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Range Fills W&J With Friendly Voices for the Fracking Meeting

June 14, 2011

Monday June 11, 2011, The Dept. of Energy held a meeting at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington Pa, on the subject of Hydraulic Fracturing, and the environmental impact. Here in Washington County we set on one of the largest Marcellus Shell gas deposits on the Eastern Seaboard. In the past months it has also become a Hotbed of controversy, because Range Resources threatened to pull out of Mt. Pleasant township for trying to protect their, and their citizens interests.

At Monday night’s meeting, Range Resources tried to pack the hall with Pro-Drilling attendees. Range has the most to gain or lose, because they operate the most drilling sites in Western Pennsylvania. According to the article:


On Saturday the WashCo GOP got into the fray, in an email asking drilling supporters to get in line to speak two and a half hours before the hearing begins.

From the mail:

The opposition groups are already mobilizing people from outside of the region and state to flood this event. We need employees, service companies, land owners, sub contractors and everyone else. They will be accepting speakers on a first come basis. Meaning we need to have people lining up no later than 4:30 for registration and then to fill the room.


Anti-Drilling groups received this information about the meeting. Source

Josh Fox the director of the documentary “Gasland” was at the meeting and pointed out, he felt John Deutch’s comments proved that the meeting was “a sham.”

“You are using this forum to justify your conclusion,” he said

When Fox’s time ran out, he was shouted down by drilling supporters. However, opponents of drilling applauded wildly as he walked back to his seat.

Those who were locked out chanted and voiced their feelings to the reporters outside of the meeting. One of the chants was, “six out of seven belong to the drillers.” This refers that six out of the seven panelist are in bed with the drilling companies.

One of the comments made to the media was from Mel Packer with Marcellus

“This commission should go home. (Go) back to Washington and tell Obama and Congress there’s a rebellion brewing here.”

The director of the film “Gas Odyssey” brought up the one talking point that in fact is a misconception if not an out right lie, when he ask.

“Why should Americans fight overseas to guard our oil when a cleaner resource is available here?”

Many other statements voiced my feelings on the whole drilling issue.

Many said they were not opposed to gas drilling but the hydraulic fracturing method which uses high volumes of water, sand and chemicals to force natural gas from the shale.

Calling for a statewide health assessment, Dana Donley said the state first needs to monitor risks of living and working near drilling or compressing sites.

“No one begrudges anyone a job but why do you begrudge me my health?” the breast cancer survivor asked.


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