Natural Gas Protestors Have Overstayed Their Welcome at the Redwood Inn

As I read the hysterical letters about natural gas from the tiny handful of folks I previously described as “tree-huggers,” I begin to wonder: Will my water breathe fire?  Will earthquakes occur as in Texas?  Will the devil demons inhabit the Finger Lakes as the backyard movie-makers suggest?  As they beg for donations for their futile cause, and after intense deliberation, I have made my decision.  I am one of the silent majority who will welcome the gas companies and their money to this financially depressed area.  Natural gas is our present and future.  It’s time to stop the time wasting effort on protests and start the welcoming committee.  If you few folks who seem to show up everywhere protesting everything are still looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, I believe they are putting another Walmart up the road from Cayuta, so go protest that some more and leave our livelihood out of it.

Frank Maines

Natural gas jobs welcome here!

The people who came down here to protest this development were not even from here.  I saw a license plate from Vermont last Saturday when they were setting up in the parking lot next to my motel.  And, the rest of them came from Ithaca to protest here in the community where I live.  They have, as far as I am concerned, no business coming down here, bothering me and interfering with my property rights.  If they’re not in favor of natural gas gas development and don’t like it, then they should do us all a favor and leave.  Trust me, no one will protest that – no one at all.

Even if I was against natural gas development, people have to meet somewhere in the middle, but there doesn’t seem to be any spirit of compromise from the other side.  We can’t keep depending on other countries for energy when we’re sitting on it right here.  It’s crazy not to develop what we have.  I’m 100 percent for this coming to my area. You can say all you want about the bad things but they’re few and far between, if any.  I believe 75 percent of the population in this area feel the way I do – they just aren’t out making a lot of noise.

The Watkins Glen area has 5 months of good weather for tourists and then 7 months of winter.  You can cut the cake any way you want it, but there is simply no business during those 7 months. I go down to Florida during those winter months, because there’s no business up here that will keep me going economically; that is, until the gas companies come, and then there will be something.

When I read some of the comments regarding your two posts on what happened with that recent protest, I had to laugh out loud.  Here is one:

Frank Maines of the Redwood Inn has every right to believe what he wishes and say so, but he is hardly an objective source as he stands to profit directly from the fracking boom via filled rooms for which he can charge an exorbitant rate. Sad reality check for Mr. Maines: should New York lift its moratorium, and the boom he’s jazzed about now turn, as it will inevitably, to bust–leaving in its wake all of the erosion, blight, and joblessness that he thinks fracking is going to cure, the joke will be on him. Only worse–he will be poisoned by the very water and air he’s willing to see sacrificed for the green-backs sticking out of his fat wallet. Even worse than that: we’ll all be poisoned. – Wendy Lynne Lee, Raging Chicken Press

Wendy Lynne Lee, your sub-par observations and write-up about me mean nothing.  Whenever one of you anti-development types writes something about me (this hasn’t been the first time) all I need to do is take a look at where it comes from.  I’m not sure if you do, but most of your comrades use natural gas for energy in their homes (although I’m sure most live in barns, or should if they don’t want to be hypocrites).  You drive cars just like the rest of us.  Your lives, like the rest of ours, depend on fossil fuels for any number of items used every day, things like the computers you type on, the signs you carry and your polyester tie-die shirts.  You are in need of a serious reality check.  The least you could do is get the facts right and stop pretending we don’t need this energy.

For Sale Sign

Redwood Inn For Sale

I’ve owned the Redwood Inn in Cayuta, New York for 21 years.  I have the motel up for sale now.  After just turning 74, it’s time for me to downsize.  I bought a little place in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.  There’s a ton of development over there and business is booming.  That’s where I’m headed. I don’t want to look at the abandoned farms that have become the Southern Tier of New York.  I’ve had enough of this bucolic poverty.  Decline isn’t pretty.  Prosperity is.

Redwood Inn

Redwood Inn

The one thing I hope is that someone from one of the gas companies or related businesses buys this place.  I’m not here to make royalties.  I just want to sell the motel.  I have over three acres of nice level land here perfect for development and when it comes, I hope they put a nice big rig and well right in the front here so when all these protestors drive by they can see it and what it’s doing for the area.

Redwood Inn Front Door

Redwood Inn Front Door

This whole thing reminds me of the 1960’s when so many of the protestors didn’t actually work, unless you count protesting, in which case they had full time jobs.  Last year, they had a write up in one of those Ithaca papers about a couple with a farm outside of town. They spent all their money on this natural gas protesting thing and now they’re bringing people in who stay overnight in tents to teach them how to go to development sites and protest.  A couple weeks later in that same paper they had the same couple saying they were broke and begging for donations for their cause.  I’ve heard some organizations pay some of these people to protest so it looks like a lot more people show up.  I can’t prove it but I can see half of them don’t even know what they’re protesting.

I have a message for Wendy Lynne Lee and her friends from Bloomsburg and Ithaca.  Heed my warning: if you protest and decide to park on my property again, I will not hesitate to call the police, AGAIN.  People around here are tired of you coming here from all over to protest.  The only thing we don’t like about the gas companies is the fact they brought people like you to our area.


  1. Chris K. says:

    An absolutely devastating piece. Required reading for you everyone out there who thinks this is a local folks vs. local folks fight. It’s not. Thank you, Frank.

  2. FrankS Blank says:

    Fear not Frank. We will get the word out to the masses that the Redwood Inn is the enemy.
    You won’t be getting anymore protesters, or any more people that are against fracking or
    the family and friends of people who are anti fracking. Good luck with trying to sell.

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Ah, the typical threat to anyone who disagrees – isn’t that the anti way!

      • FrankS Blank says:

        That’s right, Tom. Just converting to your tactics. And the other Frank made the first threat.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          No, Frank told you what he’d do if you folks trespassed again. You want to silence his voice. There’s quite a difference.

      • Bill Ferullo says:

        Stow it Tommy ! you know you play the game your way !

    • Actually–Mr. Maines is pretty smart here. If I were him, I’d do exactly what he’s doing. Get out now, because if NY goes the way of PA, he won’t be able to sell the motel–he wouldn’t even be able to get a second mortgage to improve the place! Once the big tankers become a regular idling feature at that gas station, that motel isn’t gonna look very rural and homey anymore. It’s just going to look like another option for a “man camp.”

      • Tom Shepstone says:

        Hey, Wendy, I just remembered you never answered that relatively simple question I put to you about whether or not you agree the combustion of natural gas produces water. I thought perhaps we might find one or two facts we can agree upon and build from there, but you seem to prefer to yell.

        • Caroly says:


          There are simple questions that you have refused to answer. Please answer how many “squeeze jobs” on natural gas wells has the industry done to date? Why is EID not requesting the industry to place chemical identifiers in the drilling fluids? Why is EID not asking for a full and complete accounting from the producers to help verify the post production costs that landowners are getting deducted from their royalty checks? Simple questions- answer them.

          • Nicole Jacobs says:

            Squeeze Jobs: A squeeze job is a process of perforating the casing to pump in more cement and pressure test the well. All 2-string casings, which would have been prior to the new DEP regs and industry wide increase to a minimum of 3-string, must be tested and monitored as per DEP. If an issue is found, DEP is notified and the squeeze job is performed. DEP would be your best bet to find out specific numbers of this occurring.

            Chemical tracing: This has never been a common practice in the industry; however, there are studies being done by the Dept of Energy on shallow wells out in Greene County using this method to determine if there is any fluid migration. We don’t know the cost associated with this type of practice, nor are we a trade association able to influence best practices, but it would be something you could suggest to one of the trade associations across the state such as the MSC, API, ANGA, PIOGA, etc.

            Pre-drill water testing: DEP is given all pre-drill baseline water testing completed by natural gas companies, as well as post-drill data. At this time, DEP keeps this information private to protect the property owners. Property owners can share information for the Citizen’s Ground Water Database, anonymously, to help provide a greater picture of water quality in Pennsylvania prior to natural gas development.

            Royalty checks and stubs:
            There is currently legislation being proposed to increase the amount of information required on royalty check stubs, but many companies are already including much of the information that will be required and allow the landowner to do their own math to determine the accuracy of their payments. This information includes volume, acreage included in unit, royalty amount, btu content, deductions, etc. If someone receiving royalty payments is unsure of how to read their stub or not receiving this information, they should contact the company they are leased with and/or their local contacts for the National Association of Royalty Owners. Royalty amounts are another area where privacy is upheld and companies will not release this information to the public in a way that could be detrimental to their lessors, as it really is no one’s business how much their neighbor is making through this additional income.

          • Tom Frost says:

            It’s “lessors”. Even Scott Cannon, who calls us “leasors” or “leasers” or something like that when he’s doing his insults, has it closer than you.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            You are correct! Thank you! Keep up the good work!

          • Tom Frost says:

            Dimock water NOT FIXED. FIX IT!

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Tell it to the EPA, Tom.

  3. susan dorsey says:

    Amen, Frank

  4. Dear Mr. Maines,

    It would be delightful if you and the folks at Energy In Depth would spell my name correctly. That’s LynnE, and my last name is LEE. It speaks volumes about how much you really care for facts that you don’t bother to get even the easy stuff right. But I think we already know enough about how much you respect the facts. That you’d be happy to locate a frack pad in the front of your motel makes plain that you know precisely nothing about the environmental and health dangers associated with fracking, and that Energy in Depth would solicit you (or did you go to them? Doubtful) only clarifies just how mercenary these folks are. It is, of course, your call as a bonafide grown-up that you’re willing to be used in so crass a fashion. Then again, you all do have similar goals: money. Money regardless injury to present and future, human and nonhuman.

    Will your water breathe fire? This depends on whether or not Horseheads gets the honor of being the next Dimock. have you been to Dimock? You might want to take a look before you sign over your property to Cabot.

    Will there be earthquakes in Texas? I assume you mean fracking-related earthquakes. Too late. Please see:

    And who exactly is begging for donations? Very obscure, Mr. Paine.

    Where did the protesters come from? Fact: almost entirely from New York. A few of us do hail from other ports of call–mainly Pennsylvania where we are enjoying the fruits of the fracking industry in the form of contaminated water and air and soil, destroyed roads, destroyed forests, destroyed waterways, and destroyed communities. Are there some folks making the big bucks during this boom cycle? You bet–but the VAST majority of these are precisely the outsiders you decry–the folks who live in our “man camps” are from Oklahoma, Texas, etc–and that gas? It’s destined for the global market. In FACT, we here at home will be buying it back paying global market prices–just like the Chinese. Don’t believe me? Please look up the MARC I pipeline, Keystone, and Keystone XL. Natural gas may be abundant, but it will not remain cheap. The moment large users have made the conversion to natural gas, the price WILL rise, and they WILL be stuck with something that produces one of the most destructive gases there is: methane.

    Interfering with your property rights? HAHAHAHAHA! That IS hysterical, Mr. Paine. Had they not summarily left–THAT might have been such an interference. But nothing remotely like that occurred. What’s funnier? Forced Pooling–that was fracking corporations can get you land just because it sits in a group of parcels that happen to be on the Marcellus. OR the states deploy of eminent domain to get pipeline laid under you land without your permission. Look up “abuse of eminent domain, Sullivan County, PA.” You want to worry about your property rights? The protesters are the LEAST of what endangers you.

    Meet somewhere in the middle? What’s the middle of pancreatic cancer, Mr. Maines? What’s the middle of asthma? What’s the middle of silica poisoning? What’s the middle of neurological damage? What’s the middle of species extinction? Do you think that “restore” means the industry can replace 200 year old trees? Do you think that once groundwater is contaminated, we can fix that? That we can get benzine out of an aquifer once it’s in there?

    “It’s crazy not to develop what we have.” Really? Why? We have the potential to designate entire groups of people–just as we have in the past–and “develop” them as slaves. We don’t (anymore) Why? Because the consequences of this “development” are inherently immoral. We have the potential to develop pesticides that can kill all sorts of bugs that eat crops. The consequence? CANCER for human and nonhuman beings. Development, Mr. Maines, is not a self-justifying reason for doing any thing. Benefit over cost–for those affected most significantly–is. And natural gas development from fracking’s short and long term costs so outweigh its only short term gains for the few that it’s very hard to call this “development,” much less “progress.” After all, something IS supposed to be alive and well at the end of that “development.”

    As for that ridiculous stereotype about protesters that don’t work: that describes virtually no one in front of the Schlumberger gates, or at any protest. You’re apparently watching FOX. I suggest you try news. I, for example, am a professor at a university. Don’t think that’s work? Come and do my job for me.

    Here’s plainly the whole thing for you: you stand to make money from the frackers. You can charge them a higher room rate, and you can keep your rooms filled. Good for you. If this comes at the cost of the disease of your neighbors who don’t have the opportunity to leave during the Winter months. Well, they can just be damned, and their kids too, right? My “sup-par” observations are dead on, Mr. Maines–and in your own words.

    Mr. Maines, your threats are simply silly since no one violated you or yours in any way whatsoever. You seem to think you exercise property rights. You don’t–especially in Wellsboro….indeed, in Pennsylvania. If one of the fracking corporations decides to put that well pad down in front of your motel, you’ll have nothing to say about it. And if this means that folks head down the way because they’re worried your water’s polluted, or your place is just a god-awful eyesore, well, good luck. And by the way, in PA, if you’re exposed to the carcinogen cured, biocide bombed, surfactant saturated waste of the fracking evaporation process and you get sick, your physician won’t even be able to tell you what exactly made you sick–THAT’s protected as proprietary property rights–for the frackers. Good luck too, then, with that informed consent to treatment.


    Professor Wendy Lynne Lee

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      There is obviously something very wrong at Bloomsburg University. Every comment you make is a diatribe against natural gas, economic freedom and property rights, but Frank Maines offers a relatively mild set of observations on your position and you go apoplectic.

      • What on earth makes you think “apoplectic”? Nope. Just a thorough as my philosophical training has encouraged in me. You are confused between “thorough and complete” and ” Yelling.” I’m not yelling at all…I’m just carving up your arguments. You apparently can’t distinguish a diatribe from a set of interconnected arguments. But truth is–you’re not reading anything I post. You just see a name. And you don’t like it. That’s understandable. I embarrass you, so you try to discredit me. That all you have to come back with is the groundless generalization that “there’s something wrong at Bloomsburg University” indicates only that you’ve got nothing with which to respond to my specific claims and arguments,” so you have to go for the usual Ad Hominem. Think there’s something wrong at my institution, call my department chair: Scott Lowe, Philosophy. Or call my university president: David Soltz. Am I wrong? Are you reading me? Fine. Respond to an argument, then. SHOW ME.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          Wendy, I just went back to your last comment to see if I missed something. I didn’t. There wasn’t a single quantifiable fact in the entire thing – just speculation by yourself and others. As I have challenged you before, give us one fact to sink our teeth in and we’ll address it.

          • Wendy Lynne Lee says:

            Really, Mr. Shepstone, it is truly abysmal that you somehow think that because YOU say there are no facts that you can somehow make it be the case that there are not facts. This is called “magical thinking,” namely, the belief that you can make something be the case because you wish it to be so. It’s kind of like the child who insists thatit’s not her or his bedtime because he or she wants to stay up and play. But the truth is that there are no quantifiable facts in my work–THAT SUPPORT YOUR POSITION. But it’s actually worse than that. You don’t have a position on natural gas. The only position you have is the one that pays your salary. YOUR position is EID, and did that change, you’d be out of a job. I function under no such fetters. And that makes all the difference between you and I.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Wendy, you keep avoiding my challenges, and you’re not being all that clever in doing so. Give me one, just one, quantifiable fact supporting YOUR position. I already gave you one supporting mine (that combustion of natural gas produces water) and asked if you accepted it. I notice you ignore that as well.

    • Rita says:

      Excuse me Wendy… but I live in Dimock. You speak of Dimock as if it were a toxic waste dump. It’s far from that. It’s a beautiful place to live… open your eyes!!!! I resent people like you… you know nothing….. so smart, Professor Wendy, but so stupid. The natural gas industry has been a God send to this area. My water is & has always been fine. My child has 10 finger and 10 toes and my cat only has one tail….. People like you just want to cause chaos. We are so tired of listening to you. Shut it already! This is going to happen… get over it & move on or move away to some tree-hugging community.

      • Wendy Lynne Lee says:

        Greetings Rita,

        Yours are the missives I find the most heart-breakingly sad. You somehow think that “ten fingers and toes” is all you need to see to be assured that your child is safe from the toxins associated with fracking. I hope sincerely that you and your child’s futures will be nothing but healthy and happy, and it is a fact–whether you like it or not–that by continuing to live and work–and breathe and drink the water–in Dimock you have potentially exposed you and your child to carcinogens, toxic levels of methane, radon, surfactants, biocides, and other undisclosed pollutants. Your choices are to take responsibility and educate yourself about these dangers, or bury your head in the sand. I see you’ve chosen the latter. Hopefully–and I mean that–neither you nor your child will have to pay the price for that willful ignorance later.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          The EPA has just concluded the opposite of what you stated, Wendy, as has the DEP. Yet, you ask Rita of burying her head in the sand.

          • Bill Ferullo says:

            the EPA was guided from the top down and changed the limits on the testing (because of contamination in the lab) their words !Should have re -sampled not changed the limits .What bull this is ! Besides there are other areas having water problems I personal know people who are farmers with farms dating back 200 years that have wells on them and now bad water ! These people don’t make up stories they are to honest to do that .Sorry if you don’t believe this but the truth always hurt’s those that don’t believe .

          • Nicole Jacobs says:

            We all acknowledge mistakes can occur, but in the words of soon to be former Dimock litigant, Victoria Switzer, “I would advise anyone living in a gas field with concerns or disputes involving a gas company to try to work with them.”

        • Rita says:

          Professor Wendy,

          HAHAHAHA! You speak to me as if I am some dumb half-wit…… you make me laugh!!

          Wendy, although I do not have PROFESSOR at the beginning of my name, you take it as though I am some un-educated individual who has put my family and myself in some kind of “harms way.” I am VERY educated on this issue…. I live it…EVERYDAY. I do NOT bury my head in the sand, as you ignorantly put it. Read the facts, Professor Wendy, that Tom has provided to you instead of blowing him off and trying to further your argument. I’ve done my research on hyrdo-fracking…. I get my water tested every 2 months (& yes, I pay for it out-of-pocket) and before you get on your “soap box” again, I do not collect royalties. I am in the moratorium in Dimock…… it’s been 2 years now….. could be forever.. who knows? (Maybe the people in the moratorium should start protesting…hmmmmm…) Bottom line….. Hydro-fracking has been proven to be safe… you can’t deny the facts!!! I, personally don’t like the fact of depending on foreign countries for ANYTHING…. especially natural gas, if it’s in our own backyards!

          See….. its not all about the $$$$$ for most of us. My husband and I both have real jobs to support our family We’re not un-educated half-wits on this issue.

          Continue to protest, Professor Wendy. I can guarantee you, it will get you NOWHERE!!! The natural gas BOOM is here! You may as well embrace it or move away…… I think you should choose the latter…. and take your tree-hugging friends with you.

          • Bill Ferullo says:

            Rita gas drilling has stopped in Bradford county .Permits are being let to expire ! Many houses for rent now and drillers are gone !

          • Nicole Jacobs says:

            Rig counts have decreased, Bill, but the companies are still there and operating. There’s a big focus on infrastructure right now.

          • Sherry says:

            And Bill’s question has what to do with Rita’s posting?

        • WinK says:

          So, now that the EPA has definitely confirmed NO well-water contamination in Dimock that is related to the NG industry, the anti side is saying “yeah, but just wait and see in a few year when your kids start turning green,etc., blah, blah”. As a professor, I would think you were trained to make decisions/assumptions based on facts; you are doing your profession – and your students – a dis-service by claiming things to be so because you “think” they are/will be, or because you want them to be so you can say “I told you so!” You, professor, are guilty of exactly what you were accusing Mr. Shepstone: making baseless statements knowing the facts do not support them. And, as for Dimock, I will take the word of a resident who lives with the industry every day rather that your poorly researched comments!.

        • Sherry says:

          The only person who is burying her head in the sand is you Ms. Lee. You use the word “potential” as in “potentially it will poison you”. However, you also are guilty of saying it WILL poison, with no use of the word “potential”. Your degree in philosophy does not include the ability to tell futures.

          Dimock residents are fine, including the litigants – that’s why most of them are rushing to settle NOW because it was all over when the last round of EPA tests came out – before their window of financial opportunity closes.

          You speak of greed. Then what do you call people who lie about their circumstances for the sake of a lawsuit and fame?????? And when those lies come falling down on them, scramble to get what financial crumbs they can close out of a fraudulent lawsuit? And what of the people who knew this was the case all along, yet still used or uses them as pawns in their scheme to ban frac’ing in New York or other places? What label do you place on those? Opportunist is one word that comes to mind because it’s sure not based on facts.

    • Tony Hedberg says:

      Thank you Professor Lee. Not that anyone cares….now. They will.

  5. Tom Frost says:

    Let me get this straight: You called the police BEFORE trying to turn it into a revenue opportunity somehow? If so, no wonder you’re having a hard time keeping your head above water until the gasmen arrive!

    If it was me I would have charged them $5. a spot for the parking and maybe told the ones with the stupidest signs to hide them in the back until their fossil-fueled caravan got underway or something like that. One time years ago when I had a neighbor whom I didn’t like who was having an auction and the auction attendees’ parking spilled over onto my property without my permission, I didn’t complain; I used it as an opportunity! The “Once-a-Century Yard Sale” that I threw together real quick was one of the most successful keeping-of-my-head-above-water tricks that I did during all of the decades that I didn’t have, nor expect, gasmen to bail me out.

    In the 2 1/2 years since the gasmen DID bail me out here in Susquehanna County and I’ve therefore been able to afford sleeping under fewer bridges and in more hotels, N.Y.-Southern-Tier hotel owners have been getting some fracing dollars from me. What a pity it is that you don’t want any of them. I’ll remember that, and continue to the next town, if I happen to ever pass by your hotel when you still own it.

    • HI Tom, Actually Mr.Maine called the police IN ORDER to turn the event of our presence into a sale opportunity–to create a little stir that might scour up some buyers. Must not be going very well. No surprise–he’s just to close to the ugly that;s right over the border in my PA.

      • Tom Shepstone says:

        Now there’s an ad hominem attack if I ever saw one. How do you know what Frank’s motives were, Wendy? Did he tell you that? I strongly doubt it.

        • Wendy Lynne Lee says:

          Actually, he did tell us ALL that, Tom. re-read his piece. He’s all about the money. He’s perfectly clear about that. And, as I think about it more, he’s quite shrewd too. One the one hand, Mr. Maine decries the “tree-huggers” and that gets him attention–maybe even a few room rentals from the gassers who he avowedly supports. On the other, he wants nothing but to get out and sell the inn–before the gassers destroy the region. Mr. Maine is just playing his hand for all its worth.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Just incredible. You have the nerve to accuse others of ad hominem attacks after that?

          • Joe says:


            If Maines was purely motivated by money wouldn’t he hold onto his property and wait for development to come to the area and then collect royalty checks.

            “I’m not here to make royalties. I just want to sell the motel.”

            Your argument that he is solely money motivated has no ground to stand on.

            “No surprise–he’s just to close to the ugly that;s right over the border in my PA.”

            He bought a house in Wellsboro Pennsylvania clearly he doesn’t think its ugly over the border.

            You seem to only hear and read what you want…

          • WinK says:

            Right on, Joe; Wendy likes things to be as she says they are. Did no one notice that Mr. Maines is 74 years old and wants to retire? And guess what, he’s moving right into the frac’ing heartland….. PA!

  6. Bad Hemingway says:

    This piece reads like a parody:

    “I’ve had enough of this bucolic poverty. Decline is pretty. Prosperity is.”

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      …isn’t pretty…is correct, of course, although I take not an awful lot of people, especially those who make or have made their living elsewhere, seem to like “pastoral poverty.”

  7. Vargus Pike says:

    I am curious, How many people supporting the gas companies get their water from wells? How many understand the underlying geology of the ancient seabeds of the region? How many of you know what chemicals are going to be pumped into the ground to fracture the rock and destroy the impermeable layers between the gas and your drinking water? How many of you think that if your water resource is destroyed the gas companies will still be around to make reparations and supply you and your children with water for generations? Do you really want to risk that?
    On a more personal level. Of course you do not oppose the gas companies Frank. You are much closer to the end of your life than the beginning and you you plan on leaving the area. I wonder how you would feel if you were younger and relied on the groundwater to be fresh and clean for your children? Would you be so adamant then? I suspect that many of the people not from the area you see protesting are looking at a larger picture than just the Marcellus shale region. True they use the resources available because that is all that is available and as long as companies focus on non-renewable energy that is the only choice there is. What about Solar, or wind, or wave, or geothermal. All renewable, it cost more in the short term but the hidden cost of Gas and Oil is part of why our globe is warming destroying the web of life and costing billions upon billions for disaster relief and mitigation of pollution.
    Vargus Pike
    Born and bred in Upstate New York

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Obviously, you don’t realize the most vocal gas supporters are landowners who almost always get their water from wells on their property. Public water systems don’t generally extend to the back forty.

      • Vargus Pike says:

        I do realize it. I am from Upstate New York . I am also a trained geologist and know the geology of the region quite well which is why I fear for every person who gets their water from a well in a region where fracking takes place. I also find the fact that the gas companies will not reveal the chemicals they are using to be a scary issue. I find it very hard to understand why people support a gas company that is injecting unknown chemicals into the ground to fracture rock layers either above or below their water supply. I is a disaster waiting to happen that could make Love Canal look like a playground for babies.
        Vargus Pike

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          There are no unknown chemicals being injected into the ground, Vargus, and surely as a trained geologist, you know that. If you will visit FracFocus you can get all the details as to what they are.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            Tom, I did as you suggested and looked at a well in Pennsylvania. Some of the logs list “Proprietary” as the inject able material. Proprietary is not a chemical. It is a legal term for “Private chemical formula”They do not tell you what the chemical is nor will they tell. I believe that fits the definition of unknown.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            The chemicals are listed and, as I’m sure you are aware, it is only the precise formulation (the amount of each) that is proprietary. Moreover, if you look at the items in that category you’ll find they are, more often than not, elements for which there is no MSDS (that is they are not potentially hazardous) or they are new formulations that use “green” elements. I’m sure you also realize all chemicals or elements are disclosed to anyone who needs to know. However, given that is the mix that is proprietary and not the chemicals/elements per se, that is hardly an issue.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            In high concentrations many of the chemicals listed are toxic. What is the plan if they are spilled into a stream at the surface due to accidental discharge. How will it be cleaned up?Can it be cleaned up? What effect would it have on the local wildlife. Although diluted with fresh and recycled water, after injected into the ground when or if the chemicals intermix with the groundwater would you be willing to drink that water day after day, month after month year after year. Chemicals like Polyethylene glycol or Tar bases, quinoline derivs, benzyl chloride-quaternized. Petroleum distillates or 2,2-dibromo-3-nitrilopropionamide. Methanols and hydrochloric acids? Are you willing to drink them now to prove that they are harmless? Can the people of the region afford to take the risk. That is the crux of the matter!
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Oh, please. Look at the list of chemicals on the back of any label. The mere listing means nothing. It’s the levels and you proceed on a completely false assumption that all these will enter the ground water or surface water. It hasn’t happened in the first instance (ever) and in the second there is no evidence of significant contamination of any water body by hydraulic fracturing fluids, flowback or produced water. You’re speculating and asking people to surrender their livelihoods to your baseless speculative fears. That’s the precautionary principle carried to an absurd length and it’s what’s grinding our economy to a halt in a hundred different ways.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            But are you willing to drink it? You did not answer my question. You just obfuscated.
            If it can happen it will happen. It is just a matter of time.
            Nuclear power is safe just ask the people in Fukishima, and Cherynoble. Off shore drilling is safe just ask those who live in the Gulf of Mexico. Global Warming is a myth just ask the polar bears and the people who live on the coast’s. Pipeline spills never happen just ask the people of Michigan and Nebraska and on and on. I am not asking people to surrender their livelihoods I am asking them to consider the cost/benefit ratio of a proposed possible revenue stream and make an informed decision about their future and their children’s future because when “it” happens there will be no turning back. I am hoping they will say thanks but no thanks. It is not worth the risk no matter the assurances from those who stand to profit most. The Gas companies.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            No, I am not going to drink fracturing fluid. That isn’t what anyone has been asked to do either, so your question is completely irrelevant – a childish taunt at best. You revealed all when you said “It is not worth the risk no matter the assurances from those who stand to profit most.” That is pure balderdash. Who is going to take risks, except for profit? No one, of course, and yet risk is what moves everything forward. Only a fool will deny that. The question is one of what is reasonable risk but you’ll have none of that. You prefer to sit on a perch above it all, while others take the risks for your benefit. Do you think for a second there aren’t risks with every form of energy? Of course, there are. There’s risk in getting out of bed each morning. Trying to pretend there isn’t or that the risks of natural gas development are unacceptable with zero evidence of the same doesn’t do anything for anyone. Let’s get real.

          • Wendy Lynne Lee says:

            HAHAHAHAHA! AS if FRACFOCUS were a reliable source of information! This just gets better and better. And “needs to know.” What a slippery slide of hand THAT is! Here’s someone, Mr. Shepstone, who needs to know: the patient who has been diagnosed with an illness via exposure to fracking chemicals–but whose doctor cannot reveal the combination or the amount of chemicals relevant to the exposure. The patient cannot give informed consent to treatment–a cornerstone of patients rights. This aspect of ACT 13 will also be overturned as unconstitutional. The notion that these chemical are revealed to anyone who “needs to know” is patently absurd. If ANYONE needs to know, it’t that patient.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            You are surely aware this is no different than any other trade secret, for dozens of items you both consume and use regularly in your home.

          • JD Krohn says:

            Not to mention Act 13 clearly allows doctors treating patients access to all information on components in fracturing fluid. This isn’t opinion, it’s fact. Its clear in the language of the law and confirmed by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Its pointless even engaging in discussion with this “enlightened” professor. She’s so “enlighted” in fact that she ignores reality, facts, and science. Guess it all takes a back seat to her philosophy of “fracking equals environmental rape” according to her Facebook page.

          • From Bloomberg News today concerning the credibility of FRACFOCUS:

            Fracking Hazards Obscured In Failure To Disclose Wells:

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            More nonsense, starting with the citation of Dimock, Pavillion and Parker as evidence – three cases where the EPA had to completely backtrack because its initial suppositions proved to be wrong.

          • justintempler says:


            Re: From Bloomberg News today…

            Today? The article is from 8/14, today’s date 8/19

            Re: …concerning the credibility of FRACFOCUS:

            Nowhere is the article is the credibility of FracFocus called into to question. In fact quoting from the article “After Bloomberg News asked about the incomplete disclosures, EQT fixed the errors, Cox said. ”

            The story is full of distortions, assumptions, and accusations based on incomplete data. It only covers the first 8 months, it only looked at 8 states, they left out: Pennsylvania (that requires full disclosure), North Dakota (home of the Bakken oil boom) and Ohio.

            What I do see is a lot of cherry picked pieces of data that the authors turned into paragraph headings and factoids i.e. “64 percent of U.S. gas production”. Hydraulic frac’ing is every bit as important for oil as it is for gas. So why no factoid telling us the percentage of U.S. oil production their data covered?

        • nina says:

          Vargus you are obviously not a well-trained or informed geologist and another in a long line of poseurs. Live and Learn from the experts!

          • Vargus Pike says:

            Why the personal insult? Feeling a bit defensive?
            Do you have any other sources to reference than a Geologist who is paid by the gas companies? He makes it sound so simple even a child could do it. In reality nothing is that simple and no one knows for certain what happens underground. Mistakes get made and accidents do happen. variables unknown create unaccounted for effects. Just look at the Retsof Mine collapse a quarter of a mile below the surface and the sinkholes that developed at the surface of the Genesee valley as a result. All because of a new mining technique that was used to increase production. While it is true I am not an expert in drilling I do have enough geological knowledge to know that there are risks involved. My primary question is are the rewards worth the risks and do the people of the region want to take the chance. Time after time in industry after industry companies have downplayed the risks only for people to discover later that they were lied to and that now they have to pay the price of those lies be it in environmental degradation or by way of associated health problems where none existed.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            I guess the operative phrase is “I am not an expert in drilling.”

          • Vargus Pike says:

            Does that then invalidate any and all concerns I might have about the safety and practice of Fracking? I am not an expert in drilling but I do know that the drilling experts did not foresee the Disaster in the gulf. I am not an expert car mechanic either but I know enough about cars to know what can and does go wrong with them. I am not an expert chemist but I know enough about chemistry to know what I am willing to ingest and what I am not. I am not an expert in baseball but I do know that the cubs are not likely to win the world series.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            It’s matter of degree. You would paralyze all action to satisfy what are speculative fears. We would never drive a car, fly a plane, start a business or do anything of substance with your attitude.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            Just because you can it does not always by extension mean you should.
            The people will decide.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            You simply won’t admit you have nothing, will you, Vargus?

          • JD Krohn says:

            What invalidates your concern is the 65 plus year history of study on this issue. That and the fact this has been reviewed by over three presidential administrations (Clinton, Bush, Obama) all indicating the process is safe. This doesn’t even account for the many academic and industry studies all saying the same thing. This is in addition to confirmations from over 16 state regulatory that have hundreds of years combined experience in regulating this technology. It’s all of these things that invalidate your concerns, not your lack of qualifications.

          • Dean Marshall says:

            Sorry JD…but the reasoning of all Frack studies is that theorethically, it could be done safely……but is it? No frackin way! Operators take short-cuts to save money and time, toxic waste is routinely discharged in ditches, streams and rivers, and the principles of the biggest corporations on earth spend billions on “campaign Contributions”, Public Relations and Media Blitz type mis-information, not to mention Hush money, non-disclosure clauses, and water replacement or treatment systems for those who have had perfectly safe water wells ruined by Fracking! Prove me wrong and I will drink Dimock water myself!

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Nobody can prove a bunch of wild baseless undocumented assertions wrong and that’s why you offer them. We have tasted the Dimock water, several times in fact, and it tastes good.

    • Tony Hedberg says:

      Thank you Vargus, for the voice of reason. Reason, however, has taken a back seat to greed. And to you Tom, those same landowners who are leasing the mineral rights to the gas companies stand to become millionaires in the process. What do they care if their well water is contaminated? Unlike the vast majority of people, they can simply move away.

      • Tom Shepstone says:

        Actually, most of them stay and invest the money in their farms, which is something most of the rest of us appreciate very much.

      • Wendy Lynne Lee says:

        Yup–unlike the residents of Riverdale Mobile Home Community in Jersey Shore, PA who were summarily evicted so that Aqua America could convert the park into a water withdrawal for fracking, the already wealthy can simply cash their checks and buy property somewhere safer–until even THAT’S gone…and that IS the big lie–that there will remain these safe places for the wealthy. They can die of cancer just like the rest of us.

  8. Michael Fitzgerald says:

    So, do I understand that protesters have cost the author money? Really?

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      The fog of disinformation generated by your side has clearly delayed natural gas development in NY and that has cost Frank money – there’s no doubt about it.

      • Vargus Pike says:

        What disinformation are you alluding to?
        What is the correct information?
        What are your sources for the correct information?
        I am curious to know.
        Vargus Pike

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          A good example is the myth that radon levels in NYC homes will spike from Marcellus Shale gas. Follow this chain of stories and you’ll see what kind of disinformation is being pushed and what the real facts are.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            Tom, The argument about radon was not on my radar. What is more important than radon at the delivery site is contamination at the drilling site.
   This link will take you to the paper “Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing” This study was done in the Marcellus formation.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            You are referring to the Duke study, of course, that explicitly stated hydraulic fracturing was not a cause and that used a highly selective and tiny sample of wells, including those in formations of high methane concentrations when near gas wells but comparing them to formations of low methane concentration as a control – a technique almost guaranteed to produce the results they wanted. And, of course, that study was funded by the Park Foundation. See and and

          • Vargus Pike says:

            We can play tennis with competing studies all day if that is what you want to do. Neither one of us will be able to absolutely prove our position or absolutely debunk the other persons position. The answers are not definitive although there is ample anecdotal evidence from citizens near Fracking sites that their water has been compromised it is not definitive. The question remains for the people of the region. Do the rewards Merit the risks? Potable water is a precious commodity. Is the possibility of long term contamination of the groundwater that people in the region rely on worth the risk of short term economic gain?
            Another question to ask is one of trust and motivation. I am involved in this debate because I am worried for the people who live in the region. Friends and relatives who have lived there for generations and who want to continue to live in what is still a relatively pristine region. At present I do not live in the region although I hope to return in the future. and so I have no direct personal or financial stake in the outcome at this time. I ask you, Why are you arguing so vehemently for Fracking? What is your motivation in all of this? What do you stand to gain.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Simple – I know from the overwhelming and objective (not anecdotal) evidence it can be done safely and responsibly and given how desperately our rural families need something to revive their economies, it’s a an easy call. You don’t make a living in the area and so your objectives are quite different. Pastoral poverty is apparently just fine with you, but I prefer prosperity.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            How do you stand to gain from it?
            Do you live in the area?
            Do you work for the Gas companies?
            Are you a land owner.
            Are you a business owner.
            I have been perfectly frank and honest with you.
            Will you do the same for me?
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            No, you haven’t been that frank, Vargus, or you would admit you act in your self-interest as much as I do. That you think otherwise, reveals much. I am a landowner, a businessman, have a gas lease, reside in the DRBC region, work for the gas companies and am proof of it all. However, I felt the same way about these issues before I ever considered any of this. Even if I did not, it wouldn’t matter, however, as enlightened self-interest is what moves our society forward, not cowering in a corner paralyzed in fear with change.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            Tom, Insinuating that I am disingenuous and cowardly reveals much and does you and your cause a disservice. I can see that our conversation has reached an impasse and so I bid you goodbye.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            You know very well what I said – that you propose to operate from an extreme interpretation of the precautionary principle, letting fear and speculation serve as your philosophy.

          • JD Krohn says:

            I’m not so sure about your transparency Vargus. You said you were a geologist. Where are you a geologist? Where did you study geology? Can you inform me of the organic compound differences between shale and slate? Quite simply, I don’t think you are what you claim to be.

          • Vargus Pike says:

            I earned a Bachelors degree in Geology from S.U.N.Y Geneseo. As part of that training I have studied the geology of Upstate New York extensively. Shale is a fine grade sedimentary rock derived primarily from clays. It is typically deposited in a low energy environment either in backwaters or far off shore. Places where there is little current to carry larger particles and where the mud is allowed to settle out. It may often have an organic component that under the right conditions allows the derivation of oil or gas from the layers. Shale is a soft rock that is fissile. Slate is shale that has undergone low grade metamorphism. It is harder than shale and typically can be split into thin layers due to strong chemical bonds in two directions but weak chemical bonds in the third direction. They are chemically very similar in composition with the aluminosilicate Kaolinite being a primary component. The low grade metamorphism occurs through burial and the creation of a pressure and temperature gradient. The aluminosilicates and other components such as iron chemically align to create the layers previously mentioned. Most of the rock in New York aside from the Adirondack Precambrian shield rock is Ordovician. Silurian and Devonian in age and was once an ancient seabed. The rocks have a slight tilt to the south . Most of New York’s gas production is in the southentier because the gas bearing layers are deep enough to prevent natural release to the surface. Although shale and slate are relatively impermeable confining gasses and water to certain layers this impermeability is not absolute and numerous fault lines exist that can allow the transfer of material from one zone to another. Although geologically relatively stable earthquakes do occur in New York often as a result of isostatic rebound as the region recovers from the Ponderous weight of a mile thick slab of ice that covered it during the last ice age. Shall I go on?
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            You can speculate all you want but it hasn’t happened, has it. You’ve gotten nothing but a bunch of highly dubious suppositions and want the world to stop for them. I don’t think so. Read the SGEIS, look at the track record and even look at studies such as Duke’s, which is quite biased and yet had to admit hydraulic fracturing has polluted water supplies. You’re tilting at windmills.

      • Ah, GOSH, that IS awful. We have deprived a man of making money via an activity–renting motel rooms–that–parasitical on an industry that’s poisoning us–he’s got a God-given right to participate in. The making of money is sacred, and human welfare (or, God forbid, environmental integrity) should never be allowed to get in the way of it! Poor poor Frank! Deprived of an opportunity to become one more suckling of the gassers. Would that we could have precisely this effect on Schlumberger.

        And the irony is: we could be devoting all this attention, money, energy, and intellect to developing the alternatives and putting them to use, to educating for conservation and the very different values we must adopt if our children are to have a future. Hell’s bells–folks could even make money on the alternatives, and no one would complain. Why? because they wouldn’t be systematically poisoning us.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          Oh that’s right. I forgot about those Solyndra jobs. The rest of your post also speaks volumes on your attitude toward those who disagree with you. Let the reader judge.

  9. Sam Law says:

    As on of the organizer’s of the action that met in Alpine Junction, I would like to make a few clarifications.

    We met in the Park and Ride, a public parking lot.

    We did spill over on to the property next door, not the Redwood Inn but the one on Route 13. A worker at that store came over and politely communicated to us that we should move. As we were not protesting him, we happily moved over, back to the parking lot. Its amazing what civil communication can accomplish.

    When the Police came, they told our police liaison that we were fine but that we could not go onto the Redwood Inn property (something we were not doing)

    We are protesting the fracking industry, not individual property owners (or even the workers at these sites). We were incredibly careful and respectful about planning our protest to not make anyone feel uncomfortable, except for Schlumberger and (apparently) all their hired gas shill here on Energy In Depth.

    Frank Maines, next time, please speak to one of the organizers rather than call the police. We would love to talk to you ( you could even send me an email with your concerns and I would be happy to respond, this kind of public forum breeds hostility that I find hard to deal with). Please know that we are all peaceful and friendly people, as concerned about our region as you are. Just ask EID’s own Joe Massaro who came to the protest today in Watkins Glen and chatted and mingled us for a while.. If you see a protest, come up and talk to us – we won’t bite you (though we may blockade roads of fracking sites).

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      I was actually liking the tone of this letter, albeit not the content, until I got to the part about “hired shills.” And, you guys like to say we’re ad hominem in nature? I don’t think we’ll ever rise to your level with that one, Sam. I’m glad you got to meet Joe, however. I’m sure you’ll agree he’s a terrific guy for being a “hired shill.”

    • Joe Massaro says:


      Let me clarify a few things for you…

      I met with that shop owner two days ago to drop off some pro natural gas lawn signs. He told me that during your meet up prior to the rally your people were all over his property. When he came outside and asked the cause of your protest no one would give him a direct answer. He then asked you to remove yourself from his property. If your cause was so important and “correct” wouldn’t you feel proud to tell that business owner your reason for being on his property.

      As for you being respectful where do I begin….

      – Parking on other peoples property and assuming things like that are okay, not respectful.

      – Giving me the middle finger during your rally, not respectful.

      – Calling me disgusting and using profanity directed at me during your rallies, not respectful.

      I come to all of your rallies and will continue to do so as to document and understand what exactly you are protesting. I take pictures of your signs to analyze your claims against the industry. “Fracking is Envormental Rape” “Schlumberger kills people” I take these pictures and I look for scientific evidence to prove these claims that you and your followers so admittedly proclaim. I have yet to find any…

      I have been fully transparent at your events, keep to myself and never look to fight with anyone. I came to your Watkins Glenn event yesterday in an Energy in Depth shirt I do not hide in the crowd but stand where everyone can see me. I allow your followers to take my picture and make crass remarks directed at me without refute.

      Here was a conversation I had with one of your other organizers yesterday after the pizza you ordered arrived, she was wearing the red beret.

      Red Beret – “Would you like some pizza”

      Joe – “No I’m full, thanks”

      Red Beret – “Good because I wasn’t going to give it to you anyway”

      I didn’t know what else to do but laugh at that after she said that.

      When you said I chatted and mingled, I did not mingle as I was not welcome there. I chatted with one person I believe his name was Reed he just asked me questions and I also chatted with a man filming for a documentary. If you want to count the conversation with the women from Texas who called me disgusting I guess that would make three.

      After associating with many of you over the last couple weeks I would advise anyone against going up and speaking to them unless you share their same views. Biting is about the only they wont do to you. I do not share their views, I am for responsible natural gas development, American jobs, less dependency on foreign oil, and a cleaner burning fossil fuel.

      The women from Texas told me that Texas was destroyed. I asked her to define destroyed and she said “People can light their tap water on fire.” I told her that you can also do that in New York. She responded with “your lying your from the industry” and then followed up with “your disgusting”

      Like many others I am never bothered by what you say, post or call me, I merely take a look at where its coming from. I dont know how anyone could take offense after doing that. I will say this though it appears your group is vastly misled and misinformed. Instead of teaching your people how to sit down while still keeping arms linked maybe you should get them the facts and have them make an educated decision on this controversial topic instead of jumping on a bandwagon.

      If Albert Einstein got behind a microphone wearing an EID, Chesapeke, Cabot or WPX Energy shirt and explained the theory of relativity you would not believe a word because of industry representation. That being said you can continue to take what I say like a grain of salt but the science never lies.

      • Briefly, it must be said, first, that just because Mr. Massaro says that Mr. Maines says that “people were all over his property” does not make it true. In fact, on the day of the protest, the evidence is clearly to the contrary. The moment anyone was on Mr. Maines’ property and he asked us to move, we moved–immediately. That is a fact, and it is clearly supported by the photographic evidence.

        Second, while overt rudeness is never acceptable, it is not the case that we should take Mr. Massaro’s claims at face value since he has a vested interest in making claims that present the protesters in a bad light, and vindicate Mr. Maines.

        Third, while Mr. Massaro is quite correct that he does not conceal his identity, he cannot be understood in any capacity whatever as a reporter. His specific charge is to be an EID presence at these events so as to provide a higher profile to EID, and thereby legitimate the existence and aims of EID. Let us not pretend otherwise.

        Lastly, Einstein would have been unequivocally horrified at both the propaganda and the facts associated with fracking. He was an outspoken humanitarian, and as horrified as he was at the advent of the atom bomb, he would have been 100 times the more so at this threat to health and life.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          I think the Raging Chicken has now flown the coop, thinking it’s an eagle, but it doesn’t change the facts – a chicken with its feathers up is still a chicken.

  10. Dave M says:

    Not certain which is worse Tom S who is paid to antagonize and create strife in communities or the poster who obviously has a deep seated hatred for others who do not agree with his opinion.

    The only thing i kept thinking reading this post was the internet meme “get off my lawn!

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Hey, Dave. I’ve seen a lot of your stuff on the web and it seems to me you’ve attacked anyone who disagreed with you pretty regularly but can’t tolerate and criticism of your own position.

      • Dave M says:

        Notice how EID uses the wording “attack” and tries to deflect the topic at hand. This is another example of how EID is unethical.

        The funny thing is that EID can’t take criticism and attacks any and all who disagree with them via this blog. they use personnel attacks, and then try to deflect the subject at hand via those attacks.

        There is a difference between an attack and pointing out the unethical practices of a professional paid PR firm (Dittus Communications) hired by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.

        As stated in EID’s own memo a state of the art online resource center to combat new environmental regulations, especially with regard to hydraulic fracturing.

        • Tom Shepstone says:

          How about getting your quotes correct David? Here is the actual description:

          It seems to me our attacks pale beside yours, including this one where you attack us for using the word “attack” – very ironic.

          • we all have our particular viewpoints and beliefs; nothing can really change another’s
            view. We can listen respectively to one another and then follow our “Truth” and stand for what we believe. There’s always at least two sides to any issue. this is Life.

          • Dave M says:

            I am referring to the original memo of June 5, 2009 from Barry Russell
            IPAA President and CEO which introduced the purpose of EID. where it specifically sates in the memo The second paragraph reads as such:

            “For months, IPAA’s government relations and communications teams have been working around-the-clock on a new industry-wide campaign – known as “Energy In Depth” ( – to combat new environmental regulations, especially with regard to hydraulic fracturing”

            As for the “attacks” EID is the one who constantly uses ad hominem attacks on individuals who disagree with EID’s position. EID uses unethical circular referencing of previous articles to state something as fact when it is just more attacks and hype (A lie told many times…)

            It seems that Tom you have a fairly thin skin if you consider my so called “attacks” are worse that belittling people with a passion for their beliefs and are willing to stand up and fight for what they believe. As a famous saying states “If you can’t argue the facts – attack the messenger” Which I may now be guilty of with this post but it certainly describes most of the articles from EID.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            It’s rather amazing to me to see so many complaints about ad hominem attacks from the champions of those tactics. Moreover, we regularly document all our positions. Circular reasoning is the stuff I see coming on line from the other side on a regular basis. It seems to me you are following the classic street smart rule of always attacking your opponent of what you’re doing. If you need proof just review the comments made by gas opponents on this blog post.

        • justintempler says:


          How would you expect a group of businesses to react when they are attacked in a House Congressional hearing full of false and misleading testimony?

          I went back and read the Congressional testimony from 2009 that PRECEDED the memo, have you? I would fully expect them to form an organization to counter misinformation and educate the public.

          Merck sure doesn’t have any problems spending millions of dollars on PR and lobbying, are they being unethical too?

  11. Dean Marshall says:

    Mr Maines is wrong about so many things! We are not against Natural Gas that is extracted and distributed safely. We are against the desperate dash to squeeze deep shale gas out by fracking, which permanantly poisons trillions of gals. of
    once fresh water per yr. and cannot be explored and processed without extreme damage to the environment.
    We are not against Energy….but rather Energy that makes obscene profits for greedy fracktards who willingly co-opt OUR health,safety,property values, and enjoyment of this our one and only lifetime ….not to mention that of our future generations.
    We were not comprised of “a few tree-huggers” we were over 150 human beings of all ages and social strata who feel forced to stand up to this danger that is being forced into our neighborhoods. Slumberger stews of toxic chemicals are trucked from that site directly into My home state,(Pa) which gives me every reason to burn a bit of gas to visit Your soon to be fracked neck-o-the woods.
    Finally, we reject every arguement that centers on “Progress”, Jobs, and financial gain as short-sighted and hazardous to our own personal monetary welfare. Property value decline is a by-product of this gaseous “Gold Rush” as are higher living costs,easily borne by industry workers who come from Texas, Okla., etc to rake in the big bucks offered them. Meanwhile, folks displaced by these hard economic times or by the fracking itself can no longer afford a roof over their head or fair prices for the commodities in the new gaslands.

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      That’s a lot of baseless assertions for a few words, Dean. Wendy should take lessons from you. Regardless, let me focus on merely one – your contention property values are declining. That is completely wrong. Please review this to see what I mean:

      • Wendy Lynne Lee says:
        • Tom Shepstone says:

          I reviewed your first link and found it to a collection of baseless assertions from other groups of similar views to your own except for reference to an actual Colorado study regarding coal-bed methane. It found:

          The impacts of coalbed methane wells, as measured across all properties sold in the study area and applied to an “average” property, is an estimated reduction in selling price of less than one percent.

          What is most interesting is that it found the value of properties nearby gas wells increased in value and that the study never considered the impacts of split estate activity on values. Obviously, a separation of mineral rights from other property rights has a tremendous impact on values and the study didn’t even discuss it. I’ll stand by the data I gathered and examined by myself and which was detailed in the post previously referenced.

          As far as the other links are concerned, well, I don’t put a lot of faith in the Pennsylvania Progressive or Vanity Fair or the the New York Times report on mortgages (which we debunked twice on this site as a collection of quotes from Park Foundation funded “alternative lenders” and the like).

          • Wendy Lynne Lee says:

            So the claims with which you disagree are baseless assertions, and the ones that are more benign with respect to your view are true….or at least acceptably truthy. I get it. And I get this: if you guys were as sure of your claims as you insist, you wouldn’t be bothering with us. Yet here you are.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Hey, I read the one actual report referenced in your links, quoted it and analyzed it. What more do you want?

          • Carolyn says:

            Sorry to say but you would not recognize a fact if it smacked you in the face. I am beginning to believe that the only thing that might make you question your assertions, would be if your family or someone you care about becomes faced with water contamination. Talk to me when your water well turns black, white, starts bubbling whatever might and has happened to many people in our county. Maybe then at that time your mindset might change. But maybe it won’t maybe you will be willing to allow your family to be poisoned. What are the lives of those you love worth? Are you willing to compromise the health of your loved ones? I guess time will tell and if you are lucky then you won’t have to worry about it. But unfortunately there are many people that have to that never had to before. I can prove that to and you can prove it yourself just go to the DEP and look over the information it is there. One last thing if the industry is so clean then why was Stephanie Hallowich’s case sealed at the request of the industry? Nothing to hide, no contamination then let people know the facts. Unfortunately I know differently, I was at her home and I saw her water test results. The industry did not want their dirty little secret to be available for others to see. Her family was just one of many that have been harmed needlessly.

          • Nicole Jacobs says:

            Carolyn we all acknowledge mistakes can occur, but in the words of soon to be former Dimock litigant, Victoria Switzer, “I would advise anyone living in a gas field with concerns or disputes involving a gas company to try to work with them.”

  12. Tony Hedberg says:

    I think Sam is just callin’ ’em like he sees ’em Tom. If it walks like a duck…

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Wow, that’s clever.

  13. I think I should feel sorry for Wendy Lee after reading her long-winded “I love the sound of my own voice” self-righteous diatribes, but for some reason I always just end up being amused. It’s like arguing with a toddler that INSISTS 1+1=247. She really should have her own reality show. She meets all the prerequisites: delusional, comically over-inflated sense of self-worth, mouth that runs a mile a minute, craves attention like a junkie craves a needle. Perfect for reality television. We could call it “Long Winded Wendy – An Elderly Hippie Tries to Be Relevant”.

    Nonetheless, it’s extremely satisfying to see that this is the best that anti’s can come up with. Protests that look like a bongo-drum concert barely lasting long enough to get the whole way through “Kumbaya” and plans to “Frack The Phone Lines” by getting a bunch of people to tie up the phone lines of REAL professors at REAL academic institutions that have REAL degrees that make REAL contributions to society.

    Can’t wait to see drilling open up in New York! Hang in there for just a bit longer folks!

    Mike Knapp

    • Dear Mr. Knapp:

      “Elderly hippy”: I’ll make sure to tell the race directors at the Boston Marathon next time I run it. I’m sure they’ll be even more excited about my race times–and this IS a marathon for which one must qualify.

      But let’s talk about you, or rather, the company for which you were just proudly appointed VP of Land and Public Relations at MDS Energy, LTD, now MDS Energy Development, LLC. Congratulations, you are no longer a mere landman–you are now a fully-fledged fracker and propagandist.

      In 2010 MDS managed to score an impressive number of nasty violations, for which there were a number of fines:

      WOW! The Dep also reports six violations on two wells for 2010–and this is the DEP under Michael Krancer–an agency that make as well be renamed as a public relations firm for the natural gas industry.

      Your company is responsible for violating the PA Clean Stream Law, the Discharger of Industrial Waste laws, and the proper well-casings statutes. You’re guilty of improper construction of wastewater impoundments and a variety of permitting violations.

      So, here’s my question: why would anyone in their right mind even take you seriously with respect to your acquisition of a “deteriorating pipeline system in Indiana County, PA”? What exactly could you claim to “sweat equity” mean given this history of negligence–especially with respect to well-casings? How deteriorated was this system? How old was it? How long was it before you put it back in production? Was it in any way intended for the internal pressure it will now endure? Are there populations of people nearby? Indiana is a town with one of the largest state universities in the commonwealth: IUP–approx 18,000 students. You claim that “[w]hile KAP has managed MDS Energy’s land efforts since 2009, we are excited to officially integrate our efforts into MDS so that we can work even closer to ensure the quality of our work does not suffer as we continue to grow.”

      I’ll bet! With an environmental and health hazard violation record like yours, it’s certainly important the MDS work on it’s PR–that is, its campaign to make sure the public doesn’t know it’s real record.

      Perhaps your PR efforts will be as successful in the future as they’ve been in the past, say, your completely foiled (not to mention snarky) endeavor to discredit Josh Fox.

      The Pennsylvania DEP gave the Fox family a citation for “un-permitted disposal/burning of solid waste”. The fire, however is being investigated by police, and Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshall Russ Andress stated that the trailer was burned while Fox was on the road and “There’s nothing to suggest either he or his family had anything to do with it”. The fire is still under investigation but that has not stopped the people that are looking to profit from gas drilling in Pennsylvania to wage a media slur campaign to discredit Josh Fox…In addition to the usual snarky campaigns waged on supposed misdeeds of the anti-drilling crowd offered up by Energy In Depth—the gas industry’s biggest buffoonery of misinformation; a newcomer on the scene by the name of Mike Knapp, the sole proprietor of Knapp Acquisitions, (working out out of Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Jefferson Counties in Western Pa) has taken up the mission to add to this flurry of pro-fracking flotsam by discrediting the Fox family on Twitter and on his company website by offering up the following “letter” that spells out the grave hypocrisy that Fox has supposedly perpetrated on us all.

      Wow! That’s quite a lot of work to go to to discredit your opposition. Mr. Knapp. There was no evidence at all that Fox or any member of his family had anything to do with the fire you try to burn him with–and you knew it! No wonder MDS is thrilled to have you on-board.

      Thing is, it gets even better. Did you see how awesome you come off here?

      “Uncertainty remains as landowners band together:


      And all this for gas not an iota of which is intended for American customers, but is headed for Cove Point, MD–and then out to the global markets where we can expect to be paying the same inflated prices as the Chinese to buy it back:

      This does not seem to square with your website PR, Mr. Knapp:

      “Our country is in dire need of a cheap, domestically produced, clean burning and abundant fuel. The key to our energy independence lies right below your very feet, here in Western Pennsylvania.”

      There’s a key under your foot, alright, Mr. Knapp, and it’s a golden one. But the reason it’s so golden isn’t because you’ve done a service for your country–far from it. It’s because you’ll be making money off of the sale of gas to the global market–all the while you’re waving the flag. What a patriot.

      Sorry this is so long, Mr. Knapp–but while propagandizing can be done in sound bytes, the undistorted truth takes some time to spell out.


      “Elderly Hippy,” Wendy Lynne Lee

      • Tom Shepstone says:

        We’ll let Mike respond but your accusations are about as ad hominem as it gets, wouldn’t you agree, Wendy?

        • Vargus Pike says:

          An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or belief of the person supporting it.[1] Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as a logical fallacy,[2][3][4] more precisely an informal fallacy and an irrelevance.[ Wikipedia]

          Example-She really should have her own reality show. She meets all the prerequisites: delusional, comically over-inflated sense of self-worth, mouth that runs a mile a minute, craves attention like a junkie craves a needle. Perfect for reality television. {Mike Knapp}

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            That doesn’t seem to speak well of Wendy does it?

          • Vargus Pike says:

            Actually it reflects very poorly on Mr Knapp.
            Dismissive language like that does him and his company a disservice and to an impartial observer it can serve to bring into question his ethical character and that of the company he owns. It can have the effect of making an observer question his veracity and possibly lead them to believe that perhaps his denial of any wrong doing on his company’s part is not to be trusted. By extension the motives of those who rush to his defense run the risk of taking on the same taint. Such acrimony becomes like a cancer devouring all that it touches to the benefit of none.
            Vargus Pike

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            It seems to me you’re the one being dismissive, Vargus, dismissive of all explanations other than your own.

      • Mike Knapp says:

        “Discharging industrial waste” is having some muddy water run off the site in a heavy downpour. Less muddy water than I see running off half the driveways in my neck of the woods after a decent rain. We’ve been fined for having too much fresh water in an impoundment. We were once fined for discharging top hole water into a stream. We had tested the water before discharging onto the ground and it was drinking water quality. But because some of it ran into a dry creek bed we didn’t see and down to a stream…bam, fine. We haven’t had any incidents that have resulted in any pollution being released.

        I’m very proud of our record and the guys that work hard every day to get the job done right.

        I see youre going with the “throw everything you can at the wall and see what sticks” approach. Not much to throw, and nothing that sticks. Anyone that wants to know the truth about Josh Fox can read all about him on this site. The rest is just the already many times debunked fracktivist talking points. No need to respond to that.

        • Posted to Raging Chicken, and a large number of other websites:

          I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised. Energy in Depth did not have the guts to post my piece laying out the facts about Mike Knapp in its entirety. On the relevant thread (, they leave out all of the DEP material–the cited violations (including their specific violation registration numbers) and the fines–including the amounts leveled at MDS Energy. It makes it a little easier for Mr. Knapp to try to wriggle out from under the avalanche of negligence, active drilling mud dumps, blatant safety violations, etc. The DEP record speaks for itself: MDS is not only involved in a very dirty business (fracking), it’s a dirty corporate adventure, Mike Knapp the mercenary captain of its public relations smoke screen.

          Here’s what Knapp said in response to my decimation of his employer’s credibility:

          ““Discharging industrial waste” is having some muddy water run off the site in a heavy downpour. Less muddy water than I see running off half the driveways in my neck of the woods after a decent rain. We’ve been fined for having too much fresh water in an impoundment. We were once fined for discharging top hole water into a stream. We had tested the water before discharging onto the ground and it was drinking water quality. But because some of it ran into a dry creek bed we didn’t see and down to a stream…bam, fine. We haven’t had any incidents that have resulted in any pollution being released.

          I’m very proud of our record and the guys that work hard every day to get the job done right.

          I see youre going with the “throw everything you can at the wall and see what sticks” approach. Not much to throw, and nothing that sticks. Anyone that wants to know the truth about Josh Fox can read all about him on this site. The rest is just the already many times debunked fracktivist talking points. No need to respond to that.”

          Here are just a few of the indisputable facts:

          MDS is cited for the discharge of Industrial Waste to the Waters of the Commonwealth–at least five different times; failure to notify DEP, landowner, political subdivision, or coal owner 24 hrs prior to commencement of drilling; failure to minimize accelerated erosion and sedimentation; drilling within 100 ft of surface water or wetland w/o variance–and this isn’t the half of it. The DEP makes plain that MDA is responsible for contaminating water ways, and that the company has virtually never had an adequate E&S plan. As a number of property owners make clear, Mike Knapp suckered them into signing contracts with the company under grossly exaggerated and false claims. Indeed, Butler County includes municipalities directly involved in the challenge to ACT 13–overturned as unconstitutional.

          I have gutted your company integrity, Mr. Knapp–and EID knows it. That’s why they didn’t post that long list of DEP violations. if this is the safety record you’re proud of, I shudder to think what it would take for you be disappointed. Such is a company that needs a PR guy just like you–one who’s up to the challenge of flatly lying to conceal the facts about its appalling record of environmental exploitation and gross negligence of both safety and exposure to toxins.

          Here’s specifically what EID does not have the guts to post–OR, let’s see. Here, EID, is your second chance:

          In 2010 MDS managed to score an impressive number of nasty violations, for which there were a number of fines:

          For 2010 -MDS ENERGY had 6 violations and 3 Fines

          4/6/2010- MDS ENERGY LTD in Armstrong County- VIOLATION #584594

          Code 78.56FRBRD Failure to maintain 2′ freeboard in an impoundment

          4/07/2010 Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty Fine: $ 26,000.00

          5/14/2010- MDS ENERGY in Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #587171

          VIOLATION Code 102.4 Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration under OGA Sec 206(c)(d)

          Violations noted:

          1- Failure to minimize accelerated erosion and sedimentation.

          2- Inadequate E&S plan.

          3- Discharge of Industrial Waste to the Waters of the Commonwealth.

          Culverts not properly stabilized which resulted in sediment entering culverts and eventually entering nearby stream.

          Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty FINED $5,000.00 Aug.31, 2010.

          5/14/2010 -MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #587172

          VIOLATION CODE 102.4 INADPLN Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration under OGA Sec

          5/14/2010 -MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #587173

          VIOLATION CODE- 401CSL Discharge of Pollution Material into waters of the Commonwealth.

          Violations noted:

          1- Failure to minimize accelerated erosion and sedimentation.

          2- Inadequate E&S plan.

          3- Discharge of Industrial Waste to the Waters of the Commonwealth.

          5/14/2010 -MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #587174

          401CSL Stream discharge of IW, includes drill cuttings, oil, brine and/or silt.

          Violations noted:

          1- Failure to minimize accelerated erosion and sedimentation.

          2- Inadequate E&S plan.

          3- Discharge of Industrial Waste to the Waters of the Commonwealth.

          5/14/2010 MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #587175

          VIOLATION CODE 691.401WPD Failure to prevent sediment or other pollutant discharge into waters of the Commonwealth.

          Violations noted:

          1- Failure to minimize accelerated erosion and sedimentation.

          2- Inadequate E&S plan.

          3- Discharge of Industrial Waste to the Waters of the Commonwealth.

          Steady flow of sediment laden water exiting the culvert and entering directly into the stream.

          05/24/2010 MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #587943 VIOLATION CODE – 78.56FRBRD Failure to maintain 2′ freeboard in an impoundment; freeboard limit exceeded in pit. Water level closer than 2′ from top of pit.

          5/24/2010 Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty Fine: $ 26,000.00

          8/20/2010 MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #598511

          VIOLATION CODE 78.60B Tophole water discharged improperly.

          Discharge to stream Channel. Violation of 78.60(b)(5)

          2008/2009 were also very impressive years for violations for MDS–you must be so proud:

          For 2009 MDS ENERGY VIOLATIONS:

          6/3/09- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #564197

          VIOLATION CODE-102.4 Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration under OGA Sec 206(c)(d)

          6/3/09- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #564198

          VIOLATION CODE 102.4INADPLN E&S Plan not adequate

          6/3/09- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #564199

          VIOLATION CODE 78.83GRNDWTR Improper casing to protect fresh groundwater

          E&S and casing violations

          12/30/09- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #579096

          VIOLATION CODE 205A Drilling w/in 200 ft of building or water well w/o variance

          12/30/09- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #579097

          VIOLATION CODE 207B Failure to case and cement to prevent migrations into fresh groundwater

          12/30/09- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #579098

          VIOLATION CODE 210UNPLUG Failure to plug a well upon abandonment

          No bldg. waiver, abandoned & Incorrect casg. & cement

          VIOLATIONS for MDS ENERGY in 2008:

          1/22/08- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #531304

          VIOLATION CODE: 201F Failure to notify DEP, landowner, political subdivision, or coal owner 24 hrs prior to commencement of drilling

          2/01/08- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #534649

          VIOLATION CODE: 201F Failure to notify DEP, landowner, political subdivision, or coal owner 24 hrs prior to commencement of drilling

          4/29/08- MDS ENERGY LTD Armstrong County VIOLATION ID #537870

          VIOLATION CODE: 78.56FRBRD Failure to maintain 2′ freeboard in an impoundment

          9/11/08- MDS ENERGY LTD Clarion County VIOLATION ID #548244

          VIOLATION CODE: 205B Drilling w/in 100 ft of surface water or wetland w/o variance

          9/11/08- MDS ENERGY LTD Clarion County VIOLATION ID #548245

          VIOLATION CODE: 102.4 Failure to minimize accelerated erosion, implement E&S plan, maintain E&S controls. Failure to stabilize site until total site restoration under OGA Sec 206(c)(d)

          9/11/08- MDS ENERGY LTD Clarion County VIOLATION ID #548246

          VIOLATION CODE: 102.4INADPLN E&S Plan not adequate

          9/11/08- MDS ENERGY LTD Clarion County VIOLATION ID #548247

          VIOLATION CODE: 78.56FRBRD Failure to maintain 2′ freeboard in an impoundment

          Source: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Pennsylvania NPR State Impact.

          • Tom Frost says:

            Mr. Shepstone probably decided to approve your latest post after all after his paid spies on facebook saw that it was getting spread around there anyhow.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Sorry to disappoint you, Tom, but the only reason we didn’t put it all up the first time is that we’re tired of Wendy and some others trying to fill our pages with full copies of what others have written. We are no longer going to tolerate that and will, instead, insist on the use of links in those cases or references. I actually made an exception in this case simply because people such as you and Wendy would love to be able to say we hid something and we never will do that. We will insist on original material, however, and shorter to the point comments. Yours are always short, thank goodness, although there often never seems to be any actual point.

          • Translation:

            You were finally forced to post it after you were called on the FACT that you don’t want folks to see the appalling series of violations and fines generated by just one small company of your industry. It’s only because you KNOW this information has already been spread far and wide–along with a detailed description of the FACT that you deleted it from my original that you finally conceded. This is nothing but excuse-mongering after the facts, and it bespeaks naught but the attempt to control the content of these pages to insure that the industry can maintain its wholly deceptive and manipulative front.

            The facts of these violations and fine speak for themselves, and they speak loudly: Yours is an industry with one objective–profits at virtually any cost so long as YOU make money and others bear the expense.

            The fact is you did and DO hide–from the truth. And that truth requires as much or as little space as it does. In Knapp’s case, it requires a LOT of space because the violations are just THAT many.

            Hopefully, even the folks reading this blog who might otherwise support fracking will see that your respect for freedom of expression goes only as far as your promotion of your narrow self-interests–that is, not far at all.

            You have been wholly exposed. You have lost. Time to pick up your marbles and go home.

          • Nicole Jacobs says:

            Have we lost, Wendy? I don’t think so. Everything you gathered is public information. Also, why is there no response from you to Mike’s explanation of the violations? As a landowner in an area with heavy development, I take comfort knowing DEP is doing their job and has the staff to cite even the most trivial of violations. You’re making mountains out of mole hills. You know it and we know it. You’re engaging in the same hyperbole that has characterized so much of what you have posted on our site and we have largely given you free reign although we are going to insist you use links rather than republish books from here on out. Additionally, why haven’t you answered Tom’s questions about combustion of natural gas yielding water and whether or not you are an advocate of Marxist feminist ideology?

            On another note, in your own words, “You know you’ve got them worried when they can’t stop talking about you.” We take enormous delight in the great irony of this statement, given your continued visitation to our website and Facebook numerous times per day, as well as advertisements on your blog. To quote a well-known professor of philosophy at Bloomsburg University; “You have been wholly exposed. You have lost. Time to pick up your marbles and go home.”

          • Sorry Wendy, all that your post shows is that the DEP is on the job and being very vigilant.

            Many of those violations are redundant and much scarier than they sound. Our most “egregious” offense is that during some extremely hard downpours, some muddy water ran off of our access roads into streams already filled with muddy water. Its something that we try very hard to avoid, but it has happened a few times during extreme weather. But its not anything that has endangered the public health or the environment as I mentioned previously.

            Improperly discharging tophole water? We hit some top hole drinking water quality water and discharged to a field. It hit a dry creek bed and went into a creek, so we got fined for the equivalent of someone leaving their garden hose running and having that water go into a creek. No threat to health.

            Not maintaining 2′ of freeboard? That means our fresh water ponds accumulated too much rain water and DEP stopped by before we were able to pump them down. Not exactly an environmental threat. Proof that DEP is not letting ANYTHING slide.

            You’ll also note that your list of violations stops 2 years ago. As we came to understand the new regulations and the way DEP was enforcing them, we’ve adapted, raised our standards, and haven’t had any problem since.

            As I stated before, I am extremely proud of our environmental record and the guys that work hard to make sure we’re doing things right. Watching you grasp at straws in an attempt to discredit us is really showing everyone just how desperate you are. New York is finally coming to its senses and will soon be allowing hydraulic fracturing. Once NY residents see with their own eyes in their own backyards just how minimal an amount of disruption there is for such a benefit to the community, there will be no going back. So take your shots while you still can. The number of ears that are turning deaf to your nonsense are increasing every day.

          • Tom Shepstone says:
          • Dean Marshall says:

            now click on pg two etc……seems like someone filled the most recent pg with ad homenim BS

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Not sure I get this one, Dean.

          • Ah, of course, Rate My Professors…now here is an opportunity to really see see just how much the EID folks think of science. ANYONE can post on RMP. ANYONE. So let me just break this down right now: first, I AM socialist. I think the Swedes are doing rather well in their Democratically elected essentially socialist government, and having recently spent some time with several of my Swedish colleagues in, no kidding, Nicosia, Cyprus, am reassured that they’re quite happy with their social services. They, of course, spend a lot less on bombs and a lot more on education and healthcare…but they consistently reelect socialist representatives to make policy, etc. I have written and published works with title like : On Marx. I am more than happy to claim this label–and it would be AWESOME if the folks who used this language got a damn clue as to its meaning. Second, I have a lively and active political life in my town–Bloomsburg, PA, where I have gone to bat for 20 years for some VERY unpopular causes: GAY RIGHTS, Animal welfare, reproductive freedom…I have fought HARD against the folks who’d ban the works of, say Toni Morrison, from high school libraries, I fought to prevent the unnecessary arming of my campus police; I fought to keep my local land fill from taking an even heavier load of toxic waste (now they’re taking frack cake). And I am a stalwart union member (APSCUF). A number of deeply conservative locals have hammered away at me for YEARS in a newspaper feature called 30 Seconds–a call in line that will print pretty much anything. These same folks have tried to get me fired from my post at BU, and they call my department chair. They also post at Rate My Professor. My response: BITE ME. Wanna know what my STUDENTS think of me? Let me know–I will release 20 years of my student evaluations to anyone who asks for them. Gladly. Happily. HERE I have NOTHING to fear at all. As for EID, that they’d resort to what they surely know is nothing other than an anything goes love’em/hate’em website for fodder to trash me speaks volumes about Tom Shepstone–but it says precisely nothing about me other than that I have the GUTS to agitate for civil liberties, animal welfare, women’s control over our own bodies, and against the manifest absurdity of WAR…War that comes in many forms–not the least of which is the one decent people stand up to fight against genocidal profiteering.

            Note too, that I have posted your reference to RMP in all of the places I am posting my research into Mr. Knapp’s MDA and Snyder Brothers…and a yet clearer demonstration of the lengths you will go to try to discredit your opponents, and as evidence of the real caliber of EID. You did not help yourself–not even with folks who’d otherwise support you–with this one.

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            To quote you, Wendy, “You did not help yourself–not even with folks who’d otherwise support you–with this one.” Identifying yourself as a Marxist is hardly the way to win friends and influence people.

          • Wendy Lynne Lee says:

            And how about you jut read ALL of the comments on rate My Professor, Mr. Shepstone:













            Then after that read:


            Arthur Sterngold shows that your argument about all those gas jobs is “illogical.” I have now shown that in your cherry-picking of already highly respondent-biased material posted with precisely NO safeguards with respect to whether or not the respondents are members of the target audience (students, in this case), you are fully committed to saying ANYTHING that will advance your agenda–and pad your wallet. What describes you, Mr. Shepstone, is “mercenary” and “conscienceless.”

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Arthur Sterngold ignored all the jobs in other sectors, Wendy, and the obvious improvements to the economies of places like Bradford and Susquehanna, improvements no one with a pair of eyes can deny.

            Also, I notice you loved attacking Mike Knapp but can’t seem to handle the heat yourself. We didn’t tell anyone what comments to focus upon. We just provided the link to the list.

      • justintempler says:


        “The Pennsylvania DEP gave the Fox family a citation for “un-permitted disposal/burning of solid waste”. The fire, however….”

        So what you’re telling us is, the DEP is willing to issue citations to people and companies regardless of whether they are responsible for the violation.

        You are in effect telling us, issuing of citations is NOT evidence of wrongdoing and that even if a drilling operator and oil/gas company do everything by the book they will still be considered guilty of violations despite their innocence.

        Thanks Wendy for clearing that up.

        • Wendy Lynne Lee says:


          Precisely nothing in my post leads to that inference. But then again, since EID does not yet (as of 9:22, 78.20.12) have the guts to post my response to Knappt in its entirety (they deleted the entire list of specific violations and fines PAID for MDS 2008-2010), your left to what are clearly the same excuse-mongering strategies as he is. THAT EID did not post my response in its entirely speak only to THEIR cowardice….but it doesn’t matter. The post is already circulating all over the web–and it includes the indisputable DEP-established facts about Knapp’s company’s gross negligence and mercenary money-making shortcuts.

          • justintempler says:


            I understand, admitting the inference would mean admitting your hypocrisy. You live in the world of double standards. If MDS receives a citation they’re guilty, if Mr. Fox receives a citation he’s innocent because there must be extenuating circumstances. Gotcha.

            Does every encounter from you to Mr. Knapp (without the t on the end) include this recycled laundry list of violations and fines paid by MDS?

            Someone that spells your name Wendy Lynn and leaves the E off is worthy of a diatribe, but it’s OK when you spell Knapp with a t? (While we’re at it Professor Wendy, it’s not “your left…” it’s “you’re left…”)

            RE: “excuse-mongering strategies”

            Let’s dissect your string of buzz words
            They are “excuses” if they aren’t valid explanations.
            It would be “mongering” (promoter of something unpleasant) if you’re a dogmatic environmentalist.
            and lastly “strategy” if you think this is some kind of game or war.

            Was Mr. Fox’s explanation a “excuse-mongering strategy” too?

            I don’t see any cowardice at all. If EID were the cowards you claim they are, your posts and numerous links (and this conversation) wouldn’t be taking place.

            “The post is already circulating all over the web..”
            It was “circulating all over the web” long before your recycled version of it came along.
            Maybe if you keep reposting new versions of it, someday, someone will care?

            RE: “gross negligence”

            i.e. “Discharge of industrial waste to the waters of the Commonwealth”
            Sounds extreme but is it?
            What does the citation say?
            “sediment (AKA dirt) entering the culverts(AKA drainage ditch) and eventually(?) entering the stream”
            In an ecofeminist world common dirt from a job site = industrial waste
            Oh the horror of it all!

            RE: “mercenary money-making shortcuts”

            mercenary = Someone with a job
            money-making = “evil” Capitalist
            shortcuts = better more efficient ways of accomplising the same goal

            Do you have any more word salad for us to dissect?

          • Tom Shepstone says:

            Wow! This doesn’t leave anything unsaid that should be said.

  14. Victor Furman says:

    Thom S….. who are all these new names posting here? are these the people who drove from Vermont to stop NY from drilliong. Ahhhh it dosn’t really matter because once you read their words it is easy to conclude they’re better folk then me…. why they’re just so smart and wise I only wish they would tell Frank and I what the alternitive fuel choice is so we can get on board. I wonder if they stop coal and NG and all home gotten fossil fuels what then? If they say wind, solar, or nuclear then we know they re full of themselves because not one of these uppity NIMBY types would allow their land to be used for any of the three.

  15. Bully for Frank, choosing beautiful Wellsboro in Pennsylvania.

    Professional activists psychologically need a cause to attach themselves to. If it isn’t shale, it’s something else. They are not smart enough to look inside and develop a meaningful internal life, so they choose a “cause” that includes very narrow “right” thinking and attach their beings to that. Their reality is externalized and they become dependent on winning one for the cause. You cannot negotiate or reason with someone of this mindset. It’s useless.

    Whoever attached the pipe bomb to the gas pipeline in western PA the other day is a very predictable creature with a pathology that is well described in Hoffer’s “The True Believer”.

    Good luck to the MS in New York. We have our nuts down here in PA as well.

  16. Ladyhawk says:

    Sam Law, Protester Organizer; Wendy LynnE, Philosopher; Vargus Pike, Trained Geologist:

    Did you all get degrees from Bloomsburg University? I cannot believe that you speak with pride for what you do. Peaceful protest? It is obvious, Wendy LynnE, with your degree in Philosophy one doesn’t require common sense to obtain this degree. There is NO such thing as a peaceful protest. Everyone has his or her own belief and for this reason such gatherings NEVER are peaceful. It is without saying that teaching people especially our young adults CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE under the pretense of standing up for their rights is nothing short of fascism – brain washing of vulnerable young adults.

    As far as most of the protesters I’ve seen, well, they are typically social security collectors who refuse to except that they are no longer in the 1960’s but are now senior citizens. How sad for them. With the pride you speak why haven’t you bothered to tell the whole story about protesting that, in doing so, many young as well as older people in the 60’s, were beat senseless by the police, store owners, home owners and everyone they themselves violated. You call yourself peaceful protesters. I don’t think so.

    Educators; you bring your children to rallies teaching them they will die if they drink the water, die if they eat the food we grow, die if they breath the air we breath. You say we, the landowners, will move out once we get the drilling of one of our most precious resources that will allow our farms to stay alive, will bring jobs to our families, will bring prosperity to our schools and towns. Long before gas drilling is considered, WHERE WILL YOU BE when your own precious children, whose minds you have poisoned, be when, because of the likes of you, they are to afraid to eat, to drink, or to breath the air needed to live.

    Vargus Pike, you say you are a trained geologist but ten more trained geologists disagree with you. Should I believe someone who believes there are peaceful protests. If you lied about that, nothing you could offer is credible. FranksBlank, you are a typical follower. Whatever education you received didn’t teach you much except how to haughty.

    • Vargus Pike says:

      Ladyhawke, I have offered nothing but opinion based upon my observations and knowledge. From what I have been able to divine the geologist who disagree with me are paid by the gas companies as is Tom Shepstone. Does it surprise you that they reach an differnt conclusion? One that supports Fracking. Do you not find it interesting that they can admit absolutely no error to their methods of drilling. That they harbor the belief that nothing they do could possibly have a negative impact. The world does not work that way. There are always cost’s. Often when it is too late it is discovered that the cost’s are much higher than anticipated. I can only hope that those who accept the risks do not regret the decision later. I can only hope that those who had no say in the matter are not the ones who are made to pay.
      Vargus Pike

  17. This thread is already so long that I won’t try to comment on the merits. But, overall, I’d find the extreme fractivists comments a kind of Alice in Wonderland humorous fantasy, laughable if it were not for the fact they actually believe them and no level of facts from any source can possibly change their minds, even from environmental agencies such as the EPA and the DEC. For them, hydraulic fracturing is the cause of evil, it poisons water, causes earthquakes, destroys environments, and uses “dangerous chemicals” (such as surfactants, so does your shower cleaner). For them, energy corporations are conspiracies to destroy the world. Meaningful debate with such people is impossible, as Tom is finding out, as even college professors among them cling to their obsessive passions (who ever said a Ph.D. confers intelligence or common sense). Repeating assertions over and over or citing web urls from those who agree with you does not in and of itself make them facts (anyone can post on the web).

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Henry, I knew it was an impossible mission before I started but, hey, someone has to engage these folks. Thank you!

  18. Ladyhawk says:

    Vargus Pike When you offer opinions based on your observations and knowledge I fear for you. Observations in methods of “GAS DRILLING” and Knowledge? Did you NOT observe protesters using their own precious children as SHIELDS to prove their points for them in rallies? Do you not have KNOWLEDGE of long term effects on anything other than gas drilling? You say “they” harbor the belief nothing “they” do could possibly have negative impacts, while YOU choose to connect yourself with protesters REGARDLESS of long term effects and negative impacts on your own children. You speak of people who take ricks and regret later when factually NO ricks are taken when you have all the FACTS. The NEGATIVE impacts are people like YOU who are afraid to go forward from lack of excepting the FACTS. Once just Once show me concrete evidence of what it is you are trying to make landowners believe. In my opinion you have wasted your education in leau of the company you keep.

  19. WinK says:

    Don’t worry about selling the motel Frank, as soon as the moratorium is lifted you’ll be able to auction it to the highest bidder. And there will be a line up! We are going through the same arguments here in New Brunswick, Canada, and we have a lot of the same “antis” as you folks do in NY. I am really shocked to see Wendy LynnE Lee (who, in one spot put professor in front of her name) still referring to Dimock, PA as the ultimate proof of the devastation that will follow NG development! Eleven people in that entire town thought they saw an opportunity to make some money off the gas companies….. and failed. The EPA has confirmed that any pollutants locals have in their well water is not a result of the gas industry. And folks in the area have been lighting water on fire since the 1800s! Wendy needs to find a better example to back up her side of the equation! Good luck to you, Frank, on your retirement and good luck to common sense New Yorkers as they push to get the green light on NG development!

  20. Vera says:

    the Anti’s are doing very well in NY since that border is still closed to Fracking after four years

    and may still stay closed.

    don’t discount the power of the people protesting this polluting gas industry.

  21. I can undestand a motel/resort owner wanting to keep some kinds of people off his property. (Only when it’s a case of sexism, racism, or other -isms is it wrong.) But, I can’t understand his argument against those “outsiders” who protest. The fracking issue isn’t a local issue, but wide-spread, and people are free to go where they wish to protest. I live in PA, and have heard the industry many times tell us how many jobs Pennsylvanians will get from the industry. But, all I see is out of state license plates in the area–TX, OK, primarily. I don'[t mind these “foreigners”–they have a right to work, too, just as protestors have a right to protest. I also think the proprietor is wrong about protestors not working. Most that I know have jobs. Most that I knew from the ’60s earned livings from evferything from street artist to bike messengers to postal carriers.

  22. WinK says:

    Looks like Frank may be in luck in just a couple more weeks; according to CBS, NY is about to lift moratorium!! Woo hoo!!

  23. Dean Marshall says:
    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Not sure what import this has, Dean, but, hey, have at it.

  24. Nate says:

    The only reason why NY state is economically depressed is because of the tax structure( taxes, school taxes)!! Until the tax structure changes NY will remain economically depressed.

  25. You might also all want to see this:, especially Mr. Shepstone.

    • Tom Shepstone says:

      Fine by me, Wendy. The only thing this piece ignores are all those jobs in non-ancillary sectors such as accounting, law, lodging, restaurants, etc. Heck, it even includes some college professors who spend most of their time fighting gas.

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