Dimock Fractivists Do Weapons Grade Deflection and Obfuscation

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Unbelievable as it may be, fractivists are trying to pull their Dimock tale out of the dustbin of history by defending a “weapons grade” uranium charge.

It’s time to do one of those “you can’t make this stuff up” stories. This one, predictably has to do with Dimock, the original tall tale of fracking. It grows out of the response to my “Pigs to Rigs” post about Cabot’s suit against pig farm lawyer Charlie Speer and his client; junkyard plaintiff Ray Kemble.

The article brought numerous cheers from Susquehanna County residents and others familiar with the saga who were thoroughly pleased to see the tables turned on the not-so-funny jokers in their midst. Media types, apparently tired of trying to make something serious out of wild Craig Stevens, Ray Kemble and Vera Scroggins accusations, mostly shrugged it off.

But, one hard-core fractivist by the name of Hope Forpeace (real name) thinks the “Pigs to Rigs” lawsuit is somehow a fatal mistake for Cabot and the industry. Her rationale? Cabot really did pollute Dimock wells with “weapons grade uranium.”


Ray Kemble at home

I know Hope Forpeace. I’ve met her, gave her a tour of some of the gas fields, have talked to her by phone and have approved many of her comments on this blog. She’s a Californian obsessed with fracking and assorted other causes and detests our friend Phelim McAleer of FrackNation (no peace for him). She’s visited Dimock many times and has made Ray Kemble’s case her own in many respects. She’s made numerous comments on the “Pigs to Rigs” post and, for some odd reason, thought bringing “weapons grade uranium” into the discussion would aid her credibility and further her cause.

Readers will recall, of course, Phelim McAleer obliterated Craig Sautner’s credibility by filming him getting so carried away with his own schtick that he introduced the term “weapons grade uranium” to describe pollution he said had been caused by Cabot. It was the end of the Sautner crusade and his dirty water jug routine. Combined with the EPA water tests and his on-camera rage at the agency, the episode finished him off. Hope has never forgiven Phelim for it, which is how “weapons grade uranium” entered the discussion once again. Here’s how it went:

Hope Forpeace: DEP found weapons grade uranium in Dimock wells. If you know anyone. I have a jpeg of those results if Tom would like to allow that submitted here somehow…

Me: Oh, please send it along. I promise to publish it.

Hope For Peace: Sure Tom .. are you saying you have never seen original Dimock / DEP testing?

The last comment also included a link to this video:

This is the evidence of supposed contamination of Dimock water with “weapons grade uranium” via drilling and/or fracking. These are, we’re told, the Pennsylvania DEP water tests, although there are no headings, no dates or anything else to indicate the data actually comes from DEP. Let’s, for the sake of argument only, though, just accept that these are, in fact, DEP test results of Dimock water wells and analyze Hope’s contention.

First, from the “I can’t believe I have to explain this category,” is the fact “weapons grade uranium,” is enriched uranium, not uranium found in rocks. The World Nuclear Association describes it as follows:

Weapons-grade uranium is highly enriched, to over 90% U-235 (the fissile isotope). Weapons-grade plutonium has over 93% Pu-239 and can be used, like reactor-grade plutonium, in fuel for electricity production.

Secondly, the mere presence of Uranium 235 in Dimock rocks means little or nothing. It’s the amount that matters. Fractivists such as Hope suppose it’s enough to shout “URANIUM” three times as loudly as they can to make their case.

It reminds me of one the best moments of my time as part of the EID Marcellus team. Bruce Ferguson and his Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy group decided to exploit the Dimock controversy with a billboard that showed a pitcher of dirty water combined with a list of elements typically found in groundwater, as if that somehow proved the water Dimock folks had been drinking for centuries had been newly contaminated with these chemicals and Cabot did it. They completely ignored the amounts and the natural occurrence factor. We decided to have some fun with it by running a “dirty pitcher” contest that sent EID higher-ups into cardiac arrest and drew gasps from fractivists, but we made our point and it was great, great fun to boot.

I can’t remember if uranium was on the billboard list, but I do know it’s natural and it’s not a problem. The EPA drinking water standard for uranium is 30 µg/L (30 microliters per liter or 30 millionths of a liter). The four lines of uranium test results displayed in the above video are in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Converting the latter to the EPA criteria, we get the following:


Note the four Kemble uranium test results indicate levels were from 29.92 to 29.99 µg/L below the 30 µg/L EPA standard. I won’t bother calculating the orders of magnitude by which Hope’s assertions are off the mark but it’s obvious there’s no problem. It’s so obvious this doesn’t come anywhere near “weapons grade” that I suggest we mine this stuff, ship boatloads of it to the Norks at a discount so they can spend the next million years or so trying to develop a nuclear weapon from it. I feel that safe.

Finally, let me point out these uranium levels are low. A 1962 USGS study of uranium levels in Pennsylvania indicated the following:

In Pennsylvania, uranium deposits occur in sedimentary rocks of Late Devonian to Late Triassic age in the Appalachian Plateaus, Ridge and Valley, and Piedmont provinces. As a result of searches made by prospectors and reconnaissance work by U.S. Geological Survey field parties, uranium occurrences have been discovered in three principal stratigraphic sequences: (1) Upper Devonian rocks, (2) Upper Mississippian and Lower Pennsylvanian rocks, and (3) Upper Triassic rocks.

The uranium occurrences in Upper Devonian rocks are commonly associated with gray sandstone or shale that contains copper minerals and carbonaceous plant fossils…

Spectrographic and chemical analyses show that the abundance of uranium is independent of the abundance of any other element. The only relation noted is that lead, vanadium, and selenium are most abundant in rocks in which uranium is also abundant.

Some of the uranium occurrences probably formed by syngenetic deposition, others by early epigenetic concentration, and a few by relatively recent leaching and redeposition by ground water.

Not only that, but an ATSDR study (yes, those folks), states the following (emphasis added):

A large drinking water study was performed in which data from the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) program plus data prepared for the EPA (DOE 1981b; USGS 2006) were compiled for a total of over 90,000 water samples. Domestic water supplies were represented by 28,000 samples and averaged 1.7 pCi/L (2.5 μg/L) uranium, with a population weighted mean value for finished waters, based on 100 measurements, of 0.8 pCi/L (1.2 μg/L). Other studies show the population-weighted average concentration of uranium in U.S. community drinking water to range from 0.3 to 2.0 pCi/L (0.4– 3.0 μg/L) (Ohanian 1989), while concentrations of uranium from selected drinking water supplies analyzed by EPA laboratories were generally <1 pCi/L (1.5 μg/L) (EPA 1985c, 1997b, 2005a, 2010b).

So, according to this analysis by ATSDR, uranium can range from 0.4 to 3.0 μg/L in typical drinking water, yet Ray Kemble’s uranium levels ranged from only 0.007 to 0.07 μg/L — at the very low end of what was found nationally.

So, where’s the beef here? Let me suggest there’s not even low-grade baloney to be found. Moreover, the only thing “weapons grade” is the level of deflection and obfuscation employed by fractivists to defend a greedy attorney and client who withdrew their lawsuit when the facts came out, thinking they would get away with a quick hit and retreat. They miscalculated and now further facts will come out exposing this enterprise fractivist charade for the fraud it is, which is why I spent time addressing these ridiculous “weapons grade uranium” allegations. Phelim has no idea how much he accomplished when he got Craig Sautner to utter those words.


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28 thoughts on “Dimock Fractivists Do Weapons Grade Deflection and Obfuscation

  1. Excellent debunking of uranium pollution claims. Thanks for publishing. One has to wonder why those still pushing these natural water constituents as evidence of pollution by drilling and/or fracking don’t bother to sense check their claims. Maybe they do and know the claims are false, but think the general public will not bother with the truth and accept the junk they are pushing out. I suspect it is partly both, but mostly just ignorance and not wanting to believe the truth. It has been proven by scientific study that initial perceptions, even when proven completely false, are almost impossible to change.

  2. Well Ms Forpeace was among those giving testimony to the EPA science advisory committee too right? Remember when it was reported that mark ruffalo called into one of their meetings to live things up as well? (Or something like that?)
    Interesting stuff. I found the number of her video site and called it one afternoon basically asking her not to write things that aren’t true about me online in comment forums and she immediately responded by lying about the message I left. Piece of work that one is.

  3. Good job in refuting stupid talk from, well, questionable intellects. I almost felt like I was in High School Chemistry class, but then I realized few schools today teach about naturally occurring elements in the soil, so maybe today’s generation are simply made ignorant by truly poor teachers for the past 35 years with their liberal progressive revisionist teaching. If she went to CA public schools, then I know she wasn’t taught anything useful, and it shows. Alternatively, this person does know the difference and thinks she can pull a fast one on what she believes are ignorant readers (sound familiar Scoggins?). Either way, what she is complaining about is a nothing burger and shows her ideological desperation, defeat and delusion.

  4. You people just love Fracking and aren’t even able to admit that the horrible chemical Di-Hydrogen Monoxide is in all Fracking wastewater!!! How dare you!!!

  5. Your buddy, Phelim McAleer, is being sued by Judge Minehart for disparaging and untruthful remarks about him in his book
    and movie
    and Phelim has twisted the truth as usual about someone and disparaged one too many and now a Judge is taking him to court…
    will see if Phelim can get out of this one or be deported on his green card if found guilty…


    I’m sure you , pro-gassers will strongly defend him instead of defending fellow Americans harmed by an Industry…

    • Are you saying judges should be immune from criticism? Seems so. I read the Gosnell book and it was absolutely superb, mostly quoting what happened at trial.

    • I love it when Scroggins posts here. Does your foot taste any differnent now than when you inserted it years ago? Why do you still live in a deadly polluted industrial zone? Why haven’t you moved into frack – free commie NY state?

  6. If u are so interested in what has been done here why don’t you file a right to know request with the dep about 1101 & 1059 Carter Rd make sure you get the information on the gw vistas testing that was done without the property owners knowledge or consent. See just what all Cabot and the dep have done & how much money the dep has wasted 10 yrs now? Look & see for yourselves just how the dep acts & treats people. See what they claim their consent order actually means opposed to what it says. Maybe you’d even like to ask the property owners if you can test the water and see for yourselves what it shows 10 years later. Scroggins & her ilk are not welcome.

    • Hi, “Get the Facts”

      I am sorry that I have offended you in any way…..
      I came to your house in the beginning of the water problems with Sue Roos and you showed me your animals getting sick from drinking the water since the drilling nearby
      and you told of the changes in the water and your concerns
      and you starred in “Gasland” and showed your horses and other animals losing hair and getting ill from the water
      and your water was verified by the DEP as contaminated from Cabot’s drilling.

      I’ve done a bunch of “right to knows” … I don’t understand what you mean by getting info on “gw vistas testing” that was done ;
      Done by whom? Who is this?
      can you speak more clearly ….
      What does the “consent order” mean that you want us to know?

      The water just recently got tested by the ATSDR for 25 families.
      Are you one of them?
      we shall see what the water shows this time around..

      And why am I not welcome ? what have I done to you that you find so unacceptable or objectionable…?

      you are still getting water from Cabot weekly and have a shed with filtration equipment supplied by Cabot..how is your water now…

      Why are you silent all these years? what are you afraid of
      and/or hiding?

      What is the truth that you can tell us?

      I am seeking the truth and want to know….
      if not to show it to me , then show it to someone else,
      that can go public.

      I’m sorry if you’ve been hurt in some way in all this ….

      Whatever , happened to the sleepy, little country, picturesque Town of Dimock since the landmen came and Cabot started drilling next to your homes…?

  7. You could have just answered my posts on the original article.

    But I know demonizing victims and people who tell the truth about them is a meme nat gas supporters rely on. I should have expected it.

    So lets start w/ your first Strawman:
    “Her rationale? Cabot really did pollute Dimock wells with “weapons grade uranium.””

    1. My rationale for supporting water contamination victims was laid out point by point. Uranium was far down on the list and only brought up after another person asked about it in comment. Also – Tom YOU brought it up in the original article.
    2. DEP testing I posted found Uranium as I said..

    I addressed your Uranium beefs here on that page:

    “And again – these victims are just regular people. When a technician told them there was weapons grade uranium in the water – and they see the results – they don’t have a science background to figure out the subtleties.”

    Tom – if you have a reply to that point – feel free to post it.

    Now – I’m going to address your strawman arguments one at a time in following comments – and hope this time you reply to me here, instead of writing a smear piece on me and refusing to address the valid points I raise.

  8. “junkyard plaintiff Ray Kemble.”

    When you and I toured you told me Ray’s water problem where because of the old cars in his yard.

    In fact, Ray lives 500 feet from a blown out Cabot gas well that’s been under repair for years. You never mention that.

    Now – offer proof Ray was not part of the aquifer contamination in Dimock Cabot’s gas well blowouts caused. You can’t because he was. THAT is where the water contamination came from – instead the cars in his yard caused his water pollution. I look forward to seeing evidence of your claims.

  9. (I’d like top comment on every sentence in your blog post here – filled with falsehoods, but I’ll try to just hit the most important lies you tell)

    “Hope has never forgiven Phelim for it, which is how “weapons grade uranium” entered the discussion once again”

    What are you doing making emotional arguments? Come on Tom. I came on the scene long after Phelim’s film called real victims liars. I know Sautners water was polluted by Cabot. So does anyone with half a brain. One reason Cabot bought the property, leveled the house and locked off the water well – no building can be built there. You and Phelim call them liars in service to industry because that’s how you make a buck. Has nothing to do w/ forgiveness – I just know you and Phelim are lying. You’d like me to shut up about that. You know I am working to do just the opposite.

    YOU brought up Uranium in the your last article. Sad you see the low level of your argumentation skills.

  10. “It’s the amount that matters”

    Who claimed what levels where found? Look back even at Craig in Fracknation – he’s repeating what a technician told him at the time of testing – he makes no claims about how much uranium was found – just that it was found.

    All state – as it IS true – that Cabot’s drilling was the cause for the contamination event that occurred in Dimock – starting back in 2009 – and going through when DEP allowed fracking of drilled wells in the moratorium area in 2012.

    Again – predrill testing showed no such constituents or hydrocarbons. Why do you never reply to that fact??

  11. “Note the four Kemble uranium test results indicate levels”

    When in fact I said: “that test has results for many homes. Each families results where marked for the family.”

    “I can’t name whose water well is which .. that’s private information.”

    So – here you make a mistake. Tell us how you think you know which results are Rays.

  12. ” I won’t bother calculating the orders of magnitude by which Hope’s assertions are off the mark but it’s obvious there’s no problem.”

    Here is my claim: “DEP found weapons grade uranium in Dimock wells.”

    I am correct. Tell me how I am not correct now.

  13. ” the only thing “weapons grade” is the level of deflection and obfuscation employed by fractivists to defend a greedy attorney and client who withdrew their lawsuit when the facts came out”

    There’s that ubiquitous claim – water contamination victims are greedy liars.

    Tell me, Tom – when Ray tried to sue Cabot – to get restitution for the complete devaluation of his home – HOW MUCH did he sue for?

  14. “Phelim has no idea how much he accomplished when he got Craig Sautner to utter those words.”

    I’m sure you know Phelim lied to water contamination victims in Dimock to get interviews. He got at least 4 interviews. He used just one and cut the interview to make that person look like a liar. The current lawsuit he faces filed by a judge whose seen his proclivity to lie shows that’s a pattern for him.

    A real water contamination victim was labeled a liar because he repeated something told to him by a technician re: the water pollution in his water well.

    How is that an “accomplishment”?

  15. ” She’s a Californian obsessed with fracking”
    ” has made Ray Kemble’s case her own in many respects”

    In fact – as I told you on the phone recently – the film we are working on looks at the global LNG industry – not specifically fracking. Also – there are three examples of how the gas industry deals with it’s victims – Porter Ranch, 8 mile and Dimock, not just DImock.

    But you knew that before you misrepresented me. Thanks for another great example of how fracking supporters demonize and lie about water contamination victims and their supporters. You couldn’t have made the point better. The assault on victims is a topic we’ll cover. You just wanted in our film – huh, Tom? “)

    IN the comment section of the previous article on Ray: https://naturalgasnow.org/pigs-rigs-lawyers-dimock-junkyard-plaintiff-sued-cabot/ I went into detail about Ray’s case and asked many valid points you fail to answer here. I hope you’ll return to that page and look again for my actual arguments and address them:

    “A few of the ways we know Cabot is responsible for the ruination of Ray Kemble’s water well/home value/health:

    3 Consent Orders by DEP prove a ruling made after testing that Cabot was responsible for the ruination of the water wells of Ray Kembles and 20+ (state settlement) of Ray’s neighbors.
    Ray has clean predrill testing showing good water and no hydrocarbons.
    Ray’s neighbors also still face water pollution lingering after Cabot’s wells blew out, including one new case that occurred after DEP allowed fracking of Cabot’s drilled wells .. more evidence fracking (defined even in the strict industry accepted definition) itself can ruin water wells. Ray’s water turned far worse after that 2012 fracking.
    Atsdr’s 2016 report, based on 2012 testing .. confirmed water “Levels in 27 private water wells were high enough to affect health.
    Chemicals detected above health-based comparison levels include arsenic, cadmium, copper, iron, lead, lithium, manganese, potassium, and sodium. 4-chlorophenyl-phenyl ether was also detected in private water wells””

    Also – after fracking was allowed in a few drilled gas wells – more cases occurred including Kim and Ken’s farm just one house up from Rays. Rays water got much worse at that time.

  16. Prescient:

    “I can’t name whose water well is which .. that’s private information. I can show you the original testing .. and yes – profracking PR people have been laughing at these water contamination victims for years … for no reason. It’s a hideous shame that one in particular makes a living mocking water contamination victims.

    The weapon’s grade bit was something told to victims at the time by people involved in the testing. I’ve had 4 victims remember hearing it. How many victims have the profracking PR guys interviewed I wonder?

    I flip through the rest of the testing quickly as I know the habits of these PR guys –

    >>> looking for anything they can use to lie and claim Dimock water contamination victims are liars.”

    My comments on the video showing uranium in Dimock water wells.

  17. Pingback: Dimock Junkyard Plaintiff Ray Kemble Stars in "Pigs to Rigs - Act II"Natural Gas Now

  18. ” Phelim has no idea how much he accomplished when he got Craig Sautner to utter those words.”

    Phelim produced Fracknation to MAKE these real victims look like liars. He interviewed three families .. Victoria Switzer was reduced to tears during her interview with Phelim. Did Phelim use ANY of her testimony? No .. he planned from the start to get footage he needed to make real victims look like liars. He edited Craig’s testimony for that purpose alone .. and of course you love it.

    EPA scientists started the “weapons grade uranium” talk. Did you think victims were scientists .. and knew the term was accurate or not? Phelim used it to make Craig look like a liar wrongly. YOU help in that – I was just reviewing the Enough Already rally you spoke at at the May’s house … you went all through your “this water was always contaminated” BS … the melting rhetorical cave you hide in.

    Here is the proof .. in Fracknation, when does Phelim mention the Cabot Consent Orders? Any testing? The fact that many people were contaminated? He doesn’t. Loren has a scene where he says all the water wells around the Sautners are active and online .. that was a lie. Fiorentino’s is a good example – hers exploded. They fail to mention the facts in Fracknation for one reason – the film is made to deceive.

    Your devotion to Phelim’s disgusting claims peg you.

  19. If u are so interested in what has been done here why don’t you come & test the water for yourself along with that why don’t you file a right to know request with the dep about 1101 & 1059 Carter Rd make sure you get the information on the gw vistas testing that was done without the property owners knowledge or consent. See just what all Cabot and the dep have done & how much money the dep has wasted 10 yrs now? Look & see for yourselves just how the dep acts & treats people. See what they claim their consent order actually means opposed to what it says. Maybe you’d even like to ask the property owners if you can test the water and see for yourselves what it shows 10 years later. Scroggins & her ilk are not welcome.

    • ” Factsrtold”

      Tom, you need to block this person until they use your opinion of their real name – or do you only use that on me?

      I’m not a scientist – I don’t do water testing.

      I’ve spent much time living near Carter rd and have talked with many victims myself. I can’t get private testing from DEP. And no money was wasted, Cabot ruined the aquifer and many still have no clean water.

      Interesting that you ignored my comment in your reply.


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