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The Shrinking Fractivist Play Book Down to the Flea Flicker

NED Pipeline - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The fractivist play book keeps shrinking and they’re now down to flea flicker type moves that attract attention but seldom deliver anything but big losses.

Football, if it weren’t for the ridiculous politicization of the game this year, gets interesting in  December as marginal teams take chances to improve their prospects for getting into title games. One of the oddest of such maneuvers is the flea flicker play. It appears our fractivist friends have resorted to it with a bizarre accusation that the EPA fracking was modified to please the industry. Folks, if the fractivist play book is down to this, the game is over.

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A Fractivist Puts on Doctor’s Clothes to Practice Hypocrisy

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 3.45.08 PM

K.J. Rodgers
Crownsville, Maryland  

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The fractivist is a pseudo-environmentalist, substituting ideology and opinion for fact, and neither doctor’s clothing nor credentials will ever change that.

Hot off the trail of Maryland public hearings on natural gas development, we are seeing a lot of fractivist fluff. It’s all aimed at squelching enthusiasm for drilling. Everywhere I look, new op-eds are popping up. So-called environmentalists are hard at work looking for a loophole to stop our natural gas export facility at Cove Point. You almost have to admire their perseverance – if it were not so ignorantly placed.

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Why Dimock Really, Really Loves Fracking

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

 

There’s no name more frequently associated with fracking than Dimock. Residents, though, contrary to the media narrative, love fracking and here’s why.

Dimock is the name that virtually defines fracking for fractivists. The is despite the fact no one has ever demonstrated a single fracking problem in Dimock. Yes, there have been issues of methane migration. Those pre-existed gas drilling, though, and had zero to do with hydraulic fracturing. Moreover, the EPA found the water was safe. Yet, the myth persists. What’s fascinating to those of us who know the community is this; residents of the community love fracking. They want more of it, in fact. It’s not hard to understand why.

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The Dimock Verdict “An Aberrant Result”

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The full appeal of the insane Dimock verdict has now been filed and it’s compelling reading of what went wrong in the Scranton Federal Courthouse.

Cabot Oil & Gas has filed its detailed challenge of the Dimock verdict with the court and the introduction is a thing of beauty. We have reproduced it below for interested readers and highly encourage all to review it and also peruse the entire filing, which may be found here. The Dimock verdict was, as Cabot’s attorney’s demonstrate, “an aberrant result.”

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An Insane Dimock Verdict Gets Challenged

dimock verdict - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The Dimock verdict, so insane even the Scranton Times called it jury nullification, is now being challenged, thank goodness. May justice prevail this time.

The jury’s verdict in Scott Ely’s case against Cabot Oil & Gas was so counter to the facts, so opposite the law, so bad, even the Scranton Times used the words “jury nullification” to describe it. It was as if the Dallas Cowboys had scored 10 touchdowns to the Philadelphia Eagles single field goal, only to have the referees call them all back at the very end of the game and declare the Eagles the winners. It had to be challenged and now it has been, as Cabot has filed a compelling motion with the court to throw the whole thing out.

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Dimock Verdict Headline Fail

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The only thing worse than the media reporting of the Dimock verdict was the collection of false, misleading and just plain wrong headlines it produced.

Our post of yesterday about the Dimock verdict and what the media got wrong in reporting on it (or, more accurately, what it missed because it wasn’t there for the trial) provides a rundown of the major facts indicating why the verdict was most likely an act of jury nullification. There is one other aspect to the story that we didn’t have room to address in that article, but also deserves attention; the collection of totally false, misleading and just plain wrong headlines that accompanied both media and fractivist reporting of the Dimock verdict.

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The Dimock Verdict: What the Media Got Wrong

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Virtually every bit of reporting on the Dimock verdict missed the point and failed to call out why it was a decision totally contrary to the evidence presented.

The reporting on the Dimock verdict was abysmal. Only one reporter actually attended the trial and she left before Scott Ely finished testifying, not to return until the end. Others, such as Laura Legere, who wrote dozens and dozens of Dimock stories over the years helping to fashion the myths surrounding the case, couldn’t be bothered to attend, perhaps because, deep down, she knew the truth; methane problems in Dimock existed long before drilling.

Legere still lives in the Scranton area and only took interest when the surprise verdict came down, writing yet another piece suggesting Cabot had it coming, of course, with her characteristic sleight-of-hand reporting. She included quotes from Cabot about the lack of evidence but, like so many others writing about the Dimock verdict, couldn’t speak to it herself in any detail because she wasn’t there. The reporting from others was similar, as story after story accepted the contamination verdict with putting it into context or even discussing the evidence. If they had, they would have come to the inescapable conclusion the Dimock verdict was an instance of jury nullification – an extraordinary story that should have been told.

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Lesson from Dimock: Damages Are For Everyone

Otdoor Life - Shaughnessy

Bill Shaughnessy
Wayne County, Pennsylvania Landowner

 

The Dimock verdict offers a lesson, Bill Shaughnessy observes. Life is an endless opportunity for wealth if you know how to fake it.

Today, following the Dimock verdict, I’m wondering why I do what I do to fight for our rights as landowners; why I sometimes hang around the same circles as Maya van Rossum and friends just to get some info that may help our cause. I guess in one way we are lucky. We are just as intelligent as we were two days ago, while public opinion and a fractivist sympathetic media has collectively dropped the IQ of the rest of the world double digits with the coverage of this case (not to mention the insanity of the verdict). Perhaps it’s also a learning opportunity for all of us.

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Bad Guys Win in Dimock Despite Evidence and Timeline

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Ignoring overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the jury in the Dimock case decided to reward the plaintiffs for their bad behavior and speculation.

Earlier today, I stated it was impossible to predict what the Dimock jury would do, “but if the evidence matters, there is but one answer and it is that such water problems as did exist preceded drilling and there is nothing but speculation to suggest Cabot caused them.” As it turns out, the evidence didn’t matter. The jury just found Cabot was responsible for creating a nuisance that was worth $2.75 million to the Ely family and $1.49 million to the Huberts; an absolutely absurd number that went against every instruction by the court. Cabot has, in fact, lodged objections to the verdict based upon lack of evidence to support the jury’s findings and misconduct by plaintiffs’ counsel that deprived Cabot of a fair trial.

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The Dimock Case: Cabot’s Closing Argument

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The jury continues to deliberate the Dimock case but the closing argument of Cabot’s attorney sums up the facts of the matter.

The Dimock case, as I noted yesterday morning, has gone to the jury. The closing arguments told us a great deal. Leslie Lewis, counsel for the Dimock plaintiffs, relied upon a series of tortured arguments such as related here in previous posts, contending her plaintiffs, who couldn’t keep dates straight and relied upon speculation more than anything else, were credible and the written record was not. She had to be halted by the judge, in fact, during her statement for inviting speculation regarding things not in evidence and personal vouching for facts, neither of which is permitted, Cabot Attorney Dillard, by contrast, relentlessly detailed the facts in evidence, indicating the plaintiffs have no real case.

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