The title is a rhetorical question. We know what they are afraid of: TRUTH.
In my presentation to the Dallas Drilling Task Force, I mentioned non-disclosure agreements as a way that industry keeps us from having the information we need to make sure natural gas drilling and fracking is conducted in a manner that will keep the public safe. I used three examples. Here’s basically what I said
- When drilling too close harmed her family’s health, Steph Hallowich had to choose between speaking out to sound the alarm, or getting her children out of harms way. She signed a gag order and accepted industry money so her children would be safe.
- If John Fenton, who was in the movie Gasland, had known that his neighbor’s water was contaminated from drilling, his family might not have gotten sick. But his neighbor signed a non-disclosure agreement and moved away so Fenton never found out about the contaminated water.
about 1.20 minutes in.
- Williams operations contaminated the water wells of three families in Grandview, TX. Those families recently settled with Williams and signed non-disclosure agreements.
Non disclosure agreements allow industry to continue saying there has never been a proven case of water contamination…
In the Marcellus Shale, the Post-Gazette has asked the judge to unseal the Hallowich non-disclosure agreement. Guess who is objecting to that.
Attorneys for Range Resources and Mark West Energy Partners have objected to the newspaper’s action to unseal the settlement.
You might remember that Range Resources is responsible for the water contamination in Parker County.
I know Steph Hallowich. She
was is was/is my friend. We don’t talk anymore because it’s not safe for her. She has to keep her part of the bargain so her children will be safe. Who wouldn’t do the same? But I think about her often. I imagine them in a new house where children don’t wake up from a sound sleep with blood gushing from their noses or ask, “Mommy, are we going to blow up?”
Sometimes I feel blessed that through all this misery I have found the best friends of my life. Then I wonder if one by one those friendships will be casualties to non-disclosure agreements.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Mike H. says
Using a non disclosure agreement (NDA) to cover up pollution gaffs is really low. Plus, Microsoft once said that anyone talking to the US DOJ antitrust (monopoly) investigation people would be considered a violation of their Microsoft NDA.
That’s one way to scare people from talking to investigators.