Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

January 31, 2014

Here’s what the Marcellus Shale gas drilling looks like

You’re pulling into the driveway of your old family farm. You nearly forgot to stop at the gas company check point, but it’s all right. They put a steel gate across the road to remind you. Waiting, you watch as two roughnecks struggle getting the gate open, running a deep trench through the muddy soil.

For 57 years that was a gravel drive, leading onto your 100-acre farm. The workers flash you dirty looks as the gate opens. Why are they always so rude? A few weeks ago, when you asked if they could tone down the flaring, a process that sends out massive sound waves along with fireballs, they got pretty rough.

As one of the roughnecks slammed you down into the cold mud, you couldn’t help but wonder why the local sheriff, along with state police, tend to side with the gas company, filing a restraining order for you to stay at least 100 yards from the gas well, to literally steer clear of your own property.

The smooth-talking gas man with a low southern draw promised your family millions. He said you were sitting on a hotbed of gas, the royalties would exceed 30k a month. Instead of reading the fine print, you signed on the dotted line.

The gas company got a cheap lease, they practically own your family farm now. All you got was tainted water, a massive well, a property that can never be sold and a home that resembles a war zone, not rolling hills and blue skies.

A few weeks ago, you read in the local paper about how a large gas company truck ran a small car off the road. A little girl was killed. When the family sued, the lawsuit was thrown out of court.

When they protested, suddenly unmarked cars showed up in their driveway. Dangerous looking men, cold looking men, suggested they back off or face some unknown consequence.

According to the Department of the Environment, soon your home will be uninhabitable due to all the flammable chemicals in the water. The gas company claims the chemicals, not seen in the 57 years your family owned this place, aren’t from the well resting on your land.

For some odd reason, the Department of the Environment mindlessly agrees. Where will you go? What will become of your broken and destroyed family farm?

How will you ever financially recover, with a worthless, toxic property and lease based on false promises and legally guarded fortunes? This is Marcellus Shale gas drilling in its current form.

 Jeremy Gosnell

Oakland

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo