Marcellus Shale

Natural Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing and Our Future

One of the interesting things about doing anything worthwhile is the strange mix of feelings it creates.  One moment it seems only yesterday when you began.  The next minute it’s hard to remember all you’ve done because there was so much that occurred.  Such as is the way I look back at our first year, now nearly completed, at the Energy In Depth Northeast Marcellus Initiative.  We often use the shorthand term “EID Marcellus” to describe ourselves, but there is nothing short about our mission or the accomplishments of the extraordinary team of associates with whom I have had the privilege of working over the last year.

We began on April 12, 2011 with the launch of this website and, since then, have posted well over 400 articles while on the road conducting a campaign to educate the world about natural gas, hydraulic fracturing and the extraordinarily important role these play in the future of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York State.  It’s been one great unfinished ride and I’m as proud as I can be of what’s been accomplished by our team.  I’m also incredibly optimistic about the future.

Looking Back

There has been so much accomplished over the past year, starting with the hiring of a great team.

Bill desRosiers

Bill desRosiers has been with the team from the outset.  Coming from Orange County, New York, where his family has long operated a quarry, Bill had an almost immediate grasp of the challenges facing any natural resources industry and has brought those insights with him to his EID Marcellus work.  Like every member of our team, he is a passionate believer in natural gas development.  He was at the forefront of much our extensive work on pipeline issues, for example, recognizing the importance of infrastructure and working with industry partners on that side of things.  Bill is also our organizer extraordinaire, the EID Marcellus go-to guy on all tech matters and gives great rig tours!  He lives in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania and recently received his MBA degree from Misercordia University.  Here are some of his best posts on our site, all worth reviewing again:

So That’s Why They Call Him “Chip” Northrup
Some insightful coverage of Chip Northrup’s war on natural gas development

Serfdom, Coming to a Town Near You
A piece that articulates the challenges facing landowners in terms of rights.

Franklin Forks Facts
A great fact-filled piece immediately setting the record straight on this supposed incident.

A Carnival of Self-Proclaimed Experts Continues Magical Mystery Tour
The lowdown on a Summer, 2011 tour of our region by the usual suspects.

Nicole Jacobs

Nicole Jacobs came on board in May, 2011.  She hails from the Williamsport, Pennsylvania area and lives in an area of Lycoming County that is heavily populated with natural gas wells, although they tend to blend in with the beautiful farm landscapes.  You’d probably, in fact, miss a bunch of them if you weren’t looking.  She has a Masters Degree in journalism from Lock Haven University and is also a great organizer and writer.  She had some background in advertising related to the industry before she came to work with us.  Nicole is a tireless advocate and has done incredibly good work in promoting FracFocus, organizing our first major tour of the region for the media and developing relationships with our partners in the industry and landowners.  She, too, is passionate about the role of natural gas in providing meaningful jobs for her generation.  Here are some of her best posts:

Natural Gas Temper Tantrums – The Show Goes On
A rundown on attempts by anti-gas groups to shut down another SRBC meeting.

A Canadian Bus Tour of the Marcellus Shale
A first-hand report on a bus tour by some anti-gas Quebecers with tall tales.

Shell Natural Gas Decisions Huge Win for Pennsylvania
A complete report on several Shell activities benefitting Pennsylvanians.

A Case of Pipeline and Propane Phobia
The facts versus the phobias about Inergy’s projects in the region.

Rachael Colley

Rachael Colley joined the EID Marcellus team in August, 2011.  Although the youngest member of our group, she is a landowner and comes from a family already deeply engrossed in the issue.  She is always more than willing to argue the case for natural gas development (see picture).  She lives in Chenango County, New York and is a graduate of  SUNY Oswego with BA degrees in Economics and Political Science, concentrating in American Politics (no wonder she likes to debate).  Rachael has, among other tasks, been monitoring the Slottje’s promotion of natural gas bans in New York and has articulated the many foils and foibles of this Park Foundation funded enterprise.  She’s also spent  time in Dimock following the EPA’s sojourn looking for problems already demonstrated not to exist. Check out some of her posts:

Sidney Says Yes to Natural Gas and No to Slottje!
The details on what happened in Sidney, New York as a ban failed.

A Slottje By Any Other Name
The story of the Slootje’s failed attempt to recover from their Sidney loss.

The Slottje Selling Spree Continues
A report on the Slottje antics at a Town of Morris meeting in Otsego County.

Natural Gas Education or Indoctrination?
The story of how an anti-gas art exhibit in public schools was stopped.

Our three Field Directors, are complemented by Chris Tucker, John Krohn and yours truly.  Chris is our Team Leader and comes from the Back Mountain area of Luzerne County, as does John Krohn, our Communications Director.  Both work out of Washington, DC as part of our national Energy In Depth program.  And, me?  Well, I’m a planning and research consultant in the region and took on the assignment as Campaign Director for EID Marcellus after being involved in similar activities on my own.  I am also a landowner in Wayne County, Pennsylvania where we are still waiting for approval of those DRBC regulations!  My job is to manage the campaign here in the region.  We have all done our share of posts as well.  Here are some examples:

New York Confirms Safety and Benefits of Hydraulic Fracturing
A detailed account of how New York’s SGEIS supports hydraulic fracturing.

Something Rotten in Gasland
The real facts behind the fraudulent claims in John Fox’s Gasland.

The Facts Behind EPA’s Dimock Two-Step
The first signs the EPA’s mission in Dimock wasn’t simply scientific.

Unholy Alliance Puts the Mark on Marc 1 Pipeline
The truth about yet another instance of EPA politicization.

Not surprisingly, some of our very best posts have come from you, our readers and supporters.  Here are the top five guest posts, ranked by the number of views as of April 8:

Dimock: The Full Story (4,708 views)
This is the top post on our site by a mile and it’s about Dimock, of course.

I Know Contamination, And There’s None in Dimock! (1,040 views)
Unsurprisingly, the second most popular guest post is also about Dimock.

Don’t Box Us In! (1,013 views)
Well, as it turns out, our third most popular post is about … Dimock!

Who Is Alex Lotorto, Well Street Occupier? (737 views)
This post provides the background on one of our anti-gas friends.

Here’s a Novel Idea – Follow the Law! (615 views)
The first legal review of the problems with New York’s natural gas bans.

Overall, we have published some 413 posts on our site and received almost 160,000 page views in total since we began.  We had over 31,000 page views just last month.  We also have nearly 2,500 Facebook followers, over 725 Twitter followers and an on-line newspaper, EID Daily News, as well as an extensive mailing list you can join.  We have posted 1,741 videos on our YouTube channel, which has received 28,250 views.  This doesn’t include the 2,655 views of our very successful Women of the Marcellus video posted on the Energy In Depth website, which was an EID Marcellus project.  Here it is, in case you missed it:

Two other popular videos include the following:

Looking back, it is clear the main thing is not the numbers, but, rather, the relationships we have built with so many landowners, workers, job seekers, business people and community leaders in pursuit of our common goal to raise awareness about the importance of natural gas development in our region (21 counties in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York).  We aim to support the work of these constituencies in educating the general population about natural gas and hydraulic fracturing, while setting the record straight when the debate ventures into the absurd (as it so often does).

Looking Ahead

We are justifiably proud of what’s been accomplished over the last year, but it is the future that is important because, after all, that’s what motivates all of us.  Restoring the ability to economically survive in our region, without having to sell the farm or leave the area for employment, is what it’s all about for us.  We are driven by that very real stake in the future economy of the region. We know natural gas development can be done safely and responsibly and we are determined to see it continue (or make it happen in the case of New York and the DRBC region) for the well-being of our families and our communities.

Our work in the year ahead will include more of the same, but many new and exciting things as well.  You can expect us to be wherever the action is, confronting the anti-natural gas opposition with facts, but, most importantly, helping our friends get their message out.  We hope to do many more guest posts in the coming year (send me an e-mail if you’re interested).  That’s what we are here.  We also hope to engage our anti-natural gas friends more, and you’d be surprised how many are friends.  We hope to have constructive discussions with them and other members of the communities where we work about how to conduct natural gas development in the very best way possible.  You’ll see us participating in more panel discussions and more events for that purpose.  We do not fear hard questions because we know the facts are on our our side and we’re committed to get them out.

We’ll see you soon, on the natural gas trail of prosperity.

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