Natural Gas Leases/Hydraulic Fracturing: One Property Owner’s View

Thank you, “[Delaware] River Valley Resident” for grappling with the question, “What does stewardship of our lands and communities demand of us?” Although I disagree that “[gas] drilling [and hydraulic fracturing] are inevitable” or that their dangers and impacts can be mitigated, your question and profound determination to preserve and protect are what join us. Indeed, if drilling spreads inexorably, then your efforts to protect may be the last arrow in our quiver.

In part, I hope readers will respond with suggestions helpful to landowners who’ve been cut off like islands in the midst of leased properties. Thank you, Breathing Is Political, Liz Bucar)

(Dear  Readers and “River Valley Resident”:  In an effort  to provide a  community forum where divergent and frequently  noisy  views can be aired,  Breathing has  solicited articles from property owners who are considering signing   natural gas leases or who, after months of  deliberation, have completed the signing. There have been difficulties  and  I had to decide whether or not to publish an anonymous post.  In the end, I decided  a wide-ranging discussion of  the issues facing our communities is more critical  than identifying our author who fears for her job if her name is released.  I hope her obvious concern for the land and our cultures is sufficient to set minds at ease.  She’s known to me.  She’s not a figment.  She’s not greedy and she’s not oblivious to the dangers posed by drilling —  and cited to regularly  by Breathing.  Hers  is an important voice that sheds light — whether or not you agree with her conclusions.

For months,  the author researched, examined  and agonized.  Breathing is grateful that she chose  to speak in this forum despite her misgivings. Unhappily  — given the high passions on both sides of the discussion  —  being a kind of bridge in the middle can invite  vilification and  distrust from  those standing on the  opposite shores. Thank you,  “River Valley Resident”  for  grappling   with the question,  “What does stewardship of   our lands and communities demand of us?”   Although I disagree that “drilling is inevitable” or that its dangers and impacts can be mitigated,  your  question and profound determination to preserve and protect are what join  us.  Indeed, if drilling  spreads  inexorably,  then your efforts to protect may be the last arrow in our quiver.

In part, I hope readers will  respond with suggestions  helpful to landowners  who’ve been cut off   like islands in the midst of leased properties.   Thank you,   Liz)

*    *    *   *    *

I have spent months exploring the ramifications of drilling in the area. Unfortunately, I believe it is extremely likely to occur, so I have been trying to learn the dynamics of horizontal drilling and its potential to contaminate the aquifer. I have read numerous articles and finally found what I believe is a good representation of the process. The gas companies appear to make an extremely strong effort to isolate the aquifer from the fracking fluids. Please see this website for visualization:

Perhaps this is all hype by the gas companies, but if they do in fact follow this process it seems that the aquifer is isolated by steel piping encased in cement. Perhaps aquifer contamination is more likely related to the holding ponds where the backflow is stored as it is forced from the well; which brings up an interesting possibility. One. of the drilling companies, (which is one of Hess’s designated subcontractors for this area) is utilizing a patent pending process called “Ozonix”. It apparently removes all organic chemicals, particles, etc. from the flow back as well as nearly all the brine through reverse osmosis. This process can be read about at the following web site:

On a more personal level I have found myself in a situation where the majority of the landowners in my immediate area (across the road and next door) have signed leases. Personally, I do not want to see gas drilling in this area, but am somewhat resigned to the power that the Gas corporations wield and feel that it would be amazing if the gas development does not take place. As a result, I have chosen to try to protect my property. I joined [Northern Wayne Property Owners’ Association]  NWPOA a few years ago, because I felt it gave me a chance to do that and also because this group planned to work toward the most environmentally sound lease possible. I have also been a member of the UD Community for several years, and feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to receive information from the divergent viewpoints. As more information came out from both sources I became more and more confused. This caused me to undertake my own research into the fracking process and its potential for adverse environmental effects. Simultaneous to this, NWPOA came up with a lease agreement with Hess. I have not as yet signed that document. However, I did begin researching the drill company that would be working for Hess in my area. It is a company called Newfield and they are using the “Ozonix” process mentioned above in some of their other shale developments. My thought was to attempt to encourage Hess to have Newfield employ that technology here, as it appears to strongly mitigate a lot of the potentially detrimental effects of the frac process. Additionally, it allows the water to be reused at multiple sites, thus greatly reducing the amount of water needed from the Delaware or other sources, as well as reducing the truck traffic on the roads. Perhaps, I have been taken in by good PR, but I also believe it is in the Gas companies’ best interests to develop these wells as efficiently as possible. If they are drilling and allowing the gas to somehow escape into the aquifer then that is gas they can’t bring to market which spells a loss for them. I have been an environmentalist for well over 40 years and if I had a magic wand, I would surely make this all go away, although I do completely understand the local farmers’ support of this issue. I guess the bottom line for me is that I believe the gas development will occur and that the best approach is to do all within our power to make it happen in the most environmentally responsible way possible. This means supporting companies like Newfield and trying to have them employ the frac recycling process called “Ozonix”. It also means supporting legislation in Congress such as the “Frac Act” which requires companies to divulge their “formulas” for the fracking mud. The Clean Water Restoration Act also needs support to return some of the strength sapped from it, by our previous administration. Will I sign a lease with Hess…I honestly have not been able to decide as yet. I fear drilling around me, and with no lease, if there were any problems, I would be up against the Gas Company on my own. The lease ensures that they will mitigate any water contamination issues, or provide bottled water if necessary. Granted this is not a great solution, but it is probably better than trying to deal with it unassisted.

I know that there are many people like myself who are conflicted over this issue, and struggling with making the right decision. I could never refer to myself as “pro-drilling”. Perhaps, a more appropriate classification is “pro-preservation”. I would like to see this area remain as much like it is right now as possible. This may be a false hope, but I honestly believe that trying to influence the gas companies to use the very best practices possible here, is a more achievable goal than stopping the entire process. I would greatly appreciate comments, as I have been struggling with making a decision for a long time. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that I have not inadvertently insulted anyone’s viewpoint. I am merely trying to illustrate what a lot of people are feeling.

October 7, 2009. Since writing the above comments, I have had numerous discussions with Gas Company representatives about exactly what signing a lease would mean. My first thought was to obtain a conservation easement or deed restriction on my property so that the only gas related activity that could take place would have to be subsurface. I was informed that they were not accepting properties with conservation easement unless they were large commercial properties where portions of the surface land are critical to continuing their businesses whatever they may be. I then discussed the amount of acreage I have with the gas company, its geography and location and they told me that it was highly unlikely that they would place a drill pad on a piece of property the size of mine, nor would they likely place a road there. However, they could not guarantee this. So, to sign I would have to accept the remote possibility of surface activity. This gave me a lot to think about. But, perhaps more important than that is what the gas companies do with the individual leases they own. As most people know there are at least 3 major players in the area: Chesapeake, Cabot and Hess. Although you may sign with any of these companies, it does not mean that they will be the company developing your land. In order to create a drilling unit, they need about 640 contiguous acres. In some cases, they may have this from large farms or adjoining properties that have signed. But they may also have an area they would like to develop where the mineral rights have been leased to different companies. The gas companies now trade leases to obtain the acreage they need for development. It’s just like Monopoly where you need all the cards in a block to build houses. So, Hess’s drilling company, Newfield, with the innovative and environmentally sensitive technology may have nothing to do with the development of gas on the land of Hess lease holder. The terms of the lease remain the same as far as per acre compensation, royalties, and environmental mitigation, if needed. But, you could sign with Hess and Newfield, and end up with Cabot and Halliburton. The initial signing deadline has come and gone. I may or may not be on a secondary list. I am not sure at this point, since I haven’t gotten any emails lately from the group.

Have I done the right thing, I honestly don’t know. I have turned down well over $25,000 in guaranteed lease payments, and the potential for royalties. If the area near me is made into a drill unit and all goes well and the water stays good and the roads are removed and replanted when the development is complete will I have regrets? If the area is developed and the aquifer is contaminated and I can’t sell my home and have to sue one of these companies for compensation will I have regrets? More importantly what would you do in my situation? I could probably still sign a lease…..should I? I would really appreciate it, if you could try to put yourself in my place and honestly consider what you might do. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

a river valley resident

(Tomorrow:  The National Council of Churches on the issue of drilling.)

10 thoughts on “Natural Gas Leases/Hydraulic Fracturing: One Property Owner’s View”

  1. I find myself in the same position and at this point have decided not to sign. I might regret it later, and I certainly could use the money, but it feels like the right thing to do. It seems like a big crap shoot with the potential for real damage to my home/land fluctuating between remote and impending doom. In the end I realized that to my mind, this was bad for the land, bad for our country’s energy addiction and a short-sided view of how to exist together as a community.

  2. Dear River Valley Resident –

    Thank you for sharing your struggle with us.

    I’m glad you recognize that the company one signs with is not the company that you’d be dealing with long-term.

    It really is long-term.

    And you don’t get to negotiate with the company. They do what they want, employ the technologies they choose.

    I also do not believe that a lease provides the protections many people think. A lease requires enforcement. It’s a rare individual who has the financial and legal resources to enforce the lease and get that “replacement” water (as good as your own, pre-drilling? – don’t bet on it). And in terms of contamination mitigation, *they* and their lawyers, not you and yours, decide when the mitigation is complete. It’s all down to who has more money. We know the answer to that question.

    What is important to recognize is that the logic many of us would like to employ, that surely these gas companies will do the sensible thing and conserve – water, gas, chemicals, you name it – because it’s better for their bottom line, simply doesn’t prevail. Time after time, they waste resources to a degree that’s nothing short of grotesque. In state after state, example after example, the fact that respecting the landowner and her/his property and to some extent the environment would also save them money doesn’t seem to be relevant to them.

    I would strongly recommend – in the strongest possible terms, in fact – that rather than looking at corporate websites that describe various ways of coping with the risks – you instead look at the industry’s track record across the country. The websites are for selling the process. The track record shows the reality.

    So you can probably tell from what I’ve written so far, I believe you’ve made the right decision. I passed up at least $150,000 (the lowball offer they came in with) in refusing to allow this process on my land.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  3. I am in the same position and initially joined the NWPOA because I was told by my pro-gas drilling neighbor that I would be protected under the group lease. it took about 2 weeks to realize that the alliance is basically in bed with the industry by going into business partnership with them. And we know what the bottom line is for all partners. PROFIT. The NWPOA lease signed is indeed more protective then say, a company lease, but how much contamination is OK? How much of the long term costs to water, health, land values and environment is acceptable? We the public, will NEVER be safe from the will of the gas industry until federal and state laws have the power to demand that ‘NO RISK’ is the only acceptable standard.
    Also, I like sleeping at night.

  4. If you like to sleep at night then not signing and realizing what vantage point the gas companies are coming from are your best defense against this tsunami of gas company pressure all in the name of $. THE CUMULATIVE IMPACTS OF GAS DRILLING ARE NOT WHAT THE GAS COMPANIES WILL DISCUSS. They apply for 1 well at a time so as not to bring focus on this issue. Their “produced” water: water that has been mixed with highly toxic chemicals that they refuse to disclose in its entirty, is “reintroduced”, called “dilution”, into water systems after “treatment” of which there is no known technology to take out all the chemicals that have been found in its brew. Dumping of these huge volumes of water frequently occurs in the back woods. Holes cut into the open air storage pits occur so that disposal of these toxic chemicals that come back up are leaked into the ground. Disposal of the polluted water is a major problem. These are known cancer producing chemicals that create neuropathy, reproduction endochrine disruption, and many many more ills than can’t all be discussed here. Once these heavy metals are found in the aquifirs, etc. they cannot be removed. Money for some now, major health and water issues forever more. Just try to sell your house once this happens. We are all left with nothing at that point. The gas companies have plundered 34 states out west with no laws to stop them but we must not let all that destruction that has occurred there become commonplace here: fires, spills, leaks, explosions, ruinous water sources, rivers, streams, aquifers groundwater not to mention the air that is polluted by the compression tanks that vent poisonous gasses 24/7. There are just too many horrifying stories to ignore out west. All that pollution migrates eventually. Where will it go. Where will you go.
    This process would turn what we know and love into a real industrial sight.

  5. Give Me a Break
    By Ann Kozak
    Among the arguments in favor of drilling in the Marcellus Shale is that it’s somehow patriotic; that landowners who sign leases are just doing their part to put the U.S. on the road to energy independence.
    The battle cry at last month’s pro-drilling rally in Bainbridge, N.Y. was “Our Land, Our Rights, Our Future.” Regardless of what drilling might do to the land, the rights or the future for the rest of us, the pro-drillers stand ready to help the energy companies make sure our lights and our TVs stay on and our refrigerat ors keep running If things get as bad as the drilling opponents predict, the leasors can always take their royalty checks and move to where the water is still clean and the air breathable.
    But in fact the gas extracted from the Marcellus Shale won’t make it any easier or cheaper to heat our homes or run the A/C in Hancock, or anywhere else in New York, or even in the country. Right now most of the gas going into the pipeline from around here is being stored until prices go up. Gas supplies are so abundant that Chesapeake Energy has looked at shipping it overseas where gas sells for twice the price it’s commanding in the U.S. (And you thought jobs were the only thing we exported.) So much for patriotism.
    The potential profitability of exporting natural gas would explain in part why the industry can afford to pay upwards of $5,000 per acre for drilling rights. The other part is taxes. Between 2002 and 2006, Chesapeake Energy, for one, had an average tax rate of 0.3 percent. I could qualify for food stamps and still owe 20 percent of my income to Uncle Sam. Landowners with producing wells will be paying about 42 percent on the royalties. But tax-wise, it’s been virtually a free ride for the gas drillers. With their friends in high places, they also get around a whole slew of rules and regulations that apply to every other industry operating in the country.
    As most everyone knows, they’re exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act, which sets standards and requires permits for the underground injection (e.g. hydrofracking) of hazardous substances that can endanger drinking water.
    Congress is now working to end this exemption, but it will take more than the FRAC ACT to end them all.
    Drillers are also exempt from the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which means they don’t have to manage or even disclose their hazardous waste like other industries.
    They’re exempt from the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, which requires industries to file their toxic release inventories with the EPA. They’re exempt from the Clean Water Act (not to be confused with the Clean Drinking Water Act), so they don’t need to meet the standards that everyone else does when it comes to storm water discharges, despite the potential for significant runoff from thousands of well pads, pipelines and other infrastructure.
    They’re exempt from the Clean Air Act. This means drillers can emit any of 190 toxic air pollutants without so much as a slap on the wrist. They’ll ticket you for burning trash in your backyard in Hancock, but apparently it’s okay to asphyxiate us if you’re a driller.
    They’re exempt from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Remember the Superfund? It’s been around since 1980 and establishes liability for the release of hazardous substances. If we live to see the day the Great American lot in downtown Hancock is given a clean bill of health, we can thank CERCLA. But guess what? In 2008, CERCLA was revised to specifically exclude oil and natural gas drillers.
    They’re also exempt from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) enacted in 1969, which introduced U.S. industry to environmental impact statements. In 2005 Congress exempted certain drilling activities from NEPA. It’s now up to the public to prove that such activities are unsafe. (Good luck with that.)
    I don’t know about you, but if I were one of the industries dutifully complying with all these federal environmental statues, I’d be just a little ticked off at what the drillers are getting away with. Who wants to go 65 in a 65 while the cop waves on the guy going 110?
    And there’s more.
    Gas and oil drillers are also exempt from our local zoning and land-use laws. So here in Hancock where you can’t operate a business out of your garage without going through the zoning board, if you’re a Cabot or a Hess or a Chesapeake you could theoretically secure drilling rights in the high school football field, set up a rig, go at it 24/7 and there’d be nothing the mayor or the school board or the Hancock Partners could do about it. Does that sound fair?
    Well, there is one thing they could do about it: A municipality can make sure it is paid for repairing any roads damaged by the drillers. Last year the Town of Cochecton tried to do just that. It required a $250,000 bond from the Millennium Pipeline Company to cover damages that might occur while laying the pipeline. And there was damage—to the tune of $1 million—but to collect, the town had to prove the pipeline caused it.
    According to one official quoted in the River Reporter, “These roads have to stay open for the ambulance service, the fire service, school buses, and no town here can afford to have $1 million worth of damage to one of the roads, be expected to fix it, and get into a legal battle with any of these companies.”
    No wonder we lag behind the rest of the world in developing a viable renewable energy industry. By allowing the oil and gas industry to side-step the rules, we’ve done away with all economic incentives to even try to recover from our collective dependence on fossil fuel.
    And yes, whether it comes from Iraq or the backyard, natural gas is still a fossil fuel. It’s neither clean nor renewable and there’s nothing at all patriotic about burning it.

  6. River Valley Resident talks about the drilling process when he/she is considering signing a lease, but he/she doesn’t mention the wastewater disposal issue. What happens to that water is of primary concern for all river valley residents, whether they have the opportunity to sign a lease or not. Gas drilling wastewater is termed by the EPA as “one of the most toxic industrial by-products of the oil and gas drilling” and there is no know way of treating it. It is responsible for the contamination of the Monogahela River, rendering Pittsburgh’s water supply undrinkable, at least temporarily, and the quality of the water is still questionable. My dream is that NWPOA got together and decided en masse NOT to sign leases. Wouldn’t that have been something!
    In conclusion, I truly believe that this is a moral question: whether you want to be the kind of person who places money above concern for the environment and concern for your neighbors’ well-being as well as your own. And you can’t drink money.

  7. A Small Tale from the Past – Given to Those Who Command the Future
    I have been an active “listener” in the gas drilling and hydro-fracking discussions going on around me. But, I admit too, that I have listened with the ear of one who has lived through incredible poverty during the early years of her life and who at the same time watched oil bubbling up through the ground on the family farm only to hear her mother say that she would not hurt the land by allowing drilling on her property. Meanwhile, we starved a little bit more every day. I can still remember those days when the best meals we had were ones my sister and I imagined as we thumbed through cookbooks that went un-used. The year was 1964. The Beverly Hillbillies was a top-rated TV show. In 1966, we loaded up the Plymouth and moved to NYC. No oil, not even a weekly welfare check. Those were scary days.
    Is every gas lease signed today in 2009 a meal ticket or a step out of the line of poverty for the folks who sign them? No, probably not. But my heart tells me, that for some, it is insurance against a world in which prices have risen beyond the ability of a weekly paycheck to meet the dollar requirement of necessities, much less luxuries.
    Does anyone ever sign a gas lease because they hate the environment or don’t care about their neighbor? Yes, of course they do. To say that everyone who signs a lease is being altruistic in favor of their family of their family’s future is just as absurd as to say all gas lease signers are diabolical devils waiting to cash in on a crumbling planet, hoping they will have enough money to leave when the getting gets good enough for them to head off to another planet. The truth is those who sign gas leases are human beings. And human beings, not being Gods, are subject to the fate of trial and error, greed and concern for family.
    No one knows for absolutely, positively – 99 and 44/100% pure – as the Ivory commercial used to say – that gas drilling is safe or for that matter that gas drilling is the worst thing since Chernobyl – though in some places where gas drilling has been done – it seems to have made a strong attempt at copycat-ism in that regard.
    The truth is that when you go to a meeting on gas drilling you are, oftentimes, listening to a professional engineer, a hydrologist, a geologist and more. Those who present the prospect of natural gas drilling are sure to mention and explain the hydro-fracturing process, to the best of their knowledge. They may explain about the Marcellus Shale, they may have samples of shale for you to examine. And there will be chart after chart showing facts and figures and suppositions on how much natural gas they hope to find within the Marcellus Shale.
    If you question the length of your lease, how much you will be compensated and exactly what they will be removing from your property and where, at what depth, they will be removing it from, they will honestly explain that the Marcellus Shale lies on top of other, even older, shale and assorted other formations. They will explain that the length of time that they may drill on your property will be in accordance with the amount of natural gas they find. They may find absolutely nothing. They may find natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation, or they may find it there and then extend your lease time to include further drilling into the layers beneath the Marcellus.
    Negotiating a lease agreement is not an easy task, if it were then there would be no need for seminars and public meetings to explain to folks what their rights are and give them a chance to see the “lay of the land” so to speak when it comes to what others have done before them.
    One thing a gas lease will not include, however, is a guarantee that everything will be the same after the drillers have gone. That two hundred year old tree, cut down to make room for the drilling rigs etc, will mostly likely not be put back. (Though, I have seen an amazing amount of re-planting of ancient trees done in southern California, it’s unlikely that the gas companies will do as much). And, it’s possible that the farm that you are farming now may not support life after a chemical accident, should one occur.
    There are no ingredient labels, placed there by a conscientious and truthful gas company, on the fluids that will be pumped into the ground in order to force the gas out of its hiding places safe within the rocky sediment of the Marcellus Shale. Nor will they tell you what chemicals they will take out of the ground or what the long range effects of storing those chemicals are. They can’t tell you the effects of those chemicals and the fracturing process on a whole on the environment ten years from now, much less twenty or thirty or a hundred years from now. The technology hasn’t been around long enough, and hydraulic -fracture drilling hasn’t been applied long enough, to gather those longer range environmental, safety and health statistics. Well, maybe they can, but they won’t. The chemicals used by each different company are patented, as in some cases is the process itself. To divulge their exact make-up would render the patents useless.
    And that’s why my mother let us go hungry. Did I agree at the time? No. Do I agree now? No. But then, and now, I thought there had to be a better way for human beings to live on the earth with each other. I want Utopia, the kind of Utopia that Thomas Moore describes in his book. Will I get it in my lifetime? No, probably, not in my life time. But, I am still unwilling to say not-ever in my life time.
    I guess that you might wonder if I am pro-drilling. The more accurate description would be that I am pro-eating. But, I am also pro-environment and I think that with a little less selfishness and a lot more altruism we could all probably find a way to make sure we were all warm and fed, clothed and housed and loved. Till that time comes though, I think it’s necessary to not hide our heads in the sand; looking for sand dollars in Marcellus Shale rock formations.
    An environmental impact study is vitally important in all of this rush to lease and drill. But, we need full disclosure, not partial disclosure, of just exactly what chemicals are in the hydro-fracking fluid that the gas companies will be pumping into the ground below our feet; even if it is 5,000-6,000 feet below them. We need to know because sooner or later they are supposed to remove up to 80% of those chemicals and store them a lot closer to the soles of our shoes. And we need to know, in plain English, what those chemicals are used for and what the dangers are. And, while they may store them far from NY or PA, in some place no one has seen yet; America itself was once that unseen land.
    The gas companies are asking us to have faith in them, in their technology. But, once upon a time, we had faith that a doctor did not need to clean his hands before an operation, who knew about things like germs, bacteria, viruses? No one really until the technology provided us with new insight. Having the technology to be able to drill does not necessarily mean we have the technology to clean up after ourselves, since most knowledge is gained through trial and error, let’s lesson the error factor by making sure we know what is going into the land beneath our feet. Demand full disclosure – settle for nothing less. Ask every question you can think of – then sleep on it – and ask more again in the morning.
    Leni Santoro

  8. The thoughtfulness of the responses to “River Valley Resident’s” questions is heartening. Thanks to all who took the time to read her story and to reply at length.

    Many of us are worried for each other and the “big picture.” It’s clear that many struggle with ways to resolve the issues and to minimize or prevent an ecological disaster. Which, in part, is at the root of our differences (or rather, our “range” of differences): some of us are landlocked by other lessors and/or believe drilling is inevitable, so we’ve signed leases for whatever protections they afford; others believe drilling can be held at bay while we build our communities’ strength on other foundations.

    (I am not speaking about the small minority of lessors who will gain huge dividends. That’s where half the greed is in this scenario: landholders who did NOT need a lease for emergency funds or to create a buffer but signed one anyway. They are beyond the persuasion of mere words.)

    My dearest ecologic wish for this planet is that we institute, globally, the Precautionary Principle. If it was the foundation of our decision-making ethic, we wouldn’t have to struggle, after the fact, case-by-case, with questions like, “What does stewardship demand of us?” and “What can property owners do who are land-locked between leased lands?” The answers would be embedded in our deliberative processes and enforcement structures.

    Before a potentially dangerous enterprise was permitted, it would have to PROVE its safety. The burden of proof would be placed on the new enterprise, NOT on a small community with few financial resources. Even if proof of harm did NOT exist, an enterprise could be banned if it could not prove it was harmless to the community’s ecology.

    I think, as residents of one of our nation’s beautiful and bounteous regions (Pennsylvania-NY and the Basin we share) we should make it our business to insist that our local governments base their decisions on The Precautionary Principle. (Many thanks to Cass Collins for introducing me to the concept!!!)

    Thank you all for the discussion. Liz

  9. To put it bluntly, I do not trust the gas companies. We here will not sign a lease, because we love the land and our fresh clean water too much. We feel we are only stewards of the land and have a responsibility to take care of it for the wildlife and future generations. We believe once we sign a lease, we are vulnerable to the gas company. We can’t complain if they poison our water, tear up our land etc., because they will just comeback with sorry, but you signed the lease. In other words you have no leg to stand on. You are better off not signing and standing on your own. If you have to fight back, the court can’t say well you signed a lease because you didn’t sign. Don’t let anyone pressure you to sign. If everyone around us signs, we will not. But in the meantime, we have had our well water tested last year and this year we will also have our pond and a near by brook tested outside of PA.

  10. Dear Maryann,

    I hope you’re near enough to Callicoon, NY to join us this Saturday (2/20/10) at the Delaware Community Center for a forum with Mayor Calvin Tillman of DISH, Texas. He will discuss the health impacts of the compressors on his town and the struggle he’s waging on behalf of his residents.

    Joining him will be Nancy Janyszeski of Nockamixon, PA. She will talk about her area’s fight to preserve its water.

    The forum will begin at 4:00 PM, is free and open to the public. There will be a Q&A session following their presentations.

    Sincerely hope you’ll be able to join us. My heart goes out to you. Liz

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