Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
The Heinz family is Pennsylvania gentry and its busy trying to kill any opportunity working class Pennsylvanians have to stay here and improve their lives.
The Heinz family name is wrapped around so much of Pennsylvania history. Its Ketchup and pickle legacy also give it working class bonafides to those who don’t know who it really is. Today, it is a job-killing threat to the lives of all working class Pennsylvanians. The family wealth has been inherited by a Portuguese woman named Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira, more commonly known as Teresa Heinz Kerry. She was born into wealth and married into a lot more of it when she wed John Heinz, who became a Senator. He was tragically killed in 1991 and she went on to marry John Kerry, another Senator, who had also married into wealth.
Teresa Heinz Kerry and her sons by Heinz now run the Heinz Endowments, which is determined to wipe out any Pennsylvania opportunities for oil and gas development. The Heinz family, in fact, is behind every fractivist initiative in Pennsylvania. It is funding the Clean Air Council to attack the Shell cracker. It is funding the Damascus Citizens and PennFuture to harass local governments and frustrate development. It is paying for StateImpactPA to put as much anti-fracking news as possible. It is financing the phony Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP) to gin up fake news. It is paying for PublicSource to get the fake news out there. The Heinz family is determined to squelch every opportunity working class Pennsylvanians have to do better.
The latest example of the Heinz family engaging in poverty-keeping through its war against oil and gas is another PublicSource story. It is part of a series of fake news posts put out by the group. A few days ago I explained how PublicSource and was using indoor air quality monitors intended for consumer use to test outdoor air quality and make a supposed case for air contamination from fracking. It was new high for junk science. Another story in the series takes things to a whole new level.
Like the the earlier story in the series, the direction of this one is apparent at the outset from a photo. It is a photo of serial fractivist Rebecca Roter looking as if she’s just seen a Zombie. The story is about events that occurred in 2014 and 2015 we’re told. Revealingly, though, the picture is from 2011 and Rebecca Roter has been continuously engaged in fractivism from long before then. Pardon me if I’m more than a little skeptical of her story about a Williams compressor station suddenly impacting her health in 2014. PublicSource, using monies from the Heinz family is trying to sell us a tale.
The tale is about her home in Susquehanna County and how she was forced to leave it due to water contamination and so on. You name it and the gas industry did it by her account. She also claims to have enlightened authorities in the process of leaving her home to move to Georgia by engaging in some testing of her own. And, you guessed it; she, too, relied upon the same Speck indoor air quality monitors to make a case that her outdoor air was polluted. Weird, huh, how she just happened be using the same monitors the EHP and PublicSource would use later to argue fracking was contaminating air quality in Southwest Pennsylvania?
It’s no coincidence, of course, that Roter created a group called Breathe Easy Susquehanna County in 2013 with the help of the Heinz family funded Clean Air Council (see article from their newsletter to right). She’s been shilling for the Clean Air Council from the beginning, appearing at most of the hearings it demanded on air compressor stations to support its position. I wrote about her appearing at such hearing in Bradford County in 2012. I noted the following at the time:
“Rebecca Roter also provided testimony, after arriving late, about her ‘experience’ living in nearby Kingsley for the last several years and watching the ‘rapid industrialization’ of the area. Her testimony was essentially a rant against natural gas development but somehow she neglected to mention her home in Bucks County, where she and her Ferrari Club of America Treasurer husband Ben (formerly of Rodale’s), actually reside and send their children to school. She asked DEP representatives to ‘look at me and our children’ and claimed they were being treated as ‘necessary sacrifices.’ One suspects she might have been late because of the long drive from Philadelphia but it seems to never have occurred to her that the supposed ‘industrialization’ of Herrickville might not have made as much of an impact on her and her children’s health as the conditions in Buck County, where she actually lives.”
Yes, Roter only had a second home in Susquehanna County until recently. She had, theretofore, lived in Bucks County. A comparison of Bucks County’s particulate matter emissions with those for Susquehanna County shows she might better have stayed in Susquehanna. DEP records show Bucks permittees emitted 174.6 tons of PM <10 in 2014 compared to 3.2 tons for Susquehanna County. For PM <2.5 it was 123.2 tons vs. 0 tons. Perhaps that’s why the EPA concluded “exposures to the maximum daily PM2.5 average (32 μg/m3) are not of concern for the general population or most sensitive subpopulations.” It also offered the following regarding the Speck data collected by Roter (emphasis added):
From October 2014 through February 2015, Brooklyn Township, Pennsylvania residents monitored outdoor air quality at their residence using a recently developed air sensor known as the first edition Carnegie Mellon “Speck” sensor. The Speck sensor data reported to ATSDR by one resident indicated that estimated “PM2.5” surrogate levels (as calculated using this sensor) may be of public health concern in the ambient air at the sensor’s location, which was located for use on the front porch of a residence along Old Turnpike Road in Brooklyn Township, PA. The resident provided ATSDR and the EPA with a summary table of the Speck sensor data, including a chart of detections that exceeded levels the sensor estimates as equivalent to PM2.5 levels of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). The maximum Speck sensor estimated PM2.5 data concentrations from this location ranged from 54 to 757 μg/m3, with 24-hour average concentrations ranging from 13 to 58 μg/m3. While these data suggest that PM2.5 may be present at levels of health concern, these data could not be used by ATSDR for public health assessment purposes for a number of reasons, including (1) a lack of quality control and assurance, (2) no procedural guidance for the unit’s operation, (3) no maintenance or calibration documentation, and (4) no data verification procedures. While these citizen-collected data provide valuable information in support of more rigorous PM2.5 ambient air assessment, ATSDR concluded it could not rely on the Speck sensor data alone as representative of ambient air quality and residential exposures at this location.
There is, in other words, no validity to the Speck data PublicSource, the EHP and Rebecca Roter are relying upon. It’s all fake news brought to us by the Heinz family, by Teresa Heinz Kerry. This is the same Heinz family fighting the Shell cracker, harassing Mount Pleasant Township and pushing junk science out the door at the EHP. PublicSource would not exist but for the Heinz family. Heinz not only directly funds the fake news outlet but also gives millions and millions to the Pittsburgh Foundation and its “Clean Air Fund” which is apparently at the root of PublicSource and its activities. The website for the Clean Air Fund project, though, betrays what’s really going on. It offers an air quality comparison tool. Here are the results for Pittsburgh compared with New York City:
As all readers of this blog are aware this is because New York City has made an intense effort to convert from coal and oil to natural gas to achieve this result. If the Heinz family really cared about clean air it would be welcoming natural gas development for the same reason. That it doesn’t and that it instead is conducting an unending war against the solution tells us they don’t really care that much about air quality.
The same air quality comparison tool also produces this result for the Athens, Georgia area to which Rebecca Roter recently moved:
Yeah, Roter moved to an area with air quality only barely better than Pittsburgh according to the Breathe Meter. It seems she doesn’t care that much about air quality either. Meanwhile, the details on the Pittsburgh region air quality show Washington, Pennsylvania, the very heart of that area’s shale activity has one of the lower readings for PM <2.5 and other air pollutants. Shale gas development is not causing air pollution and and the shale gas produced is helping cities reduce it through conversions to cleaner gas. These are the facts the Heinz family doesn’t want known because they go against its mission: shutting down oil and gas development and, thereby, economic oppurtunity for working Pennsylvanians. Meanwhile, Teresa Heinz Kerry and her husband jet back and forth between their multi-million dollars home around the country. PublicSource ought to write about that.