“Farming” for Facts in PennEnvironment’s Latest Video Series

PennEnvironment has been on a tear lately putting out videos slamming the responsible development of natural gas, notwithstanding the group’s putative status as a supporter of clean energy.  We watched just a few of these videos and evaluated some of the claims and assertions made therein.  The first up is “Farming,” the story of Mary and Adron Dell’Osa, “sustainable farmers” trying to make a living in Meshoppen, Pennsylvania.  Here it is:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRR-Qslagww&w=425&h=349]

Let’s be clear.  The Dell’Osa’s are delightful people and who could not wish them well?   But let’s also be clear there is not one shred of evidence, in this entire video, of anyimpact from natural gas development on their farm.  The filmmaker attempts to create the illusion of impacts by placing random shots of drilling rigs throughout without explaining how these relate to the farm.  The Dell’Osa’s tell us how close the development activities are getting and note they have done baseline water testing on their property. They do not tell us the results of their tests, and there’s probably a good reason for that.

Here are the facts: In more than 60 years of commercial use, the practice of completing a well via the hydraulic fracturing process has never been found to adversely affect underground sources of drinking water – even though more than 1.1 million wells have been fractured in that span.  It’s a fact that’s been corroborated by more than a dozen top environmental regulators from states all across the country – regulators from Democratic administrations as well as Republican ones, each of them sending notarized letters to the Ground Water Protection Council testifying to their experience (click here for just a couple of those letters).

No one doubts whether the Dell’Osa family’s concerns are sincere – certainly they are. But sincerity alone – especially if it’s uninformed by the facts – shouldn’t be a sufficient reason to stop altogether the development of abundant, clean-burning natural gas resources from the Marcellus. Should it? We know where 99.9 percent of the population of rural PA comes down on that question. But as for PennEnvironment? That’s anyone’s guess.


  1. smytor says:

    This person is obviously a smug, arrogant, closed minded jerk. The quote marks around ‘farming’ and ‘sustainable farmers’, as if one cannot take the farmers seriously, and the paragraph beginning with ‘here are the facts’, directly from God almighty I presume, indicates this loud and clear. Is it reasonable to suggest that no one in the world has ever been negatively affected by the activities of natural gas exploration in this country? And of course, the poor, ignorant, misguided ‘farmers’ (they’re not really farmers, you know, hehehe) are simply on a witch hunt, seeking to disparage our wonderful oil and gas industry.

    This is not a high school debate to determine who can undermine whose story. This involves large corporations who have vested interests. Their entire motivation and raison d’etre is to make money, which is their life blood, and if something dreadful happens to one of their operations, and toxins are released, and men, women and children are poisoned, well, it’s really not that bad, and it doesn’t happen often, and we are great and wonderful, and we know what we are doing, and our toadies at the governmental regulatory agencies know we’re nice guys, and believe everything we say, so move along folks, nothing to see here.

    How repulsive can you get. This ‘Bill’ person may well wake up one day and realize he was dead wrong about these kinds of issues, when he finds he’s contracted cancer or some other unpleasant disease as a result of his complete trust in big business and the government it runs.

    These people should be praised for growing clean, uncontaminated, vital food for themselves and their customers in this increasingly toxic world, rather than minimized and made fun of by this moron, whom I suspect of being associated with big oil/gas.

    • Tom says:

      Talk about an ad hominem attack!


  1. […] to back it up.  Does this sound very familiar?  You may recall, in our first installment, “Farming,” a very nice young family asserted they had their water tested for baseline purposes, but, there […]

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