Gas Interests Want You To Feel Alone

At comment #9  under  “Update:  Seismic Thumping in Wayne County,” (an article notifying readers that the thumpers had  turned away from The River Road)  “Regret”  wrote,   “But hope has to be based on reason.”

I understand Regret’s pessimism about the state of drilling in Wayne County. I know the history of the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, South America, and any other region of the world where humans have built lives above oil fields.

I know how many acres  the Northern Wayne Property Owners say they’ve leased.

I know our own laws and Supreme Court decisions often provide only  apparent protections.

I know we’re in deep trouble and it doesn’t matter much to me whether the threats to our livelihoods, land, food sources and water  come from powerful drilling companies or powerful agribusiness factory farms and our collusive  government that  provides relief and friendly supports to all of them.

But there is hope  in the work of our people!

There’s hope in Pennsylvania.  Cabot was shut down in Pennsylvania because a few families would not stop telling their stories.

There’s hope in large news outlets  beginning to tell the stories of contamination and evacuations caused by drilling.

There’s hope in the large landowners who’ve refused to sign.

There’s hope in the landowners who’ve signed but who pray to their Gods that  a Moratorium will come to Pennsylvania and New York and that the gas companies will lose.

There’s hope in the landowners who, despite being marooned between large leased parcels,  continue to refuse to take the money.

There’s hope in award-winning documentaries like Josh Fox’ Gasland whose national audience is growing at incredible rates.

There’s hope in the work of loved ones in Wayne County who spend every single moment of their waking days thinking and working on ways to stop these takings of our rights to enjoy our properties,  our rights to drink our water, our rights to eat food that isn’t filled with hormones — hormones that are changing the chemical composition of our childrens’ bodies.  And when those loved ones in Wayne County sleep  —  which is a bare few hours a night —  their sleep is invaded by clouds — dark and seemingly impenetrable clouds.

There’s hope in the numbers of people who’ve begun to read and write about the looming drills.

There’s hope when a group of people get together and create The Watershed Post.

I have hope in my  loved ones get up each morning to the nightmare and continue to help organize residents on The River Road.

There’s hope when women stand up alone and say,  “NOT ON MY LAND!”  and the thumper trucks turn away.

I’m going this morning  to a meeting with  incredibly bright, creative and determined people who will not give up.

There’s a party planned this evening for people who  will celebrate that we are all still  together.

There are legal fights still to be fought and  Damascus Citizens has organized an heroic team on that front. DONATE TIME AND MONEY TO THOSE EFFORTS!

There are PA legislators who’ve decided to sacrifice their political careers — who are being joined by others — to slow down this raging locomotive.

There are people who love the river working within the National Park Service to protect the River from this degradation.

There IS hope.

Contact landowners who are resisting the landsmen.  (See Breathing’s coverage of the DRBC –  hearing in Matamoras, PA)

Contact landowners whose leases are due for renewal.

Contact landowners who’ve signed to protect themselves but who support a Moratorium and the FRAC Act.

Write the National Park Service.  Tell them to find the research we need to stop the despoiling of  our Basin.  Let them know they’re not alone!

Tell NY State Senator John Bonacic  his political career will not be saved by the landowners who leased.  Even those in NY who lease for fear of being compulsorily integrated will vote against him.

There’s hope in the NY Assembly thanks to Bills being co-sponsored or supported by Aileen Gunther.  TELL HER YOU SUPPORT HER SO SHE KNOWS SHE’S NOT ALONE!

Organize large public vigils as near the Wayne County test wells as you can get.

As Lula Lovegood told Harry Potter,  “I think he [Voldemort] wants you to believe you’re alone.”

But it isn’t true.

I got almost five hours sleep last night — more than I’ve had in weeks — and   I’m not alone.  I’m ready.

21 thoughts on “Gas Interests Want You To Feel Alone”

  1. This was well worth reading. Yes, I have always believed there is hope. No matter how large or how very small our contributions are to fighting this coerced blight, hope stems from whatever people believe they can do. Just saying the right phrase or words at the right time in an unconfrontational way to some one who doesn’t see the whole picture and has either signed or is thinking about it, might make all the difference. We have to BELIEVE we can stop disaster. Intent is a powerful tool.

  2. Thanks for writing words that bring tears. Let us note that the hope you talk about is different from the hope that is defeated and expressing powerlessness: “I sure hope they don’t come down my road (unspoken: but there is nothing I can do).”

    There ARE beginning to be real shafts of light through the dark cloud of worry. I thank my friends every day, but this is a good oppoortunity to thank all those people I don’t yet know who are joining together in OUR fight.


  3. Related story about the same gas leak:

    Exco is picking up the tab for the displaced homewoners and sending them to local motels for awhile.

    Liz, what would happen if this accident were to happen in Sullivan or Wayne Counties where there are no motels?

    In Dimock, where methane polluted the homeowner’s wells, Cabot Oil and Gas brought in Poland Spring in cases. Or was it generic Sam’s Club bottled water?

  4. A homeowner nearby where we live in north Texas organized hundreds of her neighbors in a rally against XTO who is looking to drill multiple wells on a 23 acre heavily wooded site immediately outside a large residential neighborhood. Mayor Calvin Tillman and I did a presentation for about 65 of her neighbors right in her driveway. Then she mobilized the group and got the word out so that it was standing room only at the city council meeting the following week. The mayor and council obviously took notice. The following week, she brought together even more people for another information meeting, and the group was so large- 300+ that it was held at the local elementary school cafeteria. She started a petition that very night. By the end of the following week, she had nearly 1000 signatures protesting XTO’s requests for all 11 city ordinances related to drilling. Every one, including not wanting to keep the area clear of ‘trash and weeds’. This would mean they wouldn’t even be required to clean up their own trash. Not that they do, anyway. The significance of the 977 signatures (so far) is that this number is nearly 3 times the amount of people who even voted in the last mayoral election. The mayor and council are trying (or so it appears) to be working more with the people rather than XTO. The mayor and staff are working towards what looks like not only not granting the variances, but adding even more restrictions to the activity- times of day XTO can operate, run trucks, speed limit enforcement, hazardous waste warning signs on trucks, background checks on workers and much more. The mayor has since gone to the homeowner, and expressed his concern about all the work they have done in an effort to appease their citizens-and asked if he was going to be recalled anyway in the upcoming election. It is enlightening and empowering to see that the people really do have the power, not the politicians, and certainly not our Good Neighbors, the Industry. This just goes to show that even ONE person really can make a difference in the world, even if it’s just the neighborhood she lives in.

  5. This blog and the links are very inspiring and definitely letting me feel less alone. The quality and tone of writing and info is really top rate, I think.

    Regarding the comment by Tim Ruggiero about local organizing having impact on local government in Texas… I’ve voted in every election I can around here and notice how few others do… the officials of our little communities, for instance, probably win by margins of a dozen votes or so, if that.

    So I think it’s important for residents to exercise our democratic rights and really let these people know who they should be working for. It won’t solve or fix everything, but numbers of concerned votes can make a difference.

  6. JUST RECEIVED THIS VIA EMAIL but since I don’t have the poster’s permission, am submitting it under my name on behalf of the person who accomplished it:

    “good news today. 1 mile of the callicoon-lookout road will not be thumped. yesterday I called Dawson’s point man and requested they skip this portion of the road. It was cordial but I did mention that I would be pursuing legal means if necessary to protect my property from proprietary theft. This morning they removed their flags, wires, and equipment. A small victory….”

    Anyone else who wants to call “Dawson’s point man” should email me at for the phone number.

  7. Great video (in three parts):


    Professor Anthony Ingraffea
    Cornell University


    Marcellus Shale –
    “Information for an Informed Citizenry”

    If you like the talk by Professor Ingraffea please send the link to others.

    Thanking Liz in advance for her blog.


  8. Liz- we need to light up the River of hope again…Basin wide celebration all the way from the head waters of the Lackawaxen, 2010 Pa. River of the Year…down to brackish waters of the Bay. What a treasure we have here! This should be celebrated by all!
    Looking forward

  9. Thank you for posting the Ingraffea link! I’ve been listening to it in fits and starts while I’m on the computer. It should should have been included among the many fine and productive efforts helping us to build momentum. It really is terrific.

  10. This is probably one of the most important fights nationally that will begin with ordinary citizens, the “grassroots”. Drilling for gas is a bad idea. As we see, the repercussions for infusing our watershed with deadly toxins is beginning to create wastelands. Families are being evacuated from their homes.

    I believe we need to target the board members of these companies and start a campaign called “in your backyard”. Ask them to lease their land for “hydrofracking”!

    Keep believing we can beat this! Our very lives depend upon this. If we poison our water sources, we are good as dead!

  11. Liz:
    “Thank you for posting the Ingraffea link! I’ve been listening to it in fits and starts while I’m on the computer. It should should have been included among the many fine and productive efforts helping us to build momentum. It really is terrific.”


    My pleasure Liz.

    Fits and starts?

    Does that mean you don’t have high speed internet? Check with your provider if they can boost your bandwidth. Most phone companies providing internet via DSL will. If you have cable, you should be able to view without fits and starts.

    Dialup is another matter.

    If not – have somebody burn the three segments on a DVD and have them available at your local libraries throughout Sullivan and Delaware County.

    He is one of the best lecturers with credentials and he can dispel those myths that were heard at the Town of Delaware meeting this past week.


  12. Thanks for the thoughts, T….I have high speed. “Fits and starts” means there are times I can write or research and listen at the same time and others when…not so much.

  13. And on this rainy damp Sunday morning (at least from where I am), I leave you with this short musical video clip that I picked up from Frank Rich’s piece in the NY Times today:



  14. The following short film {8 minutes} is from The American Petroleum Institute and is probably the best graphic explanation to date that I’ve sent on the hydrofracking technique of gas drilling in the Barnett, Haynesville and Marcellus Shale plays.


  15. Hey Liz, wanted to tell you, Calvin Tillman is coming to Dimock Thursday, then to Clarks Summit just south of here. Also a state senator from NY that has been paying close attention to Dimock. Just so you know, the area Cabot is prohibited from drilling is only a small area, not even all of Dimock. We can still hear gas well activity from our house, there is a derrick or rig up right outside right now, putting piping in, ostensibly for plugging the well next to my house. They will be right back to drilling at first opportunity. Victoria and her neighbors have soapy, sharp smelling water all of a sudden, and there are strange fluids coming out of the ground at some of the Teel well sites. There are still gas industry noises coming from all directions, all night. Often loud enough to be heard indoors. So they aren’t stopped in PA yet. They are going full tilt right outside the forbidden zone, and in Springville, Silver Lake, etc.

  16. Thank you for the clarification, Pat. I’m going to also post this as a comment under the Town of Delaware story for the sake of folks who “went to ‘Dimick’ and thought” all was swell.

Let us know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Breathing Is Political

Think. Write. Examine


Indigenous Issues and Resistance

Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air

Dedicated citizens fighting to protect our most valuable resources.


wrestling with congruency


Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

%d bloggers like this: