Appalachian Basin

Flammable Faucet in NY; Zero Drilling to be Found

Everyone is by now familiar with the iconic scene in Gasland in which Mike Markham of Fort Lupton, Colo. is shown lighting his faucet (not his water, contrary to what some believe) on fire.  Hopefully by now, you’re also aware that the scene was a complete fabrication — not that methane was coming out of his tap, of course, but that any bit of that had anything to do with natural gas development. Regulators in Colorado first reported that fact in 2008 — before Gasland had even begun shooting. They reiterated that position in 2010. And even Josh Fox himself conceded the point in 2011 — caught on video here at a screening of his film in Chicago earlier this year.

Here below, I’ve posted a picture of another gentleman lighting his tap on fire.  But unlike the Markhams in Colorado, this guy lives in an area of New York with zero oil or natural gas development anywhere even close.  In fact, as this article in the Norwich Evening Sun reports, the closest natural gas development of any kind that has taken place is more than 25 miles away from his home in Coventry, according to the Chenango County Planning Department.

The hand in this picture belongs to homeowner Robert Sandell, and according to the article, he’s 74 years young. Earlier this year, he went on the record with the Evening Sun saying he uses that flammable faucet for the water needed to make 10 cups of coffee each day. Said Sandell: “If it was going to kill me, it would have by now.” One assumes he was talking about his water here. But considering how much coffee the man drinks, maybe that’s what he meant instead. Needless to say, this isn’t a guy who strikes us as much of a Sanka drinker.

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