Appalachian Basin

Robinson Township Residents Support Range Resources

Range Resources is trying to develop land the company leased in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania; however, even after submitting all necessary permits, the local supervisors are still delaying the process.  Many local landowners are in favor of this development and voiced their opinions at a recent town meeting . 

A majority of Robinson Township residents are looking to take advantage of their landowner rights by developing the natural gas found under their properties.  Range Resources, a major operator in the area, filed all the necessary permits months ago, but appears to be held up at the local level by the Robinson Township Board of Supervisors, which claims Range has not provided all the necessary documentation.  The property owners seeking development are Roger and Susan Kendall on Foley Road and Michelle Parees and Robert Frame off Midway-Candor Road.  The meeting had people from both sides of the issue turn out, with a majority standing up to defend Range Resources and support their local operator.

When the issue of Range Resources and the lawsuits they have filed against the Robinson Town Board came up the supervisors left the room to discuss the issue privately.  They returned roughly a half hour later at which point they took public comment from the community on the issue.  Some who spoke were in favor of the board who appear to be delaying development, while others just saw this as a stonewalling tactic and demanded answers as to why things are taking so long.

The Robinson Township resident featured below wanted to know why the permit is being delayed and, if it’s because Range Resources has not provided the necessary information and whether the board contacted Range in writing explaining why the permits were not approved.

He also discussed the noise generated from the development process:

I really hate to hear all this discussion about the sound ordinance, first of all I’m going to be within 1,000 – 1,500 feet from one of these well pads and I don’t really care about the sound because I know it’s going to be temporary. (:55)

While many of the Robinson Township residents are in favor of development, some are still opposed.  However, this opposition still seems to stem from misinformation. In the video below, Sandy Ulrich talks about landslides, pipeline explosions and spills supposedly caused by shale gas development.  This appears to be someone that is looking for any reason to be against gas development, who seems to not understand there are risks with any type of energy we use and is willing to assume and imply the worst with respect to natural gas.

Here is is exactly what Ulrich said about the West Virginia pipeline explosion as it relates to Robinson Township:

The next day that gas explosion happened, would you want to lose your home, all your possessions you’ve worked all these years for to a gas line explosion? Why, for a few thousand dollars?  (6:14)

What happened next was an excellent display of how tired people are of the fear mongering from those who oppose shale gas development.  A woman named Marie Bigger then took Ulrich to task for her advocacy of a no tolerance policy of avoiding all risk without regard to the facts.

Here’s what Bigger said about accidents caused by gas development:

This women over here made the comment about the gas spills and blowing up.  How many people here have a gas line coming to their home right now heating their house?  I don’t have a gas line but I do have oil tank right behind my house; that can blow up.  So somewhere along the line we have to progress and get past this.  Has anyone seen the price of gas lately; 25 years ago we were supposed to do something about this, we were supposed to get independent.  (7:05)

Another person that spoke in favor of Range Resources was Steve Duran.  Duran talked about all the benefits and opportunities gas development would bring to his community.  From thriving communities to impact fees going directly to local communities, his remarks were very compelling.  See video below.

Still, even with all the positive comments from the community, the town board continues to delay the permit requests from Range Resources.  The Board of Supervisors may have denied Range Resources and think they scored a temporary win, but the real losers here are the community and the landowners.


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