Why Does the Heinz Family So Despise Working Pennsylvanians?

peer reviewed health - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
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.

heinz family

Serial fractivist Rebecca Roter with Matt Walker of the Clean Air Council at anti-fracking event in Washington, DC in 2012

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?

Heinz familyIt’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:

heinz family

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:

heinz familyYeah, 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.


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23 thoughts on “Why Does the Heinz Family So Despise Working Pennsylvanians?

  1. Fractivists were in fact going around to NYC neighborhoods and neighborhood groups attempting to make people living in NYC think that natural gas development in NY state was the most important environmental issueand threat of the day. Mind you this was actually during the time period where natural gas pipeline expansions were being contemplated and approved and constucted and those expansions were recommended in NYC planning documents because of the phasing out of heavier more polluting heating fuels.

    In other words antifracking activists groups were representing whose interests exactly ( Bruce Ferguson former 60 minutes producer or some kind of editor and mark ruffalos) when running around NYC saying natural gas was the worst fossil fuel ever? Certainly not the interest of NYC citizens whose air quality has improved because of natural gas. Likewise upstate NY groups like catskillmountainkeeper were miseducating downstate nyers about natural gas and climate change? As if people living downstate ny are not effected by rising sea levels already?

    The antifracking pipeline resistance movement is the scandal of the decade, the news story of the decade and probably one of the worst things happening in the environmental scene right now. So when will it be covered as the nightmare it actually is?

    • Karen, when you finally live next door to the gas industry gas pads and other infrastructure and learn what kind of nightmare it is for those of us who live here in frackland…..and live next door during the development stage and afterwards….this is the nightmare we’re trying to avoid in other areas with other types of energy….

      • Published on Jun 21, 2013

        This how my farm,in Washington County Pa., looks after drilling for Natural Gas 6/21/2013. Life is back to normal and we experienced no environmental or health issues.

        • Donald, where is your house in the video that you live in year-round…how close are you to the gas pad…are you within 500 to 1000′ and how many gas wells on the pad…how many pads within the town you live in? are there any compressor stations next to you and how many in your county….? how many pipelines next to you or on your farm;

        • Nice roads too Don! That’s kind of like our (US Salt’s that is) wells for mining Salt Brine…Noisy with drilling for a month, then quiet for the next 30, maybe 40 even 50 years. And the only smell is that “natural” one from the dairy farm!

      • Vera: You can stop all the B.S. I personally know a family who not only lives on route 29 between Dimock and Springville, but they also have a drill pad on their land as well and their water is crystal clear. How about the Teel farm in Dimock that has been heavily drilled? No water problems their either. If you use nat gas or propane to heat with, you are the worst kind of hypocrite. Here is just one of many videos of you braying in front of the cameras which you love almost as much as your employer, Josh Fox – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBnsoN0np7Y

        • Personal attacks are not necessary; just because I don’t agree with you and others, I have proof of the harm and damage and show people in hundreds of tours since 2009. No one should be harmed by an energy industry. I don’t charge for my tours; some donate whatever they want if they want; I give tours for hours at a time and show elected officials, media, citizens, farmers from US and other countries; I do not trespass…..Cabot has fabricated a case against me…I don’t need to explain this to those who want to vilify me for my opposition. I show for years now from the public roads what needs to be seen next to our homes and farms. If I didn’t have proof for what I’m doing, folks wouldn’t keep asking me for tours; you can also do tours and show your side of the story. And I am not paid by any group, fund, organization…those of our residents harmed need to be kindly supported and helped and be heard….most folks won’t even respond to this site, because they don’t want to be called names, villified and condemned…so, have a good day and Holiday…we all must do what our conscience calls us to do….

          • Vera you have no credibility here. People who live near you have treat you like the town clown on Facebook. They say you do trespass and their are videos on YouTube showing you doing it. You were found guilty in court of trespassing and ordered to stay away from Cabot’s operations.

            You pretend to be a nice old grandma but in fact you’re a foul mouthed trouble-maker.

          • as too often, my responses on this site, brings up such vitriolic responses….so, I will have to withdraw again and not respond and keep my responses to myself….you can just have those who primarily agree with you to commiserate with ….I’m sure if you saw injustice and harm, you would expose it also….I am doing the best I can with what is happening in my county…..you and others always show the same video when I lost it with Phelim who was harassing us on private property and would not leave and is a professional provocateur….I will continue to expose what is happening and show the world, which many appreciate and it’s helped others stay away from this extraction process….

      • Vera I’m sure you know some people I have met long ago. Like angela monti Fox perhaps? Damascus citizens for sustainability intervened in the Rockaway pipeline docket as did I. Heard of them? Heard of the port Ambrose LNG export conspiracy theory?

        You should consider that the NY and NYC antifracking movement didn’t represent your cause well by misinforming people for years. Not just about port Ambrose mind you but lots of things like about ferc, spectra aim, spectra nynj pipe and of course the big whopper which is natural gas is worse than coal.

        Focus on regulations why don’t you? You have seen the stats on fracking in the united States for natural gas right? It’s not going away.

        • thanks, for your opinion , Karen; I agree with the movement in NY and NYC
          opposing the pipelines and infrastructure and have asked for more regulations
          from the DEP and Feds and when the recent, new regs came down from the
          DEP , the gas industry rigorously opposed it ….. I support new regs and even
          stricter ones than DEP recently the past year proposed…but Regulations
          will not stop the pollution of our water wells from poor casings, poor cement and
          spills…..regs won’t stop the cumulative effect of air pollution from the 47 gas compressor stations in my county and more being built….regs won’t stop pipelines from leaking and exploding in our communities….it’s further exposure to toxic compounds and risks from an Industry that should not be next to our homes, schools and farms…Looks like no matter what we say to one another, we disagree…there are two different minds on the issue and two, distinct sides to this issue…we all can do what we think is best and believe in sincerely…..Have a blessed Holiday and New Year despite our differences….

          • Sounds like you agree with willful deception of the public then Vera as it isn’t my opinion that this is a tactic of the NY and NYC antifracking pipeline resistance movement.

            Big big problems with the movement Vera. I will give people the benefit of the doubt though in this is quite possibly not how they started out. However by the summer of 2012 which is more than four plus years ago there was mass misinformation within the movement, poor leadership, choice of tactics and ethics and it has only increased since that I have seen.

            I would focus on regs if I were you Vera. Best practices. You see the stats right?

  2. And who funds you, Tom Shepstone? or are you completely on your own, funding yourself?
    you forget to mention that the EPA went in and did monitoring of the air nearby on property owned by another family near Roter and found levels of pm2.5 that are of concern for health reasons; that this family that hosted the sophisticated equipment for two weeks have been picking up odors from the same Williams Central Compressor Station and reporting nose bleeds and ATSDR did a review of the EPA data from this property and found health concerns with the high level of pm2.5 found…the Compressor Stations also puts out several other toxic compounds that can effect our health and the cumulative effect of 47 compressor stations in my county are effecting our air quality in a harmful way. We have other residents reporting air quality and noise issues living near Compressor Stations throughout our county.
    here is the ATSDR Review of the EPA Data from private property near the Williams Compressor Station which is near Roter’s property:
    I appreciate what the Heinz family is doing to ensure our health in Pa. and help citizen groups expose the downside of gas drilling in our communities;
    and I appreciate and laud what Roter and other caring residents in my county and other fracked counties in Pa. are doing to reveal, expose and show the harm they are experiencing from this Industry in our midst where there are no minimum setbacks for compressor stations and pipelines and I’ve seen homes within 400′ of compressor stations and pipelines within 50′ of homes…Rebecca Roter lived full time for the last several years in our county and has one adult child and cared for her aging Dad in her home in our county for years besides having several dogs in her home…..
    One day your regular maligning of caring citizens in the fracked areas will catch up with you…you’ve never had a good word for any of us and most of us are not funded by anyone and we work tirelessly for years to save our communities from the harm of this Industry in our midst….

    • And here’s what it says:

      “Using the EPA AirNow AQI Calculator, exposures to the maximum daily PM2.5 average (32 μg/m3) are not of concern for the general population or most sensitive subpopulations.”

    • Vera if it’s so bad why do you stay there ?? Why would you take people on tours and trespass on people’s property and expose people to all of the dangers that you make up ?? How much do you charge for those tours ?? How much fossil fuels do you use taking people on your misinformation tours ??

      • Touche! Why does she stay in her trailer if the place is an industrial wasteland? She is being paid off by someone in one of those billionaire foundations that the U.S. Senate is looking into – file:///C:/Users/Owner/Documents/chain%20of%20environmental%20command%20billionaires%20senate.pdf Vera has, like all other good little well paid fractivists, that 38,000 highway deaths (last years count) is perfectly ok but drilling for nat gas is unholy? The hypocrisy is disgusting at best.

  3. I’ll bet the Heinz Company uses a lot of natural gas to cook their ketchup and pickles. Then you have the farmers that use fossil fuels in their equipment used to grow the tomatoes and cucumbers.

    Those Speck indoor air monitors show particulate levels, or dust, in other words. They only display how much particulate matter is in the air. They don’t determine what the particulate matter is. Put one out on your front porch and if someone drives by and kicks up dust you’ll get high readings on it.

  4. “People are suffering.”
    Vera is “not lying.”
    “People suffer from many things connected with Natural Gas Drilling.”

    Please think about these statements. Remember, fear creates anxiety, and even well-meaning people with the most basic common sense have, throughout history, been frightened. Sailors who were told the world was flat, for instance, were afraid!

    Children in schools told of the infamous spanking machine in the princables office! Afraid.

    Your parents telling you not to sit to close to the TV or you will go blind!

    So many fear mongering lessons in life that some find fear and the ability to harness it an effective tool and for those with that ability, a profitable tool. Vera sells fear but its not a product she has a patent on. In fact, I believe her fear is genuine and that it controls her and many like her to a point of blind participation whereas their own fears have crippled their thought processes and made them the tools not the messengers, who bring resistance to anything not understood. A study of their accusations will show that fear is all that is present in their anti fossil fuel presentaions.

    1. Fear of water pollution
    2. Fear of air pollution
    3. Fear of industrialization
    4. Fear of clearcutting trees.

    But, when we confront not just Vera, but any of those who spread the fear they cannot show us proof but rather fall back on false or boughten studies. Those who protest against fossil fuels are only able to argue because fear sells better then the truth, making fear a commodity easily sold to people.

    Imagine attending a meeting in a place where the population had already destroyed their drinking water. People self-polluted their enviroment so bad that thèir government siezed, through eminent domain, thousands of acres of land and built water reservoirs so they could once again have clean water! Imagine you’re attending this meeting and a man holds up a bottle of brown water and asks (screams) “will you drink this water; this is what a drilling company did to my well.” That’s what has happened as City residents listen to activists and ignore their own history.

    Fear sells and as long as we present our truth, those fears are no more then props we will lose the fight. Attacking people like Vera won’t ever get us our right to drill back. VERA IS NOTHING BUT THE VOICE OF A LIE SHE BELIEVES, MAKING HER A GOOD SALESPERSON.

    What we need to do to conquer the fears sold to the public to show there is nothing to fear. We need to show the people there is no spanking machine and that if you want to sail the world, you won’t fall off the edge. We want to show that the water, their homes, are not in danger. It does this blog no good to engage with a frightened old lady like Vera. It takes education and facts, both of which we have an arsenal of; that and dedication.

  5. Three cheers for the Heinz family for working to bring more protection to the Pennsylvania that my husband and I so dearly loved but had to flee because we could no longer take our new neighbor — the natural gas industry, our neighbor from hell.

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