Appalachian Basin

Anti-Drilling Event Fizzles Like A Wet Firecracker

If you are familiar with some of my previous posts, you will see I typically begin them with the simple phrase;  “I had the pleasure…”  Today, I can say I had the GREAT pleasure of attending an anti-drilling rally in Harrisburg earlier this week. Why was this so great? Well, after months of advertising in the  media and on anti-drilling websites, this event was supposed to be huge, with an estimated 600 to 1,000 people planning to showing up. But, as I heard someone once say, it fizzled like a matchstick in a toilet bowl.

Indeed, attendance was so far below what they had planned (and what the capacity of the area had to offer) that I almost felt sorry for the organizers as I stood there and captured some video. Maybe 200 people were in attendance, but keep in mind that a lot of the people standing in the rotunda were either organizers or just tourists. Others in the audience work at the Capitol and were just trying to find a way through the crowd to get back to work. I think this picture (above) of a women dressed in overalls, wearing a gas mask, holding a big sign, standing on a statue like a mountebank, sums up how desperate these groups have become.  The anti’s are always easy to recognize when they are in uniform.

When I arrived at the front steps of the Capitol building, all that stood there was a podium, some audio equipment, and a row of news vans, but no people. I honestly thought I had missed the whole rally. But, as I proceeded up the steps of the Capitol building, a little sign made of cardboard (the same stuff a 6th grader uses for sciences fairs) said the event had been moved inside.  It was a gorgeous day outside and so I was naturally disappointed to hear of this development. But it turns out they didn’t have enough people to do the event outside. As for the actual speakers, I grabbed a few videos worth taking a look at — you can find those after the jump.

Josh Fox

As the announcer stated, “this man needs no introduction.”  Josh Fox took the podium and pumped up the crowd by comparing what he’s doing in trying to ban responsible energy development in America with what groups such as the Freedom Riders did during the Civil Rights movement. He also compared his work to the women’s suffrage movement — glad to see all this Oscar attention hasn’t gone to his head!


Craig and Julie Sautner

As usual, Craig carried out his standard jug of brown liquid onto stage. I’ve been up to Dimock about a half-dozen times over the past couple weeks — I’ve even been on Carter Road — and I have yet to see anyone’s water that looks anything like that. Guess we’ll never know where he got it, though, since he refuses to let anyone — even DEP — come in and actually test his water.


Jenna the Social Worker

See if this argument makes sense to you: Marcellus development is creating a lot of jobs right now and a lot of wealth for the middle-class. Actually, it’s creating too much middle-class wealth, allowing these people to improve their stations in life by upgrading to a new vehicle and maybe even buying a new home. Those homes are a bit more expensive now, since folks’ incomes have been improved so dramatically thanks to the Marcellus. Somehow, because of all this, no one can afford to buy a home anymore. Everyone is now homeless. And it’s the Marcellus Shale’s fault. Oh, and one more thing: “Younger” women are no longer safe hanging out in hotel parking lots anymore because of all the gas workers staying on site.  As for older women, well — they’re probably safe. Watch the video — did I do a good job here at paraphrasing?


College Student

As a recent college graduate, I appreciate that the organizers of this rally gave a college student a couple minutes to speak. But, as you’ll see from the video, there was a funny moment as well. Apparently, this girl didn’t get the memo that only about 1 in 5 people who were supposed to show up to this thing actually did.  She congratulated the crowd on “filling the rotunda,” even though, as my video shows, next to no one was actually there.



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