Thousands Protest Outside Shale Drilling Conference In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Center city Philadelphia is the gathering place this week for bigwigs in the Marcellus Shale industry, and it’s a conference that’s not without controversy.

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An estimated 2,000 people showed up this morning to protest the industry and its controversial drilling process known as “fracking.”

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fracking opponents ost dl Thousands Protest Outside Shale Drilling Conference In Philadelphia

(Credit: John Ostapkovich)

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This major conference on shale gas opened with former Pennsylvania governor and industry consultant Tom Ridge calling for an “energy revolution” that will help release the United States from the “vicegrip of our dependence on foreign oil.”

Ridge says the US needs to rely on natural gas and other homegrown sources of energy, calling it vital to national security.

He says many of the concerns about the environmental and public health impacts of drilling are “phony hysteria.”

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fracking opponents3 ost dl Thousands Protest Outside Shale Drilling Conference In Philadelphia

(Credit: John Ostapkovich)

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John Pinkerton, CEO of drilling company Range Resources Corp., followed Ridge this morning at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  He says the industry needs to develop a “more robust market” for natural gas.

Meanwhile, drilling opponents were holding a march and rally outside to counter the industry event.

And even before the thousands of people protested outside the shale-gas drilling convention, several told their drilling related horror stories to reporters at a nearby church.

KYW’s John Ostapkovich heard some examples.

breese susan side Thousands Protest Outside Shale Drilling Conference In Philadelphia

(Susan Breese. Credit: John Ostapkovich)

“My backyard is a wildlife habitat,” noted Susan Breese of Susquehanna County (right), who calls herself a natural-born environmentalist.  But she says that’s been a lot tougher since a shale-gas well was drilled near her home in 2008.

The main issue for her, and one echoed by other foes, is contaminated water.  Hers has more than double the allowable limit of barium and nearly four times the limit for strontium.

“I can say that everyone who had their water tested does not drink their water anymore,” Breese said today.  “It’s major problems for our whole neighborhood.”

Using bottles or tanks of clean water only goes so far, she adds, especially when it comes to livestock — which have no understanding of pollution concerns — and personal hygiene.

” ‘What’s going to happen to me for taking showers in barium every day, which I still do?’ ” Breese recalls asking a researcher.  “It’s kind of unprecedented.”

Opponents say their water problems today could be ours tomorrow, if drilling spreads.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. patricia m. says:

    Now that we have “no holds barred” environmental policies restricting the govt leases of public lands’ drilling/fracking for oil and gas, who will you vote for?

  2. anon says:

    Um what IS fracking?

    1. Mary Honan says:

      If you want to learn about fracking, see the DVD gasland. It does has a very leftist spin but it does give some information. One post is correct that the companies lease the land from the owner to do fracking (this way the company has no liability afterwars, which is a smart move). The propblem with fracking is in the pumped water, they use 5 known carcinogenic chemicals. Thanks to Bush and Cheney, Bush passed a law that the companies that do fracking are exempt from the clean air and water act. That is why the EPA has no say with tthese companies what so ever. I am not against fracking, but they have to stop using the carcinogenic chemicals. Benzene is one of them. Now in Gassland, they showed the pump machine evaporating the excess benzene and the heated plume was going directly to a grade school. Do you want your children breathing a cancer causing chemical for years? But hey, the companies have no liability what so ever.

    2. Concerned says:

      They, the gov’t, also sell cigarettes to the public, way more cancer causing ingredients in them than fracking water. So in reality they don’t really care at all. its all about money. And I would wager to bet, all those protesting this are not all non-smokers.In the meantime, I don’t agree with fracking, but whatcanyado? Higher powers in this society have the upper hand:{

  3. Lynda says:

    Remember – this is YOUR drinking water that these gas companies are running GAS through. Using water to push the gas out of the shale, the water goes back into the water system, and thereby YOU get it in your faucets. Ever see water on fire??? Ask those folks up in Montana what its like.

    1. Mary Honan says:

      Actually water is only part of what they use. They also use 5 known carcinogenic chemicals in the fracking water. But thanks to Bush and Cheney, the Companies are exempt from the clean air and water act. Hence they have no liability what so ever what chemicals they use to pump in the ground. I am not totally against fracking if they could stop using the carcingenic materials. If you want to understand about fracking get the DVD Gasland.

  4. Tree says:

    I agree with hunter in that it is a consumer problem. As long as consumers, especially in the US, do not learn to cut back and support different ways, we are going to be continually dealing with this problem. Check the Stats, we are only 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume close to 40% of what’s being produced.

    If we’re going to complain against these companies successively, we also need to pay attention to how much we have, as individuals, been supporting them. I. personally, have taken the steps to minimize the need and, therefore, feel just in speaking up against the method.

    1. Mary Honan says:

      If you want to learn about fracking, see the DVD gasland. It does has a very leftist spin but it does give some information. One post is correct that the companies lease the land from the owner to do fracking (this way the company has no liability afterwars, which is a smart move). The propblem with fracking is in the pumped water, they use 5 known carcinogenic chemicals. Thanks to Bush and Cheney, Bush passed a law that the companies that do fracking are exempt from the clean air and water act. That is why the EPA has no say with tthese companies what so ever. I am not against fracking, but they have to stop using the carcinogenic chemicals. Benzene is one of them. Now in Gassland, they showed the pump machine evaporating the excess benzene and the heated plume was going directly to a grade school. Do you want your children breathing a cancer causing chemical for years? But hey, the companies have no liability what so ever.

    2. kskf44 says:

      Tree, I hope more people read your post and somehow allow your words to resonate. Americans are so busy pointing the finger that we’ve forgotten what the word “responisbility” means.

      I live in OC, California and after last night’s power outage, my life is forever changed. My consumption of resources will be as minimal as I can possibly make them. We take this earth for granted and it’s certainly going to bite us in the behind sooner, rather than later.

      I do believe that in its current state, fracking is dangerous. However, instead of turning our backs on the process completely, I would hope that we as American’s could embrace a reform of this process that would aide in making us more of a self-sustaining country. Think of all the issues that would resolve for us.

      Simply said, we are a “me-me-me” society and the sooner we can break that cycle the better off our children and our children’s children will be. Let’s work together in making that happen, rather than all of the back-biting I see in this comments section.

  5. hunter says:

    You all blame the big oil companies for being greedy, but they can not just drill where they want to, they need permission. Permission is granted by companies approaching the landowner, and offering to buy a lease. These landowners see the money being offered and jump on the chance. Do you think they are taking their lease money and dropping it into the collection plate at church? No, they sign on because they are just as greedy, they just don’t get as large of a slice of the pie as the companies do. If you don’t want drilling on your property say no to the money, and do not lease. Do you think the big companies what the drinking water to be bad? This is more money out of pocket, and bad press, two things that they never want to happen, but it does. There are risks in everything that we do, and if we quit drilling, we will then start complaining on the price of natural gas, because it will go up in a hurry.

    1. lesa says:

      So I guess you know nothing about mineral right’s ownership? Trust me friend, there a plenty of way’s for corporations/company’s to get around who own’s the top soil. It happen’s all the time. Do your research. Look at what’s happening to the people of north Dakota who’s land sit’s on top of deposit’s. Not just in North Dakota but other states as well. In some cases “imminent domain” is used as a coercive threat to get top soil owners to give their concent. Again, do your research. And if you don’t think contaminated water is a threat then research Ponca City Oklahoma water contamination by Conoco Oil company.

      1. hunter says:

        Where in my post, did I say that contaminated water was not a threat? All I stated was that there are risks in everything that we do.

        I deal with mineral rights daily with my work, so I believe I completely understand. Yes, in some cases the surface owner can do nothing but watch the oil company drill, but my point is that the oil company paid someone for these rights. Someone was still greedy enough to sell the right for the purpose of drilling. When you purchase the property, the deed states what you own, and you should know that there is a risk of subsurface activity if you do not own them. See yet again, there is always risk. Also you speak of eminent domain as a threat, I also believe that this was an issue with eminent domain and wind power. So as long as the energy source is green it is ok to use eminent domain ?
        My main point is that people are greedy, it is not just limited to the big companies. I am all for drilling, and I am all for clean water, and I believe that drilling is the safest it has ever been, but there are risks.

    2. Mary Honan says:

      Yes the companies lease the land. This way when the lease ends, they have no liability. The lease is a written agreement. But the company uses all verbal (which can be denied in court) instructing the homeowners that it is safe. They do not even tell the homeowners what chemicals they pump in the ground. The companies that do fracking are completely exempt from the clean air and water act. The EPA has no say what so ever in dealing with these companies.

  6. Keven says:

    But Republicans say DRILL BABY DRILL ! Anything to make oil companies more profits ! They MIGHT throw us a few crumbs!
    And besides, anything the Democrats believe in is wrong. Since everyone is on the I hate Obama and wagon, why waste time protesting? Once we get a RepubliCON president, big business will be allowed to rape the land and environment.
    Get used to it people, we’re doomed to pollution and cancer while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  7. Mari says:

    There is a way to “frack” with high power water alone. It takes a a little longer, but is much safer for the environment. It’s the chemicals they add to the water to “speed up” the drilling that cause all the toxic contamination. There is no getting around that GREED is at the heart of the gas companies doing the fracking. They will sweep in, profess to follow safety precautions and sweep out having left a gigantic environmental mess. The people of Pennsylvania and their land and water are totally expendable to big energy. There will be fights for years to get the land and water cleaned up. We’ve seen it time and again but never learn — in myriad Superfund sites around the country — far too many to list. Look some up on the EPA’s website. You’ll be sickened. It takes decades for any of the stuff to even get partially cleaned up. And as for marketing to get more people to use gas — you can have it! Total neighborhood blocks have exploded when gas pipes get old and there is a leak. This is not ancient history. It happens fairly frequently. Google it some time.

  8. Paul says:

    I live the ads by Exxon Mobil on fracking. How can these guys get up there and lie like that. No morals.I hate oil companies. God, please give them ethincs and morals and empathy.

  9. Towanda says:

    And as far as drinking “bottled water” goes, where the frack are they getting that water? The gas companies in colorado and wyoming among other states, once admitting that the contamination came from them, provided residents with reverse osmosis filters for their water. Problem is, frack liquid contains surfectants. Surfectants damage membranes. Reverse osmosis membranes. CELL membranes (yours, fish, wildlife, microbes). And those “safe” collection ponds where the frack run off is “stored” until it can evaporate and leave behind the contaminants? They’re all flooded here now in Bradford County. Some piddly tarp-lined shallow pond is not a safe place for this toxic waste. They are flooding and running off all over the place. It’s insane. It makes me sick.

  10. diana says:

    the gas companys will not allow other sorces of energy because then they would not be making millions of dollars!! they care less about anyone but the mighty buck and that goes along with investers. they say they can make something from corn but would be to expensive, i don’t think so it’s because how much money oil companies would lose if they did. anything would be rejected because of oil companies. we need to stick together and fight these oil companies. just get the hell out nd go back from where you came!!!

  11. Tim Ruggiero says:

    If this was about reducing our ‘dependence on foreign oil’, then why has CHK sold $5B of their Fayetteville assets to the CHINESE? The XL Keystone Pipeline that seems likely to go in will transport oil to the Port of Houston to ship overseas to help meet Asia’s growing demand for oil. This isn’t about reducing our dependence, this about profits. I am certainly not opposed to profits, but let’s be honest about what it is we’re doing. Even if we were able to greatly reduce our dependence on ‘foreign oil’, oil does not replace natural gas or vice versa. There are millions of cars and trucks on our roads that are and will remain oil based. What will all of this cost? Will increasing the amount of jobs and filling city/county coffers with oil and gas money be any good if people can’t live in their homes and their home’s value gets decimated in the process? Our $300K home is now worth $78K, and that was prior to the install of two compressor stations. Who ultimately pays the price? Our kids and their schools. My truck payment is now far more than my annual property taxes. So how many ruined lives and homes will it take before this becomes a real issue that cannot be denied or spun by gas companies or their paid spokespeople?

    Tim Ruggiero
    Decatur, TX

  12. Tree says:

    Rusty,

    I suppose the revenue outweighs the destruction to the environment, your health, the health of the planet, future generations and species, your pocketbook, (when you pay for it). only one who seems to benefit much are these gas and oil companies. The rich keep getting richer…due to our ignorance. I applaud the protesters.

    We should be creating more jobs in discovering and implementing better ways. The gas and oil companies should become the dinosaurs (extinct) of our era. We need to be smarter than them.

  13. Williem T says:

    Forget dependence on foreign oil. Forget dependence on it period. All fossil fuels should be banned. This isn’t about contaminated water, or things like that. It is about the END OF THE PLANET. 200 years from now we cant just say “uh oh we made a mistake” because nobody will be left alive to say it

    1. Peter says:

      And how would you recharge your smart phone?

  14. mizz says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEB_Wwe-uBM&feature=related Just watch this to see the damage fracking can do.

  15. Rf345 says:

    Also, we really don’t need this natural gas drilling. there are numerous ways states can create thousands of jobs through utilizing renewable energy sources. think about the tech we have now to make safer forms of biofuels/gas, solar power innovations, geothermal, wind, and wave power. right now is the future for clean energy and the gas industry should get with the program and produce these safe forms of energy

    1. Dan says:

      and where do you suppose the energy that is used to produce the machines that produce these “alternative” forms of energy come from? the “not in my backyard” attitude is what has caused us to be so dependent on foreign oil sources

  16. Mama says:

    NO NO NO !!! No Fracking !!!! A plague upon all who support it and those who will become wealthy from it. Curse you all.

  17. charW says:

    Don’t let them in! We’ll all have to drink bottled water after they come into the state and throw the chemicals into our streams and wells. Educate yourself about the process before agreeing with them. Also, how can they come into PA without having to pay any taxes. WE could use the revenue for our budget. Wake up people!

    1. Rusty Shackleford says:

      You DO get revenue. There is a severance tax computed on every cubic foot of gas that is extracted. That goes directely into the state treasury.

      1. Catalpa says:

        Rusty you don’t know much about it. PA is the only state with no severance tax.

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