much of anything if this singularly unaccomplished individual were not regularly engaging in the theatrics and overstatements we see reflected in this video:

Calling natural gas companies murderers is more than a little over the top, of course, but histrionics are nothing new in the Lotorto’s world.  They are what he does best.  Most of us are used to seeing that coming from our opponents, but it’s always interesting to watch the warm-ups as one false assertion after another is made in laying the foundation for an emotional outburst.  Lotorto, in this instance, talks about natural gas development in Pike County, but anyone familiar with that area knows most of it is public land and what is left is plugged full of second homes on small lots.  Its natural gas is also cooked off and no one is interested in it as it likely isn’t commercially productive.  The chances of seeing a rig in Pike County are about the same as the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series this year.  It isn’t happening.

Lotorto and his friends don’t let reality intrude, however.  He is cited as inspirational by two of the best when it comes to inflammatory rhetoric.  Loretta Weir, a Pittsburgh area natural gas opponent who just like Lotorto lives nowhere near any natural gas development, says this about him:

“Some of these people get their egos involved and want to push you around,” Weir says. But not Lotorto. “Alex,” she says, “is not in it for his ego. Alex didn’t care if he got credit.”

Weir is a 56-year-old housewife from suburban Pittsburgh who came to activism late in life. She attended a presentation about fracking and was hooked. Weir met Lotorto soon afterward and got to know him well.

She says she’d help him occupy Well Street any day.

“I remember thinking, ‘I’m old enough to be this kid’s mother — and I can learn some things from him.’ I saw him keep his calm when I’d be going ballistic,” Weir says.

“Alex doesn’t care about the noise around him,” she says. “I really respect that in him. It’s almost like he was born to do it. … It’s a vibe, you know, that this kid was put here for this purpose.”

Loretta Weir

Loretta Weir Screaming Session

Let me get this straight, Loretta.  You’re saying Alex Lotorto, the kid screaming murder in the above video is calm while others are going ballistic?  And, the kid who plasters his name everywhere and styles himself as a modern day Abbie Hoffman doesn’t care if he gets credit?  Well, I suppose that’s the way you might see it if you happen to be the type to scream “You’re not gonna really need a job for long because I believe this industry will kill you” as she does at 0:43 in this video. [LINK NEEDED] Or your husband is given to shouting “Your gas is going to China,” at local landowners, like Sue Dorsey, as he does here at 0:30.  Those are really nice friends to have.  Facts appear to be as irrelevant to the Weirs, Lotorto’s admirers, as to Lotorto himself.

But, none of this matters to Lotorto.  He just want the entire industry to “disappear” from everywhere, no matter what the cost in jobs.  It’s all about him, after all.  He’s not interested in safe and responsible natural gas development.  He just wants to get his way.  He’s willing, to that end, to treat anyone who disagrees with him as a terrorist, including the ordinary folks for whom he pretends to speak.  These are the same people who depend on the natural gas jobs he’s prepared to throw to the wind.  He wants to save these people by eliminating their jobs and hunting them down like terrorists.  Such is the logic of extremists and Alex the Occupy Guy, who, if he is nothing else, is certainly an extremist.

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Comments

  1. Tom,

    First of all, it’s pretty absurd that you get paid by a trillion dollar oil and gas industry to write hit pieces on 25 year olds. In fact, I’m happy to take your flak if it means you won’t go sniffing around swinging wrecking balls at people’s lives who are much worse impacted by Marcellus development than myself.

    If you’re trying to frame me as “spoiled”, well anyone who I grew up with could tell you I never took a spring break in college, always working, and was the only kid who missed a high school school band trip to Disney World, that parents fundraised for, even after the scholarship.

    While I did explore employment in Pittsburgh, I’ve kept my permanent home in Pike County since 1988. The only reason I’m home with my parents now is due to a surgery in the family and to help our family business (a flower and gift shop) move to a new location. My family built our house, not a contracted builder like most. I’ve hunted deer behind my house and small game in the state lands since I was old enough to do so legally. I fish trout in Shohola Creek. and we came from a modest, working class, background with WWII veterans as patriarchs of both sides of my family. I hope that helps you paint a better picture of me, at least in your head.

    Here in Pike, where we have our share of gas leases by Cabot and Chesapeake, and our economy largely depends on the reputation of NE PA as a scenic, rural great place to raise a family, retire, or go explore the Delaware River’s valley and highlands, we happen to be situated downstream from Sullivan County and Delaware County in NY and Wayne County. Upstream, drilling IS slated, and if further spills or well-casing failures were to occur, such as the well-casing failure in the Davidson Well in Wayne County, not just my family, but most of the region would lose out on income from tourism, recreation, and real estate. A Pike County economic development official recently reported at the Marcellus Task Force meeting that developers are concerned about leases in Pike and our tax dollars are paying for a Pike is Green PR program to undo the bad reputation your industry has given us. That’s not to mention the threat to the value of our homes that we’ve worked hard to pay off.

    Here in Pike, we had to deal with the Columbia pipeline crossing my road last summer and my favorite park (Childs Park) in years before that, the Tennessee pipeline muddying Shohola creek where I’ve fished my entire life, and a diesel-burning compressor station 2 miles up wind from my pre-school. Not to mention a planned Tennessee pipeline upgrade (by one of the companies, El Paso, that pays your salary), that will be sending hundreds of heavy loads of pipes, explosives, and construction equipment up rural winding roads this summer where many of my loved ones happen to live (and drive).

    I send a strong warning to the industry because it’s true, that if the Delaware River Basin is opened up for drilling, there will be civil disobedience at a level unprecedented in this movement. And as much as you like to believe that I take credit for that, I don’t. In fact, I despise the time I have to spend on Marcellus and a vast majority of the direct action organizing in this region has not been done by me. I just offer skills I have and prefer to sit backstage except when someone’s counting the number of speakers at a public hearing. It’s not as convenient or fun as you suggest.

    Finally, I’m going to address the issue of jobs and my union.

    It’s Industrial Workers of the World, not “International Workers of the World.” And it’s not just a union for socialists (of which I am NOT), in fact, there are many people who are not even of the left wing, like myself (I don’t identify as Left), who unite on the basis of politics on the job. The union doesn’t endorse or support politicians and only prescribes to the ideology of “An Injury to One is an Injury to All,” “Building a New World in the Shell of the Old,” and the abolishment of the wage system, which in 1905, as you fail to explain, when that phrase was written, meant the workers keep the wealth they create, not the bosses like Aubrey McClendon.

    I want gas workers to unionize, stand up to the company men who overwork them, and become the organized workforce we need to transition to green energy installation, green construction materials, and green tech manufacturing without longterm worker displacement (at one point or another, that’s going to happen when the gas is gone). I don’t want to see the Marcellus industry ended with nowhere for workers to go, many of whom are friends of mine. It’s the responsibility of our decision-makers and your industry to ensure that we don’t have another steel or coal shutdown crisis in PA.

    Please continue to attack my union, I’d love for more people to learn our history, like how Helen Keller, Joe Hill, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn were great labor organizers. Or how Judi Bari was both an environmentalist against clearing the Redwood forests and a labor organizer among loggers. Watch the movie available on Google Video called “The Wobblies.” I’m union proud.

    There’s also three jobs facts you never recognize: 1) that the long run, bread and butter job-supporting industries in this region are tourism, recreation, real estate, and agriculture and 2) that the jobs the gas industry supports will drop off when you’re done and 3) that the heavy industrialization, violations, and contamination from the gas industry and its support industries will displace our traditional industries.

    Here’s an excerpt from a new report by Simona Perry, a sociologist:

    “In 2007, Bradford county was ranked number one in Pennsylvania in amount of forage crops and number two in Pennsylvania in the value of sales of cattle and calves (USDA 2009). However, in February 2012 one agricultural supplier told me he has seen at least 30 dairy farms on his monthly ordering route in Bradford County stop operating. A separate economic survey conducted by Pennsylvania State University reported that on average between 2007 and 2010, there was an 18.7% decline in the number of cows by county when the number of Marcellus shale gas wells exceeded 150 (Kelsey 2011).”

    I could go on and on to talk about how gas industry contractors have been known to dump brine in creeks, streams, and gamelands, or how blowouts, tank fires, and roadway accidents have stretched volunteer emergency services thin, or how many state enforcement agents have joined the industry, or vice versa. I’ll save that for your next hit piece.

    Good luck, Tom. I pray for your family that after this Energy in Depth gig, you’ll still be able to find a job. Maybe we can go in on a show like Crossfire together?

    -Alex

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for correcting that International vs. Industrial thing. That’s an auto-correct thing and you might actually benefit from that, Alex, because you don’t have your facts correct. If there are any Cabot or Chesapeake lease in Pike County they’re limited to one or two on the edge of Lackawaxen Township. Suggesting you have “your share” is an interesting choice of words that demonstrates you like to manipulate the facts. It’s called sophistry. The rest of your reply is similarly skewed as you take asgricultural data out of context, for instance. You might read http://eidmarcellus.org/blog/saving-open-space-with-natural-gas/ if you’re really interested in the facts. Or, perhaps you should read http://eidmarcellus.org/blog/if-this-is-destruction-can-i-have-some-please/. I know farming. I was raised on one that my brother still operates thanks to natural gas.

      • Dick_Cheney_Convert says:

        And I know siblings who can (but eventually learned not to, unlike you) use the “my brother” card to purport to “know farming” despite having spent the majority of their adult lives away from the farm. I have four of them. I wonder, Mr. Shepstone, whether perhaps that has anything to do with why I have the privilege of being able to drink with Alex whenever I want to despite my being a fracer too, while you, on the other hand, are only a wannabe on both counts?

        • Tom says:

          If I could make any sense out this I might reply, but …

          BY the way, use your real name next time if you want to see your comment posted. It’s time for a little transparency, don’t you think?

          • Victor Furman says:

            Tom permalink

            March 5, 2012

            If I could make any sense out this I might reply, but …

            BY the way, use your real name next time if you want to see your comment posted. It’s time for a little transparency, don’t you think?

    • FrackDaddy says:

      I have to agree with Tom, I have been receiving unsolicited emails from Alex, pushing his agenda and giving the old stand by answer. Why do I post with a screen name. Truth is I have posting under the FrackDaddy handle for about 10 – 14 days. In that time I have received email threats from 5 people and threatened with a lawsuit by Bill Huston. But of course no facts! And refuse to answer any question they don’t deem relevant. I will say Alex’s email was not threating, But still out of line any way you look at it For Alex to send me emails accusing me of hiding when he has never engaged me in a dialog on or off line. It is plain harassment, but that is what their movement(I call it a movement because it make me want to Shit) thrives on, the old who ever is loudest wins. In NEPA we are familiar with the VS, AND BH crowd who use the same cowardly tactics. But the one upside is we are still Drilling, Fracking, and piping NG as I write this.

  2. Dory says:

    Energy-in-Depth (EID): The “GAS”roots
    Connecting the Dots: The Marcellus Natural Gas Play Players – Part 3
    By Dory Hippauf
    http://commonsense2.com/2012/02/naturalgasdrilling/connecting-the-dots-the-marcellus-natural-gas-play-players-part-3/

  3. After reading your article attacking Alex Lotorto, I am left to come to the conclusion that you are an unprofessional hack. While Mr. Lotorto’s actions may be a little too theatrical or extreme for your tastes, that does not give you license to attack a person on a personal level for his work done opposing natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. Whether you like it or not, Mr. Lotorto is correct in his assertions that natural gas drilling is an environmental danger to the state of Pennsylvania and that it will have detrimental long term effects on the local economies that depend on real estate and tourism. I will personally vouch for Mr. Lotorto’s continued actions and ongoing activism for the sake of protecting Pike County, my hometown Milford, PA, and my new residence in Pittsburgh.

  4. Victor Furman says:

    Alex Lotorto

    it seems as if there is another untapped source of natural gas in the USA. and it’s not too deep as a matter of fact it’s found in an above ground source called the “Alex Lotorto Formation”

    your passion needs and education….

  5. Well Tom, regarding supporting our small farms, I think that the best way to support the farms would be to support tax breaks on small farms, initiatives to support grocery stores sourcing from local farms, and to promote ideas like a Small Farm Bill. You know, ensuring that small farms remain viable and productive sources of *food*.

    May I suggest that small farmers, instead of leasing their land to a temporary source of income like a gas lease, consider putting up a series of small or medium wind turbines that 1) are rooted in the tradition of farmers harvesting wind energy 2) wouldn’t require the storage of hazardous chemicals, 3) the compacting of well pad soil that requires expensive remediation and 4) wouldn’t run out of gas in the long run, generating generations of income.

    How about solar panels? You know, if we use our education and innovation skills, I’m sure we could figure how *not* to drill and still make our farms prosper.

    It’s interesting that in your article about how gas drilling saves open spaces, you picture a Chesapeake condensate tank full of toxic chemicals nestled inside a feed crop, that I would bet you, say, $10, is vented on the top. As a livestock farmer, I’m sure your aware of the capacity for animal fat to store airborne, food-borne, and water-borne toxins. I am, and as a hunter, that’s why I’m concerned that no frack pit, full of salty brine, has deer fencing around them or protection from waterfowl landing in the waste.

    I’ll leave the farming issue with this: Rumor has it your speech in Sullivan County, NY among some farmers a couple weeks ago didn’t turn out that well. So please don’t pretend to speak for more than yourself on the issue of drilling our farms.

    Finally, it only takes brief bar room conversations with homeowners in Susquehanna and Bradford Counties to find stories of housing values declining or houses unsaleable (try giving Craig and Julie Sautner a buzz and ask them what their house is worth to a buyer with well water like they have).

    The reputation and rural character of the region is an asset of any real estate agent showing a house. Davis Chant in Pike County, one of the leading realtors, has spoken at the Pike County Marcellus Task Force about how highly regarded our county is as “the green backdrop to the New York metropolitan area” where our thoughtfulness in planning and development has contributed to our property values and scenic hometowns that I’m sure you’re aware of.

    The mistakes and rearing disregard for our region, especially violations, attitudes, and disrespect for the land that your industry has shown gives us no choice but to fear for our homes. For example, some land leasing genius decided to sign a lease in the middle of Promised Land State Park from a private landowner, which is NOT on the border of Wayne, it’s Blooming Grove.

    Or how about within a few feet of the Delaware River in Lackawaxen towards Narrowsburg? I obtained the lease map two years ago and it’s those decisions your industry made that tick people off the most. “They leased WHERE?” is a common question I field and is why you lost the battle in Pittsburgh with the ban on drilling: Chesapeake leased in Loretta Weir’s neighborhood and ticked off the wrong mom.

    Seriously Tom, we can go toe to toe if you’d like, but as a fellow NE Pennsylvanian and as a farmer, I actually reserve a little respect for you. In the end, when the gas boom is gone, it’s going to be guys like you and me picking up the pieces.

    • Tom says:

      LOL. Are you seriously suggesting bar room conversation is better data than real estate sales data? Are you kidding?

      • Tom, it’s common knowledge that bad land use hurts property values, and as a zoning consultant, I figured you’d get that. Usually, in journalism and academia, common knowledge facts don’t need a citation. If someone put a well pad in your yard, your neighbors yard, in the state park nearby, or just simply down the street, your house is not going to sell the same on the market as if the well pad area were forested, not in NE PA.

        • Tom says:

          Sorry, Alex, “common knowledge” never trumps actual evidence. Indeed, one can draw a parallel between hearsay and what you refer to as “common knowledge” and the former is never accepted in court as evidence. Moreover, you rely upon your own presumption as to what represents bad land use and I do not accept your presumption that natural gas development is incompatible with other uses.

          • Michele Thomas says:

            I do have some facts for you Tom. In 2008 a cell tower was placed 700 ft behind our home. We had our house appraised before and after the cell tower was erected. The appraisel done after stated that our house due to the presence of a cell tower had depreciated between 10% and 20%. I have the appraisel and used it to get our property taxes reduce. This is a cell tower, I can’t imagine what the presence of natural gas related structures, including, compressor and metering stations, frack water treatment plants, gas processing plants etc would do to the value of a property.

          • Tom says:

            Fair point. However, I can show you appraisals and actual sales that indicate the opposite. I live within 1,500 feet or so of a cell tower myself and I don’t believe it’s had any impact on value whatsoever. It clearly does depend on the circumstances, the setbacks, etc. That’s true of anything. If your house is 200 feet from a dairy barn that might lower value. If it’s 2,000 feet, it might add value, especially if you can see it.

          • Michele Thomas says:

            Not true Tom.. I have the appraisals to prove it. Do you have before and after appraisals as I do specifically addressing the cell tower?? As I mentioned , this is a cell tower…I can’t imagine what a well rig, compressor station, metering station, frack water flowback impoundment, frack water treatment plant, gas processing plant and any of the other niceties associated with the drilling, production and transporting of natural gas would do to the value of ones home. From what I have been reading they plummet. Tell me something Tom, and I am asking you to be honest here would you buy a home with these things located on or near the property. I can honestly say I wouldn’t.

          • Tom says:

            Absolutely! The new compressor stations are exceptionally quiet, clean, landscaped and entirely compatible neighbors. Take a tour sometime.

          • Michele Thomas says:

            I have been by compressor stations. I don’t know where you have been…but it sure wasn’t any of the compressor stations that I have been to.

          • Nicole says:

            Michele, What compressor stations have you been around? The Latini’s in Wyalusing have 3 (2 different types) on their property and they have a different sentiment. http://eidmarcellus.org/blog/cnyog-walking-the-walk/ As do the Van Buskirks in Sullivan County, PA who will soon have one on their property. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9GfeDEAG2s Dallas Twp has 2 within the township for the Transco that most residents don’t even know are there and they’ve been there 50+ years.

          • Michele Thomas says:

            Yep…I’d like to live next to this.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EY6FbfwMk2k

            WHAT….I can’t hear you above the noise. Not to mention the air pollution!!!

          • Tom says:

            Oh, come on! This wasn’t take at the property line. It was taken by a trespasser parked right next to the facility and the doors of the facility are open as anyone can plainly see. It doesn’t demonstrate anything. The compressor station in Corning operates at only 28-40 decibels. Also, see http://eidmarcellus.org/marcellus-shale/natural-gas-compressor-station-in-my-backyard-you-bet/ and http://eidmarcellus.org/blog/cnyog-walking-the-walk/.

          • ed says:

            Tom,

            At what distance is the 28 – 40 decibel rating measured?

          • Tom says:

            I believe it’s outside the building, but could be at the property line. Good question and we’ll provide an answer.

          • Nicole says:

            Testing is done at the property lines of the 5 nearest structures located between 833 ft and 1105 ft away.

          • ed says:

            Ok so assuming the highest decibel rating (40) would be the closest (833 feet) and utilizing the inverse square law yields a decibel rating of 98.4 at 1 foot from the source.

            For comparison a passing heavy truck is rated at 85 decibels, a lawn mower is rated at 90 decibels, inside a subway car is rated at 95 decibels, typical nightclub speakers are rated 100 decibels.

            Does this run all day and night? It really isn’t as quiet as you would think. (at least not with the numbers you have supplied)

          • Tom says:

            What difference does it make? The point is the impact on adjoins, plain and simple. That should be obvious.

          • ed says:

            The difference is you have claimed the new compressors are “exceptionally quiet”. In a nutshell they aren’t.

            If you want to talk about adjoins, that’s fine. 30 decibels is the level which causes sleep disturbance/annoyance in a quiet bedroom With the numbers you have supplied 40 decibels is more than enough to disturb or annoy someone trying to sleep. Please don’t tell me the house will insulate the noise level because I, like many sleep with windows open at night in lieu of air conditioning. Thus the noise insulation factor is moot.

            To further project the sound levels we are discussing here, the 40 decibel level at 833 feet drops to 34 decibels at 1666 feet. Still enough to disturb someone’s sleep. To get the decibel rating down to 30 (the level at which most people begin to complain of sleep disturbances, you would have to go out to 2634 feet or 6 feet short of a half a mile.

            So my point is although you are saying this is “exceptionally quiet”, when the numbers that you supplied are looked at more closely, your extremely quiet compressor station is generating enough noise that the decibel levels are high enough to disturb someone’s sleep nearly a half of a mile away.

          • Tom says:

            Here you go:

            http://youtu.be/IY-gqLlevak

            Notice how close the station is, how you cannot here it above the wind and how the voices are much louder than anything else. Indeed, a member of our team who was standing at the perimeter fence at the time this video was shot could hear these voices (well outside the fence) clearly over the station. Also, you have misinterpreted the safe noise level for sleeping. It is 30 decibels inside the room but the safe level outside the living area with open windows is 45 decibels. See: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/decibel-dba-levels-d_728.html

          • ed says:

            Sorry, cant say for certain how close the station is as you haven’t mentioned if your flip phone is capable of zooming. I did notice you stated only 1 compressor was running (why no video with all 4 going?) and you totally left out that a 5th is supposed to be operational in the spring of 2012.

            As to the decibel ratings I agree it’s 30 decibels inside the room – personally I don’t think a window screen is going to dampen 15 decibels and neither does Rokwool see: http://www.rockwool.com/acoustics/noise/noise+and+health/sleep+disturbance

            in particuliar the line – It should be possible to sleep with a bedroom window slightly open (a reduction from outside to inside of 15 dB).

            “a slightly opened window” tom so the glass can dampen the noise.. a fully opened window is not going to dampen 15 decibels no matter how much you want it to. Window screens just aren’t that efficient in such matters.

          • Tom says:

            Now you’re really counting how many angels can fit on the head of the pin.

  6. Deb says:

    Wow Tom, Alexander must really be making some headway for you to focus on him so much. I’m glad that a young man sees his way to show up and help people as much as he has. He has a purpose and it’s contrary to yours. So be it. Get over it. I’m proud of young men like him who do this for their friends, family and environment for future generations. I’m proud that he has the guts to stand up for people. I love how all you gassers think it’s about media attention and for recognition. You couldn’t be more wrong, but there’s no convincing you of anything. So while Chesapeake is under scrutiny by the DOJ and Cabot is still being questioned, I’ll choose to stand with a man like Mr. Lotorto any time and proudly so.

    • Tom says:

      You can stand with him, but don’t make him a victim. Interestingly, and to his credit, he doesn’t, at least not much.

  7. Brendan says:

    What blows my mind here is that Tom actually sat there and wrote a hit piece on a 25 year old dude without thinking for a moment about how ridiculous, petty, and bankrupt it makes him, his position, and this entire organization look.

    This is pathetic.

    • Tom says:

      So, a 25-year old should still be treated like a child? I don’t think so. Stop making him out to be a victim. He doesn’t and that’s the one thing I like about him.

      • Brendan says:

        Er no, a 25 year old shouldn’t be treated like a child and I’m not saying anyone is a victim here. I’m saying that ad hominem is a pathetic way to try and make a point, and that it’s very telling that you and your organization will publish articles like this to make your case.

        • Tom says:

          It’s not ad hominem when every point is relevant to the validity of the opposition. If we had said something about him that wasn’t related to what he’s doing that would ad hominem, but we have not. Once again, he seems to understand this and simply joins the conversation, while his defenders cry foul.

          • Brendan says:

            The validity of the opposition? How about the validity of their arguments? THAT is what is important in rational discourse. Alex’s involvement with the IWW, his employment history, his educational background, where he lives, or whether or not he’s an authentic rural Pennsylvanian have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not what he says is true or not.

            If you’re legitimately interested in honest discourse, you discredit people by discrediting their arguments — not by calling their personal life and history into question.

          • Tom says:

            His IWW involvement has EVERYTHING to do with his take on natural gas development he links them directly on his blog. If you refuse to take notice of that you’re not serious.

          • Well said, Brendan! While the sheer pettiness of Tom’s attack has drawn a lot of attention — intelligent discourse from Alex himself, Michele, you and many others — it’s obvious that the only purpose Tom is working so hard to achieve here is the three D’s — deflection, distraction and denial — in support of the big D, doubt. With PA families really suffering in Dimock, in Bradford County, in Connoquenessing (Butler County), in Bedford County, Washington County, and more; with the news out about how many animals have suffered and died after coming into contact with fracking contaminants; the industry is desperate to manufacture more doubt about the painful reality so many of us are documenting. With the new Colorado study showing methane emissions from gas fields to be 4% — not the 2% or less the industry had been claiming — it’s very very important for the industry to manufacture some more doubt regarding the importance of protecting people and climate from shale gas drilling.
            What better way to manufacture doubt than through character assassination? It’s low, it’s dirty, it’s slimy, it’s easy. With so many engineers, like the authoritative fracturing mechanic Dr. Anthony Ingraffea and world authority on hydrology and pollution, Dr. Michel Boufadel; with so many biologists, from PhD Sandra Steingraber to stream ecologist Kevin Heatley; with so many geologists and hydrogeologists, including Paul Rubin; physicians like Dr. Jerome Paulson, and I won’t go on — weighing in on the side of caution, calling for a halt and calling for cumulative impacts to be studied, Tom prefers to avoid real shale gas drilling impacts altogether. He’s taking a cheap, inaccurate shot at one activist he thinks he can somehow use to discredit perfectly legitimate, in fact mainstream, arguments about safety, health, sane energy policy, and a good future for our children.
            The industry wants to frack like there’s no tomorrow. The rest of us are all engaged collectively in pointing out that there is such a thing as tomorrow and that we care about it — including Alex in his point, among many good points, about declining property values for those with fracking in their back yard — but also including tomorrow in the sense of clean water and air, clean foodsheds and slowing and stopping climate change — in other words, protecting the essentials which are the basis for public health. The reason right-wingers want to spend so much energy attacking Alex is that they know deep down that our truths are consistent with conservative truths also; true conservatives also care about clean water and air, property values and the health of our children. The industry understands that we are defending the common good and so it’s very, very important for them to protect their profits not by logical argument but by deflection, distraction, denial. Character assassination is their tool.
            And like the book says, “Doubt is their product.”

          • Tom says:

            So many points and yet so few facts. I only remind you that when someone calls you a murderer as Alex has said of the industry it is not unfair in any way to reply that he might represent a spoiled generation whose true is more anti-capitalist than anything else. It seems the anti-gas contingent is able to give a punch but not take one. I am pleased to post your comment because it supports that contention. More to the point, however, if you are offended by my characterizations of Alex, why are you not offended by his characterizations? Also, I encourage you check with those folks in Dimock who see things quite a bit differently than you suggest. Vist Dimock Proud at: http://dimockproud.com/ (as just one example). They are tired of being kicked by others who mischaracterize them. There’s a lot of that going on.

  8. Marc J. Mancini says:

    This article is a pathetic attempt from the gas industry to hide their disastrous and deleterious effects they create on individuals and communities by distracting people to read articles that falsely characterize real activists committed to creating a better world for all, not just “themselves” as this article suggests. First of all, let me point out that Alex is a union brother of mine, and I’ll be dammed if someone is going to slander or harm a fellow union brother in any way. We believe strength and power lie in solidarity under the motto: “An injury one is an injury to all.” That’s human compassion at it’s strength–looking out for one another. That’s more than I can say for you, “Tom.” Seems like all you care about is wasting time writing articles about young protesters trying to make a difference in the world while most likely getting paid a lot of money by the gas industry doing it. I understand why…it’s a distraction. Why don’t you focus on the real issues in regards to fracking–oh, that’s right, your boss probably wouldn’t like that. I work as a union organizer. This article mirrors exactly in structure and language that a letter from a boss would write to workers after discovering a union organizing campaign is taking place. In fact, I have numerous examples that demonstrate the exact same thing as this article does: distract workers from their issues at work and focus on falsely characterizing “the union” as a “third party” that’s weak, radical, corrupt, etc., thereby getting workers to turn their attention on the union and union organizers, and not their issues at work their bosses create. Sometimes it’s effective, but eventually people see through the lies and distortions. Bosses do it because they fear workers having any power, and when they write letters like this, it shows they’re afraid because workers, or activists in this case, are gaining power and influence. So by writing pathetic articles like this, you’re actually doing Alex and other activists a favor. You’re basically saying to us: activists like Alex are having an influence on the population with the very real possibility they could hurt our industry and our bottom-line and that scares us, so let’s not talk about our environmental destruction for profit, let’s talk about Alex, the “spoiled child, wobbly, extremist kid with an ego problem” to paraphrase your words. So thank you for taking notice of us; I’m glad to see the gas industry is afraid of activists like Alex, along with so many others. The industry should be afraid of us–I don’t think it’s outrageous to call gas industry CEOs “murderers” because that’s exactly what they are. These corporate kleptomaniacs are nothing but environmental terrorists, who will one day be brought to justice. First you try to ignore the activists, then you try laughing at us by portraying people like Alex as a joke, but the only joke around here is you and your writing. Reminds me of a quote Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” We’re here in the struggle to win; it’ll take a lot more than your words to stop us. Solidarity Forever!

    • Tom says:

      We have nothing but respect for unions, most of which are supporting us. These includes the Building Trades and Pipefitters Unions, but they don’t sing from the Little Red Songbook like you do. The IWW, in fact, condemns ssh unions doesn’t it?

      • Marc J. Mancini says:

        I don’t think “condemn” is the right word. Criticize sure…the IWW doesn’t agree with their structure but that does not mean we do not support them. Wobblies have stood on the picket lines with many different unions. The IWW was very supportive and active for the Wisconsin workers last year in Madison and I recall many Wobblies standing on the picket lines with Verizon workers last summer to give recent examples. Now in it’s heyday, the IWW faced much push back from the more “mainstream” unions, or the modern day AFL-CIO as well as the state because of their revolutionary beliefs and practices, which were very effective in the building of the labor movement at the turn of the 20th century. And yes, those unions you mentioned, among others, have sung from the Little Red Songbook. The anthem of the labor movement, sung by many unions, is the song Solidarity Forever, written by a wobbly (Ralph Chaplin) written for the IWW. The famous sit-down strikes in the auto-plants of the 1930’s, the end of child labor, the fight to organize immigrant and “unskilled” labor, and the fight for an 8-hour workday were all examples of contributions and tactics that originated from the IWW. Now of course those trade unions support gas drilling and what not. It’s a job. That doesn’t mean it’s ok to destroy the environment and put people’s luvluhoods at risk. I’m willing to bet if you gave those unions a choice of whether they want to represent workers working at dangerous jobs that destroy the environment or if they want to represent workers working relatively safe, green and energy efficient jobs, I’m pretty sure they would choose the latter. But unions don’t determine the work, the bosses do. That’s why the objective if the IWW is to do away with such socio-economic orders so workers do have a say and decide the work, but in the meantime they “struggle to win better working conditions today to achieve economic democracy tomorrow.” Every union, every worker should sing from the Little Red Songbook. We encourage it.

        • Tom says:

          Well, we’ll let that speak for itself. Your comment was thoughtful at least but your thoughts are essentially socialist.

          • Marc J Mancini says:

            Actually I would identify myself as an anarchist in terms of political identity, but you can say I’m a “libertarian socialist.” Doesnt really matter to me but I like to correct people since many times the word “socialist” can be used with a negative connotation. A fair journalist would actually do research to confirm facts and assertions.  

          • Tom says:

            Well, that pretty well say it all.

  9. Alex is a great man. Fracking is a great example of corporate greed corrupting our government. Fracking just doesn’t effect the owners of the property, employees, and employers. It effects everyone because we that land that is being polluted is not on another planet. It is a few miles away. The polluted run off goes into city water and kills our plants and animals. With renewable clean energy like wind mills and solar panels why destroy the land like we did with coal? For a profit that is why. Hurting the people, the land, and the animals for a damn profit.

    Creating a hit piece on Alex is really sad. It is pathetic. You can not argue the facts so you must insult and decimate a person’s character. This is the same propaganda that politicians use. I hope no one is gullible to believe your slander.

    • Tom says:

      Isn’t your comment a hit piece on natural gas development? Why is it that you folks can give so easily and take nothing? And, by the way, where are your facts, man?

  10. Michele Thomas says:

    I am a 59 year old woman who is also against the natural gas companies running roughshod over the people of PA and any other state that has allowed the gas companies to police themselves and ruin the water, land, air and health of the said state. Yeah…yeah I can hear you saying that there has never been a proven case of water being contaminated by fracking. That is why people do not trust the natural gas companies. They will fight like the devil to avoid culpability. I have a question for you Tom that I’ve been trying to get answered for years…If drilling for natural gas is so safe and doesn’t cause any harm to our environment, why do the natural gas companies fight so hard and spend so much money trying to remain exempt from The Clean Water Act and The Clean Air Act? Commonly refered to as The Haliburton Loophole. Why not just volunteer to give up that exemption…just think how far that would go towards increasing confidence in the belief that natural gas is clean and doesn’t harm the environment. You really can’t say that the state is regulating you or the local municipalities. Everyone knows that the gas companies have bought our politicians and Act 13 formerly known as HB1950 has stripped all power to regulate the natural gas company activities in counties and municipalities. Not only that, there is also a well hidden clause in the Act that will allow medical personnel to only get the so called propriety chemicals used in fracking, if they believe that a patient has been exposed to these chemicals and is ill because of this, by WRITING to the gas company (which will waste valuable time). The names of the chemicals will only be released if the doctor or medical personnel sign a confidentialy agreement saying he or she will not disclose them. I ask you Tom is this not putting gas companies profits over human life. IMO the natural gas companies have opened Pandora’s Box and all evil things have slithered out of it. As the story goes the only thing that got trapped inside before Pandora closed the lid is hope. To me Alex and people like him who are trying to put a stop to the plundering of our water, land and air by the gas companies REGARDLESS if it is in their backyard They are not NIMBY’s…I happen to find that admirable.
    BTW I have read Act 13 in it’s entirety and would advise every one out there reading this, to do likewise. It is eye-opening. I hope that everyone realizes that 68% of the money collected by the Impact Fee in PA will go to 5 counties in which most of the drilling is taking place. If your county is not one of the Lucky 5 you will receive a mere pittance and could be a host to pipelines, compressor and metering stations, frack water treatment plants, gas processing plants and any other structure associated with gas drilling. And your PA county, town or municipality will have no say in the matter. Oh yes you could also have ruined roads, increased truck traffic and decreased property values.
    BTW Tom I went to college in the early 70s when everyone was having sit ins and protests. I used to step over them and tell them to get to class. Thank God they didn’t listen to me. They were the ones that got civil rights, women’s rights, environmental protections (The first Earth Day was in 1969 or 1970) passed and forced our govt to end the Vietnam War. I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to those brave people.
    And I’m not a spoiled child, I was one of 5 children and Iworked my way through college and got a teaching degree. As a history teacher I always told my students they had to study history…so we could learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. Looks like you have not learned from the mistakes of the coal mining era. I really wasn’t very much of an environmentalist until I started reading about drilling and fracking for natural gas and I can honestly say it scared the bejeezes out of me. That is what motivated me to get involved.

    • Tom says:

      You make all kinds of assumptions and assertions here that simply are not backed up with facts. Moreover, I suggest you visit FracFocus.org where all ingredients are disclosed. You can read about it here: http://eidmarcellus.org/blog/fracfocus-getting-plaudits-but-some-are-never-satisfied/

      • Michele Thomas says:

        Below I have listed the facts addressing one or two of my so-called assumptions and assertions. Do your self a favor and read Act 13 in it’s entirety. I know that even this much of the bill is long and boring. But if you want to know…read it.
        They reveal all but their proprietary chemicals.

        Act 13
        3222 …Well reporting requirements

        (b.2) Trade secret or confidential proprietary information. When an operator submits its stimulation record under subsection (b.1), the operator may designate specific portions of the stimulation record as containing a trade secret or confidential proprietary information. The department shall prevent disclosure of a designated trade secret or confidential proprietary information to the extent permitted by the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law or other applicable State law.

        (5) Unless the information is entitled to protection as a trade secret or confidential proprietary information, information submitted to the department or posted to the chemical disclosure registry shall be a public record.

        RE: health professionals
        (10) A vendor, service company or operator shall identify the specific identity and amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information to any health professional who requests the information in writing if the health professional executes a confidentiality agreement and provides a written statement of need for the information indicating all of the following:
        (i) The information is needed for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
        (ii) The individual being diagnosed or treated may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical.
        (iii) Knowledge of information will assist in the diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
        (10) A vendor, service company or operator shall identify the specific identity and amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information to any health professional who requests the information in writing if the health professional executes a confidentiality agreement and provides a written statement of need for the information indicating all of the following:
        (i) The information is needed for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
        (ii) The individual being diagnosed or treated may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical.
        (iii) Knowledge of information will assist in the diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
        (10) A vendor, service company or operator shall identify the specific identity and amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information to any health professional who requests the information in writing if the health professional executes a confidentiality agreement and provides a written statement of need for the information indicating all of the following:
        (i) The information is needed for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
        (ii) The individual being diagnosed or treated may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical.
        (iii) Knowledge of information will assist in the diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
        (11) If a health professional determines that a medical emergency exists and the specific identity and amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information are necessary for emergency treatment, the vendor, service provider or operator shall immediately disclose the information to the health professional upon a verbal acknowledgment by the health professional that the information may not be used for purposes other than the health needs asserted and that the health professional shall maintain the information as confidential. The vendor, service provider or operator may request, and the health professional shall provide upon request, a written statement of need and a confidentiality agreement from the health professional as soon as circumstances permit, in conformance with regulations promulgated under this chapter.

        (c) Disclosures not required. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a vendor, service provider or operator shall not be required to do any of the following:
        (1) Disclose chemicals that are not disclosed to it by the manufacturer, vendor or service provider.
        (2) Disclose chemicals that were not intentionally added to the stimulation fluid.
        (3) Disclose chemicals that occur incidentally or are otherwise unintentionally present in trace amounts, may be the incidental result of a chemical reaction or chemical process or may be constituents of naturally occurring materials that become part of a stimulation fluid.
        (d) Trade secrets and confidential proprietary information.

        BTW I still have not received an answer to my question…If drilling for natural gas is so safe and doesn’t cause any harm to our environment, why do the natural gas companies fight so hard and spend so much money trying to remain exempt from The Clean Water Act and The Clean Air Act, commonly refered to as The Haliburton Loophole.

        • Tom says:

          You sure are a conspiracy theorist! Again, please check out FracFocus – no one is hiding anything. It’s just the opposite in fact.

          • ed says:

            I’ve checked out fracfocus. It is not a complete listing of chemicals used during the process. Case in point, The Atgas 2H well in Bradford county. Add up the percentages of each chemical listed and you arrive with a figure of less than 99.2 percent. What’s in the other .8 percent Tom?

          • ed says:

            fracfocus info on 1H well in Susquehanna County shows cla-web which is listed as proprietary. What’s in that Tom?

          • Nicole says:

            http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used
            Choline Chloride 000067-48-1 Prevents clays from swelling or shifting Clay Stabilizer
            Tetramethyl ammonium chloride 000075-57-0 Prevents clays from swelling or shifting Clay Stabilizer
            Sodium Chloride 007647-14-5 Prevents clays from swelling or shifting Clay Stabilizer

          • ed says:

            while I am at it, frac focus lists the ingredients for the CARTY 5H well in Susquehanna County as including Cla-web as proprietary and also gbw-30 breaker as proprietary. So again what’s in those Tom?

            Here’s the problem, you are saying oh the chemicals are disclosed on fracfocus and anyone disagreeing with that is a conspiracy theorist.. Well I’ve taken some time and looked at 3 wells in 2 counties and on each and every one of them, something is missing. So as of today, there is still no complete list of chemical additives going into these wells despite you saying fracfocus has that….

          • Nicole says:

            Ed, There are some additives listed as proprietary, although the information provided still includes the amount of the additive used and the category which it falls in. It is not uncommon for companies in all industries to have the right to not disclose the exact additives used in their proprietary solutions, including baby wipes http://www.huggies.com/assets/730-02-01-04-MSDS-BABA.PDF, when knowledge of the exact additives could be detrimental to their competitiveness with similar companies.

            Further, had you looked into the other resources available on the site, you would have seen that it is likely one of the following materials: http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used
            Ammonium Persulfate 007727-54-0 Allows a delayed break down of the gel Breaker
            Sodium Chloride 007647-14-5 Product Stabilizer Breaker
            Magnesium Peroxide 014452-57-4 Allows a delayed break down the gel Breaker
            Magnesium Oxide 001309-48-4 Allows a delayed break down the gel Breaker
            Calcium Chloride 010043-52-4 Product Stabilizer Breaker

          • ed says:

            My point is not all chemicals are listed as Tom is insinuating by calling someone a conspiracy theorist and telling them to look at fracfocus because all is disclosed. Simply put it isn’t as long as there are proprietary compounds. Also on some wells ATGAS 2h being one of them, the amounts don’t add up to 100 percent of the frack fluid. (ATGAS being slightly less than 99.2 percent) Therefore something is not being reported. Interesting enough, some wells add up to slightly more than 1o0 percent which i”m sure you are aware is impossible. Is it a clerical error or fudging reports?

            As to baby wipes, I don’t see the baby wipe industry coming out and saying we are disclosing all our chemicals on fracfocus and I certainly do not see a website championing the baby wipes cause resorting to name calling because someone brought up a valid point…

            As to being “likely” one of those chemicals, it is not “definately” one of those chemicals and thus my point about fracfocus not being a full disclosure stands. Full disclosure is just that – no exceptions, no it’s “likely” to be this or that.

          • Nicole says:

            http://fracfocus.org/faq: What information is contained in the hydraulic fracturing records?
            6. Ingredient Percentage in Additive by % Mass: This describes the amount of ingredient within the additive
            (Trade Name) as a percent of the total mass of the additive. Note: Because the % Mass of the additive will be expressed as its maximum concentration, the total % Mass of ingredient percentage may exceed 100%.

            7. Ingredient Concentration in HF (Hydraulic fracturing) fluid % by mass: This describes the amount of ingredient as a percent of the total mass of the HF fluid including carrier fluid and additives. Note: The total may not equal 100% due to the absence of non MSDS ingredients which may or may not be listed depending upon state reporting requirements.

          • ed says:

            quote :NOTE: The total may not equal 100% due to the absence of non MSDS ingredients which may or may not be listed”

            My point exactly Nicole. fracfocus is not a complete list of additives as Tom has claimed. If it’s not a complete list, it’s not full disclosure.. It’s really that simple.

          • Tom says:

            What part of “non-MSDS ingredients” don’t you understand? You’re trying to create a conspiracy around items that don’t even require a MSDS? That’s ludicrous and you know it.

          • ed says:

            Tom what part of “full disclosure” don’t you understand? I’ll give you a hint, it means EVERYTHING used. In the case of the Atgas well .8 percent of the Hf fluid was not reported. That’s roughly 8,000 gallons for every million gallons of frack fluid used.
            That is not an insignificant amount of material. So what is it? Oh right you can’t tell me because the “full disclosure” of fracfocus didn’t include it.

          • Tom says:

            We have answered the question. You just don’t like the answer.

          • ed says:

            I love the answer Tom. In a nutshell, you are claiming that listing a chemical compound as proprietary and then saying it’s ‘likely’ to be this or ‘likely’ to be that is full disclosure. You are also saying not listing what amounts to 8000 gallons of who knows what per million gallons of frack fluid is full disclosure.

            Great Job EID!

          • Tom says:

            You are distorting the reality that everything is available as needed. Moreover, you want to hold the gas industry to a high standard than every other.

          • ed says:

            full disclosure is full disclosure. and yes darn right I want the gas industry held to a higher standard. Problems with water wells have occurred – mostly due to casing issues. The latest is in Franklin Forks, PA which is just a few miles down the road. Why on earth would I not want to hold them to the highest standard possible when my water supply may be at risk?

          • Tom says:

            So, do you demand the same thing when you buy households cleaners or drink a bottle of Coke?

          • ed says:

            I don’t drink household cleaners or coke for that matter.

          • Tom says:

            But you use them don’t you? And, I’ll bet you never once checked the MSDS sheets for any of them. You are only making an issue here because it serves to advance a political contention.

          • ed says:

            How much is this bet going to be for Tom? I guarantee you will lose.
            In the past I have worked as a chemical mixer for a company that manufactured a wide range of cleaners. Part of the job required reading and understanding the material safety data sheets prior to handling the chemicals involved. (by the way calling it a msds sheet is kind of redundant, you are saying material safety data sheet sheets)

            Political? hardly, I’d say environmental.

          • Tom says:

            Hah! OK, I’ll give you that one – you’ve probably read a heck of a lot more of them than I have.

          • Michele Thomas says:

            Tom…the facts I quoted are from PA Act 13 that was just signed into law by Gov Corbett on Feb 14, 2012. Read it!!!!! Any chemical that is considered proprietary does not have to be disclosed. These are the facts not a conspiracy!!! I didn’t write the above by myself…I cut and pasted it from Act 13 itself!!! That is what you call facys and I’m still looking for an answer to my question..If drilling for natural gas is so safe and doesn’t cause any harm to our environment, why do the natural gas companies fight so hard and spend so much money trying to remain exempt from The Clean Water Act and The Clean Air Act, commonly refered to as The Haliburton Loophole.

          • Nicole says:

            Actually the natural gas industry has never fallen under those regulations according to the EPA; however, it’s a moot point because PA state regulations, which they do follow, far exceed the requirements of these 2 acts http://eidmarcellus.org/blog/perry-presentation/. For proprietary additives if you want to know the likely component, FracFocus.org has a resource for you to look them up based on the function listed on the MSDS or FracFocus.org registry: http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used

          • Michele Thomas says:

            Like I said if Hydraulic Fracturing posed no danger to the environment why make a special point to exempt it from the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Acts. In 2005 Dick Cheney actually went before Congress to push for this exemption. Why not just adhere to these Acts, if it’s so safe why push for the exemptions in 2005. They made a special exemption for the gas industry. WHY did they have to do that if it didn’t pose a risk. Those exemptions are what raised the questions on the safety of fracking.

            In 2005, at the behest of then Vice President Dick Cheney, Congress approved what came to be known as the Halliburton Loophole, a rider to the National Energy Policy Act which exempted hydraulic fracking from regulations prescribed by the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

            While seemingly working to the advantage of the industry, as was its intent, the Halliburton Loophole has turned out to be a damning testimonial to the inherent dangers of fracking to human health and to the environment.

            The message is obvious. If as benign as its proponents claim, why should hydro-fracking not be subject to the restrictions specified by the act?

            Pushing for exemption from environmental oversight is tantamount to an admission that hydrofracking poses a threat to drinking water and air quality.

            All one has to do is read the stated purpose of the Clean Water Act to understand why the industry used its political clout to deprive the act of its authority.

            The act was passed to “ensure drinking water is safe, and restores and maintains oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support economic and recreational activities and provide a healthy habitat for fish, plants, and wildlife.”

            Read more: http://auburnpub.com/news/opinion/mailbag/halliburton-loophole-testimony-to-fracking/article_47ab5a2c-5044-11e1-9fb7-0019bb2963f4.html#ixzz1oVGtaqov

            http://www.marcellus-shale.us/2005-Energy-Act.htm

            As far as the state regulating the natural gas act…Gov. Tom Corbett has received $1.6 million in campaign contributions from the natural gas industry and he isn’t the only politician to take money and be indebted to the gas companies. He owes the gas companies for helping him get elected. IMO Gov Corbett has delivered PA to the gas companies on a silver platter, to do whatever they like to it.

            http://www.damascuscitizensforsustainability.org/2011/11/gas-industry-buys-public-policy/

            The PA Constitution States:

            Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
            “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the
            environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As
            trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

            I do not see our Governor as working to fulfill this section of the Constitution. This part of the PA Constition says eit all…..some of our PA politicians are not doing what they were elected to do. It is such a simple basic right that is being trampled on by the gas companies and some of our politicians are letting it happen.

            I think Ansel Adams said it best in his quote…It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.

          • Tom says:

            Well, this piece certainly includes every shibboleth every uttered on the subject of natural gas, doesn’t it. Even Tony Ingraffea says there is no such thing as the Halliburton Loophole. You’re about 2 years behind on the rumor-mongering.

          • Joe_G_WV says:

            I just wanted to weigh in on this. Dr. Ingraffea spent decades developing the process of horizontal drilling with high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing before realizing the devastation it would bring. He has become one of the most outspoken opponents of the process based on its risks to human life and destruction of local economies.

            I wanted to check your assertion that Dr. Ingraffea say there’s “no such thing” as the Halliburton loophole. This is the first result I found: http://www.spectraenergywatch.com/blog/?p=893 It’s semantics; there wasn’t anything specifically on the books from 1974, the 2005 “loophole” perpetuated that. Link also includes some damning testimony from a former EPA official.

          • Tom says:

            I heard him specifically say it in those words at a meeting in Nanticoke, PA. Also, Walter Hang says the same thing. You’ve just said the same thing. As for Ingraffea being the developer of horizontal drilling – that, too, is just plain wrong. check the facts please!

  11. Tom Servo says:

    Is it safe and responsible to pollute millions of gallons of fresh water per well and inject it back into the ground, continuously depleting America’s water supply for a short-term profit? You do or don’t know, this water is forever polluted, taken from public domain into private never to be used for farming, drinking or swimming again. Or how about send Pennsylvania’s waste water into Ohio for chump change?

    How ironic when Natural Gas comes into town, you come in with those who claim to recycle water and make it drinkable again. It’s a scam, another privatization scheme of public utilities for profit.

    • Tom says:

      The water use is not continuously depleting America’s supply as you suggest. A large share of it comes back as flowback and produced water and is recyled (100% in many cases) and the combustion of natural gas produces water that more than restores water over time.

      • Michele Thomas says:

        Again Tom I beg to differ with you. Most of the on average 5 million gallons of fresh water used to frack 1 well 1 time, remains in the earth (about 75% – 80%). This is called the consumptive use of water…that means that this water never returns to the water cycle. And unfortunately, they have not found a way as yet to return frack water to completely potable water. They may recycle the flowback water enough to reuse for fracking again, but in the END, when they are done reusing it, what do they do with that water. If you had an answer to that I’m sure you would be a millionaire. BTW did you know that of all the water on the earth only 1% of it is potable??

      • BH says:

        Tom, “recycling 100%” is impossible.

        If it were, why would the industry require more water withdrawals?

        • Tom says:

          As explained in answer to other comments, flowback and produced water are, indeed, 100% recycled today in the case of most operations. The bulk of the water is left in the ground but gets more than replaced over time by water produced through the combustion of methane. There is, over time, no loss of water but there are always withdrawals needed to do more wells. It is essentially a cycle but withdrawals are part of that cycle.

          • Michele Thomas says:

            OMG Tom are you for real???? I just have to laugh at your replies. Obviously you have no idea what you are talking about. Geez….

          • Tom says:

            So why aren’t you rebutting it? Are you saying methane combustion doesn’t produce H2O? No, you aren’t, are you?

  12. Liz R. says:

    I like this guy! He’s just telling the truth. Funny, Tom, how you accuse Lotorto of not dealing in “facts.” Methinks the Gas Industry PR machine doth protest too much! Here are some facts about “unconventional gas drilling” – in the form of peer reviewed scientific studies…
    http://keeptapwatersafe.org/2012/02/08/shale-gas-fuels-the-war-on-science/

    • Tom says:

      Utter nonsense that ignores the reality of the reality of the technology and the lack of anything other than speculation about problems.

  13. christine b says:

    This is great and interesting to see their portrayal of Alex. He is my new hero. . and so nice of Alex to come on here and reply. You have all my respect, Alex, sir!

    • Tom says:

      He’s far from our hero but we,too, like that he replied.

  14. rich says:

    I’m former “Pike County” my family and many others were forced from our homes, and a beautiful historical little town destroyed, for the Tocks Island Dam project, which….never happened!
    When the guy who wrote this hit piece uses paragraphs such as “with their anti- natural gas activities merely being a convenient platform from which to launch attacks on the capitalism, corporations and constitutional government that, ironically, have allowed them to pursue their passions or causes” any person with real knowledge of American History would know the rest of it is a lie also. What’s really sad is the author got it right when he picked the order of what he states gives freedom in America….capitalism, corporations, and last….government. I’ve heard people wanting to be much more free of those things, but this is the first time I’ve seen them cited as the liberators of our nation.

  15. Randall says:

    You’ve just lost a follower, EID. I’ve been following both sides of the debate now for some time and have stayed neutral throughout the course, but this attack piece is disgusting at its very core. It’s a poor reflection of the industry and this sort of smear campaign against a single person has no place in rational discourse or in society. It’s in bad taste through and through. That type of smear tactic you’d find in Washington D.C. of all places. If EID is trying to win hearts and minds, you’re doing quite the opposite. The fact that you’ve brought the guy’s parents into this is even more disgusting.

    Tom,

    You should be holding your head in shame for this classless display. I don’t know where you come from, but where I live- we don’t try to publicly humiliate people, even those we disagree with.

    • Tom says:

      Sorry you feel that way, Randall. This is a fellow who is an extremist in his views and needs to be exposed. Oddly, he seems to take less offense than you and promptly engaged in a conversation with us. I actually like that part of him. It’s too bad you don’t offer your views as well (beyond those you’ve already expressed, which aren’t that relevant).

  16. Paul Roden says:

    Alex may be an extremist but that is his right. The gas drillers can’t and won’t drill responsibly. To drill safely will cost them too much money. And now they want to drill 50,000 more wells in the Marcellus Shale. No one knows the cost of storing all of the wastes from drilling or how to safely treat it. Injecting waste water underground in deep injection wells causes earthquakes. 80% of the water injected into fracked wells supposedly stays there and never leaks into the ground water table. Oh, and there never is a an accident or spill of the “produced water” or “flow back” at the wells. Well casings only last about 100 years. What happens after that even thought their supposedly triple layered. The gas from the Marcellus Shale is only estimated to last for about 100 years. There will be a need for more pipelines and pumping stations which in Pennsylvania can be sited where ever the gas companies want to place them thanks to the new law they dictated to the PA State legislature. Now we are told we need gas pipeline terminals for export of this natural gas that was supposed to be a “transition fuel” and make us “independent of foreign oil.” The gas companies say that they have never contaminated any water wells, aquifers or watersheds. Burning the natural gas contributes to global warming. When the new governor of PA came into office that they gave $1.2 million dollars to for his campaign, he told his Department of Environmental Protection that the 11 families in Dimok that they were supplying water to and the others in Butler county that they no longer needed to pay for supply water to them declaring their water safe. The gas drillers are polluters, liars, thieves and crooks. They promise jobs. These are not permanent jobs. Most of the jobs go to people who have the skills. Which means drill rig workers from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and not local PA residents other that hotel and restaurant workers. They are exempt from Federal environmental protection and OSHA health and safety laws thanks to Vice President Dick Chaney and the “Halliburton Loophole in the Energy law he helped pass. The gas drillers will destroy the rest of state that the coal, early oil drillers and the lumber companies have destroyed. They only care about one thing: profits. This capital intensive industry will tie up valuable capital that could go to developing renewable energy, conservation, a smart electrical grid and less centralized sources of power. But the gas and big utility companies don’t want that because that threatens their profits, power and control. According to Delucchi and Jacobson in their two part study in the March 2011 issue of Energy Policy and in their November 2009 issue of Scientific American, we can transition to renewable energy without fossil fuel or nuclear power by 2030 with existing technology. But what we are lacking according to Delucchi and Jacobson, is the political will. It is no wonder after buying the Congress and the legislatures in most states where there is shale gas formations. Money talks, b.s. walks and we are all running a close third. But the American public is waking up. Thanks to Alex and others like him. There are more of us than there are of the gas drillers and the members of the 1% that profit from their greedy drilling practices. Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive and unnecessary for our energy needs. The price is too high to pay for the continued drinking water for 15 million water users of the Delaware Water Shed that spans three states; PA, NJ and NY. Once the water is contaminated it can never be cleaned or recycled. It can’t be distilled, chemically treated or filtered by any filters known to humans and be safe to drink. And once in the water table or aquifers, it can never be used again. Fracking needs to be banned forever.

    • Tom says:

      Diatribe, anyone? How do you expect to work toward solutions when you adopt this attitude at the outset? Also, the flowback IS recycled today and what’s left in the ground is replaced by water released over time during the combustion of methane.

  17. David says:

    As typical EID does the typical Character assassination and defamation, while wrapping itself in the flag and attempting to say that anyone who doesn’t agree with with your view is anti-american.
    And to add icing to the cake they go on with ad hominem attacks and innuendo.

    You state that Lotorto statements are over the top then go and use this article which is borderline libel! talk about being hypocritical EID

    I suggest EID looks in the mirror.

    • Tom says:

      We haven’t accused anyone of murder, have we?

      • David says:

        No, just assassination of character!

        • Tom says:

          As I said, we haven’t accused anyone of the murder. That hyperbole came from your side.

          • David says:

            Your same hyperbole doesn’t justify your defamation. Again as typical of EID and the associated individuals writing these articles, it’s easier to denigrate the person than to attack their arguments!

            Nice try at the distraction principle by trying to infer I have a side, this isn’t about me but about EID’s unethical personal attacks.

          • Tom says:

            Sounds exactly like what you’re doing! Also, don’t tell us you don’t have a side when you appear regularly on Twitter attacking us. Why don’t you follow Alex’s lead and defend your socialism?

          • David says:

            HAHAHAHA again with the Ad Hominem attack and trying to deflect the issue of your libelous remarks.

            As it has been said many times, attacking your critics is the first sign your losing the argument.

          • Tom says:

            Seems to me that’s what you’re doing, David. There is nothing libelous about telling the truth.

  18. Jon Booth says:

    This is hilarious. You’re an amazing idiot. Alex seems to be doing some legitimate work. Better than I can say for you.

    • Tom says:

      Actually, you’re comment is hilarious and how about using your real name next time for some transparency. Don’t expect to get published as Jon Wilkes Booth again.

    • ed says:

      Hey Jon,
      I’ve got to disagree with you. Tom is obviously a genius. A mastermind with no equal. The man has moled himself deeply into EID and then writes articles such as this one. EID can not be enjoying the fallout from this. EID’s reputation has to take a hit with every such article. Tom is obviously a covert fractivist just trying to make EID look bad. BRAVO!

      • Tom says:

        Clever thinking, but, actually, I’m simply letting folks speak for themselves. Nothing further is required. The more you folks sing from the Little Red Songbook the more you help make my point. Once again, I am forced to admit Alex may well be the most rational person responding to this blog post. He was, at least, willing to engage and talk through some issues. I respect that.

        • ed says:

          Fair enough Tom. Then how about a straight answer to a simple question?
          Do you believe full disclosure is achieved when chemicals are listed not by name but simply called proprietary?

          It’s my belief that anything short of listing everything would be partial disclosure. Fracfocus saying the compounds listed as proprietary are “likely” this or “likely” that is in no way a definitive answer as it could just as “likely” be something else.

          • Tom says:

            Nicole has explained this very well. You are looking for a “gotcha” moment and there is none.

          • ed says:

            the “gotcha” moment would be your refusal to answer a simple and straightforward question.

            You go around calling people “conspiracy theorists” because they are concerned what’s going into the ground. You claim fracfocus gives “full disclosure” when their reports are full of “proprietary components” and “likely to be this or likely to be that”

            That’s not full disclosure by any stretch of the term and you know that. The fact you won’t answer a simple question speaks volumes.

            And for the record, Nicole’s explanation of “likely” compounds is not full disclosure… but I’m sure you knew that as well.

          • Tom says:

            Here’s what FracFocus itself says:

            This is an oft repeated complaint about chemical reporting. What folks don’t seem to understand is that under federal and state laws such as OSHA and EPCRA, all industries (not just oil and gas) are allowed to hold some information as “trade secrets” to protect them from those who could reverse engineer a process. The most often used analogy is the food industry which does not list specific proprietary components in food products such as “Coke.” Some argue this is not a good analogy because there isn’t anything in “Coke” that is toxic. Consider household cleaners, however, which contain toxics but not every ingredient in a cleaner is listed. This does not mean there is no access to the information but that the information cannot be revealed to the general public to avoid providing an advantage to your competitors. The information being withheld is still available to medical professionals and first responders on an as needed basis for medical treatment. Even then, the medical professionals can be required to keep the information confidential.

            No doubt you won’t be satisfied but I suspect that would be the case no matter what. Take it or leave it.

          • ed says:

            Tom,

            Believe it or not I do understand about holding trade secret or proprietary components confidential. That is not my point. My point is simply it’s not a full disclosure if there is one thing not being reported.

            And to that end, I find you calling Michele is a ‘conspiracy theorist’ because all the information is disclosed (when in fact it is not, as you have said trade secret or proprietary is kept confidential) in bad taste.

          • Tom says:

            You’re counting how many angels (or should I say devils) can fit on the head of a pin.

  19. unreceivedogma says:

    Didn’t someone say “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”? Why would a gas guzzling conservative like Tom have a problem with extremism? And why wouldn’t Pennsylvanians have a problem with ACt 13, a piece of legislation that can certainly be said to rob people of their liberties for the benefit of some suits.

    The world always seems upside down on Tom’s EID page.

    • Tom says:

      You’re not defending liberty. Rather, you are trying to deprive all Pennsylvanians of their property rights in the name of imposing your own agenda. It’s not about the “suits” but the landowners.

  20. Tom,

    I dare you to come debate Occupy Scranton, of which we’re proud to claim Alex as a member, at any college in Northeasren Pennsylvania. Bring ANYBODY from the gas industry you choose; we’ll reserve the right to choose anyone for our side.

    I bet you back down, just as has, for example, everyone from the Marcellus Shale Coalition–including president Katie Klaber. You know your lies can’t stand the light of day, so of course you’ll refuse the debate. We WILL, BTW, make your response known all over the Internet.

    C’mon, you chicken-livered paid-off ideologue: I dare you to give us a try!

    • Tom says:

      Could be interesting. Maybe Lackawanna College would be a good venue. However, you need to tone it down with the threats if you want to be taken seriously. You also need to learn how to spell.

      • Tom Frost says:

        I propose that the NON-defending of Cabot, “side”, be the one to make the arrangements for security. That way there WON’T be any “threat” situations such as a uniformed thug moving for his gun in response to an attendee only raising his actual-local-water jug to take a drink from it, like happened with me at the gate of Cabot’s picnic!

        • Tom says:

          Is that your real name, Tom Frost?

          • Joanne Fiorito says:

            Yes, that is TOM FROST’s real name, and yet you seem to question this?

            How about you cough up your real surname, eh Tom…..

            and let’s not take the venue down to Lackawanna ollege let’s keep it up inside the impact zone…

            why not hold the debate at Elk Lake High School Auditorium…or is that where you people prefer to avoid, since your adversaries can look you dead in the eyes on their own turf?

          • Tom Frost says:

            I’ve found a pretty consistent pattern in which the more-pro-drilling-than-thous DON’T WANT to engage me when I’m using my NON-pagaslease.com-forum name, because that’s when they know that they’ll lose.

          • Tom says:

            Wow, that’s mighty humble of you there, Tom!

  21. Paul Bermanzohn, MD says:

    Hi Tom:

    Your little hit piece on Lotorto is quite petty and even silly. A supposedly grown man picking on a young guy is demeaning to you; you are a bully in this exchange, and I’d say Lotorto won the exchange. Her’s why.

    You make a big point that he is safe in Pike County, but if fracking is allowed to continue to grow, if it is not fully stopped and banned, it will be a threat to all of us.

    There are 2 reasons for this.
    First, pollution migrates. It does not respect county borders or other political boundaries. As acid rain proved, pollution travels. There are well-recognized cases of underground pollution (called “toxic plumes”) traveling more than 25 miles.

    The second big reason is that fracking is being used by the oil companies to avoid getting off of fossil fuels which are the basis of global warming (it is also their way to survive and save their economic predominance in this period of declining resources like oil and with the growing world-wide consensus that agrees global warming must be stopped. If the human race does not find a way to live in a sustainable way (I know this is a word you mock and disdain) we’re all toast. You may not have understood this Tom, but the fight against fracking is the fight to stop global warming. That may help explain why so much passion has been on display in the debates over fracking. It is, literally, a life and death issue for humanity.

    Your fake claims about jobs and you posturing appeals to “solid working class Americans” are not working. In NY State the comments on the DEC’s recently-revised Environmental Impact Statement were overwhelmingly opposed to fracking, at about a 10 to 1 ratio. On most radio discussions we see the same overwhelming and growing opposition. Fracking may be altogether banned. I am one of many who would welcome this.

    A little humility on your part would be in order, Tom. I think you should apologize to Lotorto, and it should be public. You should also check your facts. Use some credible sources, not just oil company press releases.

    Best wishes, and good luck to you. If you agree to a debate be prepared o be laughed at.

    Paul Bermanzohn, MD

    • Tom says:

      I don’t see many facts here, Paul. You simply assert things. Also, since when is a 25-year old not expected to act like an adult? He is allowed to call us murderers without being called on it? That’s insane and one of the reasons our culture is in such a serious decline – there are no expectations of responsibility on the part of folks who, in every other place and time, would be expected to act as adults. Interestingly, he doesn’t rely upon this defense, at least not much, and I respect the fact he’s willing to get in the arena and take punches as good as he gives. You seem to want a world where only your side gets to throw the punches.

  22. Robert Beal says:
    • Tom says:

      Not sure what this proves except that dividers tend to exacerbate income equality.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Alex is always out and about trying to stir things up for one cause or another and frequently talks about training centers and the like where, of course, he can be the center of attention as the trainer. I can’t help liking him but he’s as predictable as a clock stuck at 11:50 PM, where he can alternatively claim; a) we are at the brink of disaster with little time left, or b) at the breaking of a new collectivist day that will somehow work this time after being tried and failing every other time. He’s protested everything imaginable and has done so at multiple universities other than the one he actually attended. Like Vera Scroggins, he’s drawn to the bug zapper on a regular basis hoping to get another few minutes in the limelight. […]

  2. […] while protesting the Cove Point project with non-other-than professional serial protester Alex Lotorto. Heather Mizeur, of course, is using her defiant stance of opposition as an election […]

  3. […] there the serial protestors who are employed to do this astroturf. Alex Lotorto, who hasn’t missed a protest since high school was there. Alex likes to claim […]

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