Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
Fractivist attention-seeker Vera Scroggins descended to a nasty new low in tactics this week with an attack Cabot Oil & Gas for its charity toward the poor.
Cabot Oil & Gas is one of the premier drillers in the Marcellus Shale. They drill in a single Pennsylvania county–Susquehanna County. They consistently have 15 of the top 20 producing shale wells in PA. By our back-of-the-envelope estimation, Cabot, all by itself, drilling in one county, delivers something like 3% of all the natural gas produced in the entire country! It is an amazing story. What’s even more amazing is the big heart the company has. But Vera Scroggins apparently hates that part.
Woven into the Cabot DNA is giving back to the communities where they drill. It would take several posts to recount all of Cabot’s largess. We’ll mention just two cases. In 2012 Cabot donated $2 million and helped raise another $2.2 million (for a total of $4.2 million) to help build a new physicians clinic/hospital in Montrose, PA. In 2014, Cabot donated $2.5 million to a local college, to help build its School of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
Believe us, there are many more instances of Cabot donations in cash and volunteerism from its employees. Great company.
Here’s one of the latest: At the end of last year, Cabot funded a new program in Susquehanna County called “Fill a Glass with Hope.” The program is a partnership formed among Feeding Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, American Dairy Association North East, the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program, agriculture partners, and business leaders to provide fresh milk to Pennsylvania families in need through Feeding Pennsylvania’s network of food banks.
Cabot’s funding assists the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank with the purchase and delivery of enough fresh milk to support dozens of families in Susquehanna County. It is a heartwarming story. So imagine our surprise in reading a letter to the editor of the Scranton Times-Tribune from someone who doesn’t like Cabot donating milk to poor families.
Of course the someone objecting to Cabot’s involvement is blinded by hatred of shale drilling in Susquehanna County. Vera Scroggins is well-known around Susquehanna County but little known outside of the area. She uses some rather twisted logic to claim there should be no poor families in Susquehanna County, based on previous promises of unlimited riches by Cabot (claims never made by Cabot). So Vera doesn’t think Cabot should donate money to provide milk for poor families because….because Vera has a deep-seated dislike of the company.
Let’s take a look at the milk program being funded by Cabot:
Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation proudly participated in this program with a gift of $2,500 with our funding facilitated the logistics needed to bring this wonderful program to Susquehanna County. The milk is purchased through dairies at a reduced price. The H & J Weinberg Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Food Bank collects the milk and delivers it to Susquehanna County Children’s Produce Markets hosted at Blue Ridge, Choconut Elementary, and Elk Lake school districts for families with children. From November to February, approximately 220 families were served each month. More than a thousand half gallon containers of milk have been distributed to date.
Gene Brady, Executive Director of the H & J Weinberg Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Food Bank overseas the program, and explained why this program is so essential for the community. “Milk is one of the food items most-requested by families, and yet it is rarely donated. As such, hungry families in our local communities are missing out on the essential nutrients milk provides. Thanks to Cabot, the Food Bank now offers fresh milk alongside fresh produce and other healthy food items at the Children’s Produce Markets, hosted by local schools.”
As they do so well, Cabot is saying “Here’s our contribution, now why don’t some others step up to the plate and help too?” They did it very effectively with their project that ended up raising $4.4 million for the Montrose hospital ($2 million of it from Cabot). Couldn’t Cabot just fund the whole milk program themselves? Frankly, no, they couldn’t. Nor should they. Cabot has and will continue to donate money–a lot of money. But they also donate something money can’t buy: leadership. They blaze a path and bring others along with them, ensuring the program expands many times more than it could otherwise.
Here is Vera Scroggins’ letter to the editor, from Monday, objecting to Cabot’s involvement in donating money for milk:
Let them drink milk
Editor: Cabot Oil and Gas offers milk to the needy in Susquehanna County.
We have seven food banks. Why do we still have need in a county that was promised all kinds of wealth by the landmen over 10 years ago and with all the gas drilling and fracking? We have more than 500 gas sites and pads and 1,300 gas wells pumping away and still have many needy and poor people in our county.
Now, Cabot offers milk, of all things. Where is the wealth? Why are there still needy people and children needing milk and food? And the percentage of needy getting government assistance has not gone down, to speak of, in all the years of gas drilling.
Cabot also needs to focus on giving water to dozens of families who lost their water to drilling contamination near their homes since 2008 in Dimock, Lenox, Springville and other locations. Cabot still delivers water to some families in Dimock and Lenox and provides filtration systems to deal with contamination issues that have been verified by the state.
It sounds like words of Marie Antoinette of France, when she supposedly said of the peasants, “Let them eat cake.” Now, Cabot says, “Let them have milk.” We prefer clean water, thanks.
The Weinberg Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Food Bank collects the milk and delivers it to Susquehanna County children’s produce markets at the Blue Ridge and Elk Lake school districts and Choconut Valley Elementary School for families with children. From November to February, approximately 220 families were served each month.
Cabot admits the need for food aid is still great in the county and is seeking financial contributions.
We have a hard time attempting to follow Vera’s logic. Apparently, she thinks Cabot is somehow being stingy. Rather than be thankful for Cabot’s donation and leadership in prompting others to contribute, Vera stands by and pitches verbal stones at the effort to feed the poor.
Hey, Vera, what have you done lately for the poor that live around you?
You may recall Vera swore at, and repeatedly insulted, Phelim McAleer (creator of the FrackNation documentary) a few years ago when Phelim visited Susquehanna County (watch this video).
She also stalked Cabot well sites, endangering herself and others with repeated illegal trespassing–and was eventually slapped with a permanent injunction to keep her away from Cabot’s drill sites.
However, this one “takes the cake.” Cabot shouldn’t be donating money to fund milk for poor people. Nice going, Vera.