Appalachian Basin

Are the Opposition Folk Starting to Fracture?

We always talk about and hear how well organized the anti-Marcellus crowd is, but the Josh Fox rally in Harrisburg this week suggests that there may be a significant disconnect — even outright animosity — amongst their followers. The rally turned out about 150-200 protesters, but everything we’ve read coming out of the event  indicates that this band of die-hard back-to-earthers were among the most radical of the entire lot — folks who aren’t interested in any outcome or compromise that doesn’t involve the end of oil and gas development in America. Of course, what these folks don’t apparently know is that you need to fracture geothermal wells too. And even some water wells. But why let the facts get in the way of a good (if quaint) rally?

Anyway, it’s no secret that we often do not agree with the information distributed by groups like PennFuture, but lo and behold — this rally has shown that, at least on one issue, we stand in agreement. Seems both of us want to see natural gas developed safely in Pennsylvania. We, and PennFuture, both want to embrace the economic benefits the Marcellus Shale brings while protecting the environment in which we live. And like us, PennFuture is opposed to a moratorium that would bring to an end the one industry in our state that’s actually creating jobs. Because of this, PennFuture did not attend the anti-fracturing rally in Harrisburg on Tuesday.

PennFuture is “Pennsylvania’s leading environmental advocacy group,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. But that status doesn’t seem to impress Ben Ketchum of Gas Truth of Central PA and other fringe folks on

Welcome to the trenches, PennFuture! Unfortunately, it’s not a nice place to be all the time. Get yourself ready for death threats, personal smears, and attacks on any information you put out no matter what expert or institution backs it up.  They will try to strong arm or scare you into keeping quiet about your position. You should see how they treat me! And I’m not even the CEO of PennFuture.

Of course, the dirty little truth here is that the radical anti’s don’ t exactly have the best interests of the people or environment of Pennsylvania or New York at heart. And as you’d expect, some of them have some pretty wacky ideas on a whole host of other things that have nothing to do with natural gas development. Take Mark Ruffalo, for instance. Sure, he’s dreamy. And from what I can gather, he seems to be a pretty good actor. Mark wants to see hydraulic fracturing banned. Of course, he also believes that 9/11 was an inside job. And if there were any remaining doubts over this man’s judgment, the fact that he would pose for this picture, I think, should eliminate those once and for all.

Anyway, the good news here is that these folks are in the minority on this issue — and by a healthy margin. So although it’s not all that likely that EID and Jan Jarrett/PennFuture will start agreeing on every issue that comes up, at least we can take a bit of comfort in knowing that some in the environmental community actually do care about the environment. As for the rest? They’re still trying to figure out how Bush pulled off 9/11.

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