Appalachian Basin

Cambridge Residents Stand Up to Anti-Shale Propaganda

The Southeast Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water visited the Cambridge Crossroads library this Saturday looking to provide some “information” on shale development in Ohio. What they didn’t anticipate was the overwhelming support the natural gas industry has in Guernsey County.

The Southeastern Ohio Alliance to Save Our Water was formed by part time resident Leslie Harper. Ms. Harper is actually from Western Ohio but owns a cabin near Seneca Lake in the eastern part of Guernsey County.

The room where the event was held was filled with individuals who came to hear the Alliance’s message in regards to Ohio’s shale development. Unfortunately, what they heard was no objective information but the typical anti-shale information Ohioans have heard for months including, of course, reference to the the mythical “Halliburton loophole”. This was only the beginning as the conversation quickly devolved into many tales that attempted to paint a false narrative on the safe and responsible development of natural gas.

Luckily, this is Ohio – where responsible resource development has been occurring for over 100 years.  The result of that history, in this instance, took the form of many informed citizens who knew the facts at hand and challenged the assertions made by the Alliance.  When challenged it was clear the presenters were  were unable to back up their arguments with facts.

A concerned attendee  asked the presenter to explain the “Halliburton loophole”. An explanation never came.

Having never seen the panelists before,  Tom Laughman, a local commissioner,  asked if they owned property in the county. What he found out from her response was that she was not a resident or a property owner in Guernsey County.

Commissioner Laughman added:

You are trying to disrupt the whole system.  We are behind it, we are going to pursue it, we are going to make it happen and we welcome it.

As correct information was brought forth, the presenters were overwhelmed and attempted to mitigate their lack of knowledge by stopping their presentation and resorting to showing videos with no input from those in the audience. This actually made one gentleman so mad he left saying, “I have some videos of Bigfoot, you going to tell me he is real next.”

The first video provided highlighted a presentation by Dr. Anthony Ingraffea presentation where he highlighted a methane migration study conducted by Duke University  as well as his own study on shale production and associated emissions.  Of course both of these events have been previously debunked by Energy In Depth with those debunkings available here and here.  Both studies have taken significant criticism and are widely discredited with the Duke Study being challenged by the current and former head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Cornell Study  by the Department of Energy, University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon and even other professors from Cornell University, EID covered that here.

After Dr. Ingraffea’s video, the presenters moved to a Youtube video presented by Earth Focus. This video was put together by the Park Foundation, the same organization that dedicated over $1.3 million dollars last year to end shale development in the United States.

Seeing the event for what it was supporters grew frustrated and left. When they did we saw first hand how many people came out to support the anti-energy “cause”,  about 10 people remained.

It was certainly an interesting night at the Cambridge Crossroads Library. The unavoidable takeaway from the experience was that Guernsey County embraces the safe and responsible development of natural gas and the jobs that development is providing in Ohio. Of course, another takeaway could be that the Alliance might think twice before heading to Guernsey County in attempt to sway residents with incorrect information on the responsible development of our state’s shale resources.  All in all,  it was a very good night for the proud residents of the county.

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