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Heinz Endowment Shills Launch Attack on Penn Township

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

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Anti’s will hold a workshop in Penn Township to teach the pubic to navigate DEP’s website and look for any new or changed permits for shale drilling, but why?

This is a heads-up to drillers and landowners in Westmoreland County, PA (essentially a Pittsburgh suburb). A group of virulent anti-drillers, funded with money from Big Green groups like the Philadelphia-based and misnamed Clean Air Council, are running a “workshop” to train nutters how to spot any changes in permits for shale wells–so they can, do what?

penn township

Oppose them, that’s for sure. How? Flood the state Dept. of Environmental Protection with letters and emails (to slow down the permitting process)? Protest? Something more sinister? The announcement about the training session doesn’t specifically state how the nutters will use the information.

The training will take place in Penn Township in Westmoreland County, which has been the epicenter for a number of battles to allow drilling.

In May 2016, MDN told you that the Penn Township zoning board voted to refuse to grant a permit to Apex Energy to build a DEP-permitted well pad in the town.

In June 2016, Penn began considering a far more restrictive ordinance than it currently has – to limit drilling in the township. That didn’t sit well with Huntley & Huntley, a driller that owns leases for some 23% of the land in the township.

In August 2016, the debate continued at a public hearing, with pro- and anti-drillers out in force to discuss the potential Marcellus-killing ordinance that had been drafted.

Then a 180 happened. In April 2017, Penn Township commissioners voted to approve leasing 29 acres of town land to Huntley & Huntley. Earlier this month MDN told you that Huntley & Huntley is about to conduct seismic surveys throughout the town, a sure sign that new drilling is on the way.

Antis don’t deal well with change. Any time they lose in court, or in the court of public opinion, they seek to agitate and complain and protest (and sometimes more, as in the violence surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline). In Penn Township the antis will conduct “training” to keep a close eye on any new permits, or changed permits, that deal with shale drilling. The training will happen at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Penn Area Library. We encourage pro-drillers to turn up in large numbers, just to keep them off balance.

penn township

An environmental advocacy group based in Philadelphia will host a workshop in Penn Township to teach residents how to navigate the Department of Environmental Protection’s online databases that track oil and gas activity.

Protect Our Children will host the workshop at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Penn Area Library.

“With an influx of gas production in Westmoreland County, we must train citizens to keep an eye out for new permits coming through and start engaging in the state regulatory process,” Gillian Graber, an outreach coordinator for the group, said in a news release. “We know our communities better than the state, and we can make sure the state does a thorough review of every application that comes across their desks. The best way to make sure that happens is by citizen enrollment.”

A spokesman for DEP declined to comment.

The agency tracks changes in permit applications of oil and gas producers online, posts production reports and catalogs each report by date and county. The latest production report published was in February.

Graber is president of Protect PT, a citizen activist group based in Penn Township. The group plans to legally challenge the township’s mineral extraction overlay that permits unconventional drilling.

The ordinance, which allows unconventional drilling through 60 percent of the township, mandates a 600-foot setback from any occupied structure. The group thinks it should be at least 1 mile.

If the ordinance is upheld at an upcoming zoning hearing board meeting, Protect PT has said it will take the challenge to court. The organization already has challenged four proposed well pads in court.

The township has one operating fracking well pad owned by Apex Energy. An additional eight wells are proposed — seven by Apex and one by Huntley & Huntley Inc.

Protect Our Children is composed of members from Protect PT, Mountain Watershed Association, Environmental Integrity Project and Clean Air Council and concerned citizens that are “dedicated to protecting school children from the health risks of shale gas drilling and infrastructure.”

MDN Editor’s Note: We’re not sure what has happened at the once-great Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Used to be they were pretty fair and balanced in their reporting on shale energy issues. These days, since they ceased publishing a paper version, it seems like the organization simply turns out regurgitated press releases from anti-drillers. What happened? Anyone else notice the change?

NGN Editor’s Note: These organizations – the Clean Air Council (over $1.5 million since 2002), the Mountain Watershed Association (over $2 million since 2007) and the Environmental Integrity Project (over $1 million since 2008) – are extremely well paid fractivist shills for the Heinz Endowments. They are financed to engage in exactly this kind of bullying. It’s disgusting and the fact they get away with doing so on a tax-exempt basis is criminal.

For more great articles on natural gas development every single business day, subscribe to Marcellus Drilling News using this convenient link.

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20 thoughts on “Heinz Endowment Shills Launch Attack on Penn Township

  1. Since when is it a crime for Citizens to be concerned about industrial activity near their homes and schools and farms…Citizens have and still do organize to protect themselves when they see and experience the risks
    of polluting industry next to them..
    you have the Shale Industry promoting itself in ads and articles and spending millions on advertising their wholesome appearance…
    Citizens need to protect themselves when they see that our protective agencies are allowing the risks and dangers to come near us.
    Since when was industry allowed to be next to any home or school or farm that it wants to…
    what happened to industrial parks and sections for industry like in the cities and suburbs..?
    why are rural areas under a different mandate and no restrictions allowed or zoning..
    We need to zone the rural areas like other parts of the country….

  2. Who is paying you sir? What is your stake in Penn Twps fracking activity? This “nutter” purchased a home in a rural residential area not an industrial zone. We, the people of the Penn Twp., have the right to protect our investment in our home and community. You are not a part of this community. So unless you vote here or pay taxes in PT and your opinions are moot.

    • I agree with Bond and Renwick; they know the implications by living with it…the article writers on this site do not live with it and think it’s the answer to all their prayers
      and don’t realize it’s a pact with the “Devil”…

      they will find out one day if and when it comes to New York.
      Like Renwick says, we did not expect to live in an industrial zone…that pervades most of our counties…

      rural is not industrial…

      we need zoning in our rural counties to relegate this toxic industry in zones or out of the county or put them near the folks who want them…

      • Good luck with zoning, your neighbors did not want it before you arrived from Jersey or wherever and they do not want it now. This is northeast PA.

  3. Classic article – overloaded language, desperate plea by fast money guys against the best interests of society, namely, to keep climate under control and a void loss of the eternal resources of land. Not to mention the lives of rural folk.

    There’s plenty of oil and gas in the world to get us through until the age of renewables without fracking – it just isn’t under control of the “right” people. Oil and gas enjoys far more subsidies than any other form of energy, and throws off much of the real cost of extraction on other people.

    Politics is the name of the game, not science and reality. Bribe and fool the politicians to make your fortune! Damnation to the rest.

  4. Previous posters are classic NIMBY hypocrites. All fossil fuel users- they just don’t want it produced anywhere near them.

    Add in their climate hysteria and wildly unrealistic renewables forecasts and there you have it.

    Politicians destroy property rights to appease posers who took something they weren’t willing to pay for.

    • And Vera et al would oppose a a gas pipeline and/or industry even if the main producer was generated by unicorn flatulence. They would simply be out of the “protesting business”.

    • Kieth Yates. Where Inlive they are not proposing 1 well pad. There is one that had very little resistance. They are proposing several well pads. There will be one every mile through out the small rural town I live in. They are proposing well pads within 1 mile of each of our elementary schools. This isn’t wide open space where no one will notice. This isn’t one well pad. There are 2 big gas companies fighting to put 10 or more in sites in a town with an approximately 30 sq mi community. Let’s think that over and use some actual brain power rather than unicorn power.

    • Not in my backyard? Not in anyone’s backyard! If WE can’t see beyond the end of OUR collective nose (or maybe the next pay check) ALL of us run into a wall.

      Science denying when there are rising seas, highly visible loss of glaciers, tundra collapse, wild swings in weather, decreased circulation in the oceans, plant and animal ranges moving North, and all the rest, shows you don’t read.

      You do know the refugees from the Middle East are motivated by drought as much as war, don’t you? The world population keeps increasing. The U. S. has only 4% of the world land area. Producing carbon dioxide and spilled methane is a world matter.

      Rex Tillerson can afford a ranch in the mountains of Greenland when the ice cap melts off. Can you?

        • Well, well, comment by one of the hired guns of the fracking industry!

          It shouldn’t be hard for anyone but the blind to see, but here are some of the principal changes needed.

          1. Stop expanding the oil and gas industry.
          2. Make them pay for the damage they do: pollution, health, farms, forests, roads and impeded traffic, scenic, recreation and all the rest.
          3. Make them pay for the carbon produced and methane leaked.
          4. Take away the truly vast subsidies from oil and gas. Subsidize renewables on that scale, to develop them rapidly, and recognize them as the future.
          5. Enforce the laws on oil and gas. Enforcement in most states is a bad joke.
          6. Get out of foreign wars, which are mostly about advancing control of world reserves of oil and gas.

          This would produce more and better jobs than oil and gas ever will. Oil and gas is capital intensive, renewables are technology and labor intensive. Oil and gas is similar to the horse drawn way one hundred year ago, it needs to go. The deposit (which decays from horses but doesn’t from burning) needs no more additions.

          • And no motivation like a good salary. In your post-truth world all stories are equal. If it buys your food and keeps you warm at night – that’s what counts.

          • Sorry, Tom, I get very little for what I do for gas. My motivation is helping landowners like those among my family and neighbors who need this and the energy it produces. The big salaries in the PR world are drawn by people like Walter Hang who gets roughly $200,000 per years to orchestrate the fractivism chorus. Search his name on this site and read all about. The Rockefellers feed him very well.

          • For the readers, Mr. Shepstone and I have long acquaintance. In fact I wrote an article about him four years ago. If you google his name, it is the second item. If you don’t want to take the trouble, go here http://www.frackcheckwv.net/2013/01/02/who-is-tom-shepstone-spokesman-for-energy-in-depth/
            Lot of other similar articles under his name, too.

            And by all means, google my name, S. Thomas Bond. The first four, which actually apply to me, are very educational.

            P. S. I don’t get paid, I’m aware and trying to help my neighbors and the society I live in.

          • I see you think quite highly of yourself, Thomas. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have a retired chemistry professor on board. We also have something in common in terms of our contempt for the tactics of the Rockefeller family. Your chapter on them in your opus is quite interesting, in fact, although you err in supposing they’re aligned with those of us who support gas drilling. They’re actually underwriting fractivist causes you espouse today.

          • thanks, Bond, for your clear, fact-based thoughts and suggestions..
            Oil and Gas is very capital intensive.
            and produces little profits for the folks down the pipeline….
            and produces all the unhealthy side-effects you
            enumerate.

            Another article this year about the efforts of Republican legislators working to help landowners being scammed by the gas industry in Pa. of their royalty payments…
            which has been going on for years…
            http://www.sungazette.com/news/top-news/2017/01/gas-royalty-bills-get-state-senate-committee-ok/

  5. Does your hypothetical unicorn not produce something that turns to carbon dioxide when burned? Can it be transported with out pipelines? You can fanaticize anything, but it would have to have these characteristics, please understand.

  6. Mr. Willis wants to babble on about how great it is to destroy the quality of air and water, destroy communities, defy the constitutional right to zone, but he never talks about who pays him to market his lies and push the snake oil. He profits handsomely and doesn’t even have to have a brain.

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