UPDATE: Letters supporting Dr. Armendariz are urgently needed. Do not delay. Do not leave it to someone else. Or you might end up with Mike Knapp, The Landman, (see comments) for your next Region 6 EPA Administrator.
Media Matters corrects the right wing spin machine reporting. They weren’t there and they forgot Journalism 101.
I wonder why no one is talking to the people who were actually there in Dish, TX. That might give some perspective. IJS
Industry and the GOP is on a witch hunt and they are after Obama and the EPA. Their first target is Dr. Al Armendariz, EPA Region 6 Administrator because he had the audacity to step in to protect public safety and demand accountability. Their whole campaign focuses on a comment made by Armendariz at a community meeting in Dish, Texas where state testing showed high levels of drilling chemicals in residents’ blood and urine.
The crucifixion comment actually applies more aptly to citizens in areas of shale oil and gas extraction. Way before the shamefully few violations are ever issued, industry invades our communities with their insurgency manual and their PSYOPS operatives and crucifies any opposition to their activities hoping to bludgeon the remaining citizenry into submission. Everyone left standing gets inoculated.
This crucifixion of the citizenry is something I have personally experienced and something I expose on this website.
Yesterday Senator Inhofe, who has received millions from the oil & gas industry, stood on the Senate floor and blasted Obama, EPA, Dr. Armendariz and a “rabid anti-fracking” Texan with enough gasses to heat all the homes in Dallas next winter.
The shale oil & gas fracking victims in EPA Region 6 stand by Armendariz and the Obama EPA! We cry out to you for help for you are our only hope!
UPDATE: The TCEQ has the audacity to comment about cheapening the role of regulators. That’s rich. The TCEQ isn’t worth $.02 when it comes to regulation.
“Unacceptable and embarrassing.” That’s the way the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is characterizing Mr. Armendariz’s remarks in a joint statement issued just now by TCEQ chairman Bryan Shaw, Ph.D, and commissioners Carlos Rubinstein and Toby Baker.
White House stands by Dr. Al.
OIL AND GAS: White House defends EPA from Armendariz ‘crucify’ comment (Thursday, April 26, 2012)
The Obama administration defended its regulation of the oil and gas industry today in the wake of disclosures that a U.S. EPA official used the term “crucify” when explaining how he can “make an example” of environmental lawbreakers.
“The individual here apologized and made clear those comments are an inaccurate way to characterize what EPA does,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in today’s White House briefing in response to questions from Fox News correspondent Ed Henry.
The situation stems from video of a 2010 town hall meeting in Texas in which Dallas-based EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz compared his enforcement philosophy to ancient Romans crucifying villagers in towns they’d overrun (E&ENews PM, April 25). He used it as an analogy for employing scarce enforcement resources by being particularly aggressive with certain lawbreakers to deter others.
“They’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them,” said Armendariz, who oversees a six-state region that includes Oklahoma and Texas. “And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law.”
The comments were brought to light by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and one of the most outspoken supporters of the oil and gas industry in Congress.
Late yesterday, EPA officials released an apology from Armendariz and a statement that said the agency is committed to “strong, fair and effective” enforcement.
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.
- Web |
- More Posts(5116)
Kim Feil says
The TCEQ in step probably witht eh RRC made this statement….tatement from TCEQ Chairman and Commissioners on EPA Region 6 Director’s “crucifixion” comments
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2012
Media Contact: Andy Saenz
Statement from TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D, Commissioner Carlos Rubinstein, and Commissioner Toby Baker:
“The EPA’s ‘crucifixion’ philosophy and agenda is unacceptable and embarrassing. The EPA Region 6 director’s outlandish comments significantly cheapen the role of the state and federal regulators who strive to ensure that sound environmental rules and policies are promulgated and enforced. Furthermore, such a philosophy flies in the face of the sound science, the law, and common sense that TCEQ regularly utilizes in pursuing legitimate enforcement actions where violations do in fact exist.
We believe the way to protect human health and the environment is through vigorous enforcement, utilizing the state’s administrative procedures that are afforded to the public and the regulated community.”
Oh Pah-leeze! I can’t wait until the Railroad Commission weighs in.
Often, the workers get crucified:
“U.S. EPA official used the term “crucify” when explaining how he can “make an example” of environmental lawbreakers.
So If Dr. Al Armendariz and the EPA are the Romans then is Range Resources comparing its self to Jesus Christ. cant you just feel the persecution of Range Resources by that skinny kid from EL Paso, heaven forbid the EPA step in to protect a home owner at their request.
You ask a good question.
Tim Ruggiero says
Specific to the Parker County case, the frackers and their friends, including the TRRC, are claiming that Sharon and/or Alisa Rich ‘tricked’ the EPA into conducting their own independent testing, and further fooled them into drawing conclusions that were simply not there to be had. The idiot judge then also ruled that the video of the flaming water was ‘doctored’ although he failed to explain how he was able to determine that. Quite frankly, I’m not sure what he even means by this-does he mean that the fire observed was fake or produced somehow through creative film-making or something? Or is it that they somehow convinced the EPA to not do any testing at all, and just make their decisions based on hearsay and a quick look around Lypsky’s place?
Unfortunately, desperate times call for desperate measures. I think the comment was made more in an effort to show support of an otherwise unsupported and abandoned struggling community under siege by an extremely powerful adversary rather than actually placing a body on a cross. A community failed repeatedly by its state regulators namely the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Railroad Commission. One only has to watch the commercials on the networks airing this today to see how their funded.
I watched today and the only commercials I saw were those supporting the oil and gas industry. Interesting? Not really. Disturbing? Yes.
I’d like to see how many of these networks ever aired a story regarding the communities Dr. Armenderiz has visited before today. I don’t think they care. Maybe they will when it’s finally parked next door to them or their children.
The most unfortunate thing about this is that now Dr. Armenderiz will have to fight not to be crucified by powerful oil & gas funded networks and those of us in Texas already considered casualties of greed by the TCEQ and RRC will receive no assistance. The EPA’s hands were already tied in Texas and they were very limited in what they could do. Now we’ll have no assistance.
Great investigative reporting? I think not. Great industry supported reporting? Yes.
Tim Ruggiero says
I’m disappointed that Dr. Al apologize-or was made to. Granted, maybe not the best choice of words, but I hardly see that an apology is in order. Who did he offend, exactly? The Industry Whore from Oklahoma? Those poor, poor easily offended drilling companies? And what’s with this bullshit about ‘threats and intimidation’? Seriously? Who’s been doing that? I can’t remember-is it the EPA who has been hiring ex-military who specialize in Psyop, or was it those warm hearted people at Range Resources? If anyone is going t apologize, it should be David Poole from Range Resources apologizing for his stupid remarks to the Southlake City Council and I think Aubrey McClendon has a fair amount of explaining to do himself.
Maybe Inhofe needs to stand before the citizens of Dish and ask them what they think about what Dr. Al said. Maybe he needs to attend a Dish Town Hall meeting and talk to them about industry’s persecution complex.
Tim Ruggiero says
Great idea, I’ll invite him to come on down..might as well invite T Boone and gang, along with Cornyn and Hutchinson, too. I could invite the TCEQ, but after the last two times Mayor Sciscoe mopped the floor with them, I’ll expect Inhofe to show up before any of them do.
I suspect with all the new scrutiny, Aubrey will only take the Fifth in future statements.
The EPA and Dr. Al is our one and only hope in Tx.
Mike Knapp says
YEE HAW! Looks like there’s going to be a new sheriff heading up Region 6. About time. EPA bungled the Parker County case. He should have been fired for that. Fraternizing inappropriately with known anti-gas drilling extremists and declaring that he is going to crucify drillers without cause is just icing on the cake. Good luck in your new career, Dr. Al. Hopefully this next one won’t be as easily corrupted by people like Texas Sharon.
Really? We certainly hope not. And how was the Parker County case bungled? Here is the order. What part of this is bungled, Mr. Knapp? The part where they say the methane found in the Parker County water wells had the same isotopic fingerprints as the methane in the nearby gas wells? That part?
That video shows Dr. Armendariz reacting to being among people suffering from a lack of help coming from our state agencies…in a town with 11 Compressor Stations converging and in a town where children were suffering from nosebleeds. Many of us who have seen the dark side of this shale gas boom consider Dr. Armendariz to be the best thing that ever happened in North Texas in recent years.
Your “glee” over this is no different than the Congressional Republicans who clearly don’t care about safety or health or understand the stress that so many people are experiencing in Texas from these unregulated drilling practices.
They don’t care what happens to us. We are in their way.
Mike Knapp says
Even John Hanger, who started the largest environmental organization in Pennsylvania ( http://www.pennfuture.org )and who served as the Secretary of the DEP until just recently, gave the EPA a solid “F” in its handling of the case in Parker County.
John oversaw the DEP’s response to an ACTUAL methane migration incident in Dimock, PA. He issued millions of dollars in fines to the company involved, banned them from drilling in a 9 square mile section of land, ordered them to plug several wells (which cost the company tens of millions of dollars), ordered them to pay $4.1 million dollars to the affected landowners, ordered them to install water filtration devices, and ordered them to deliver fresh water for almost three years. John Hanger has cracked down harder on oil and gas companies more than any one person in the history of this country. He’s not some industry lackey. He gives the EPA an “F”.
My “glee” over this would not be possible if this gentleman had acted in a manner befitting his title, in both his actions and his words. I’m a proponent of strong, reasonable regulations. I’m not a proponent of unfounded witch hunts, doctored videos, or agenda driven EPA Administrators. I respect the doctor’s views, but if they are so strong they cloud his objectivity, which is obviously the case here, then he is not fit for the position. I don’t think any environmentalists would care much for the idea of me taking an EPA admin position. And they’d be right. The EPA must remain neutral and unbiased.
Even John Hanger? That pillar of impartiality who walked through the revolving door and now works for an industry law firm?
Tell you what, Mike. How about meeting me in Dish for a town hall meeting just like the one for Dr. Armendariz?
And, please elaborate on the “Fraternizing inappropriately” comment. I can hardly wait to hear the inside scoop on that one.
Thanks for commenting.
MIke Knapp says
He’s a lawyer by trade, not surprising to find him at a law firm now. The man has to eat. Most of his time was spent working for the state as PUC lawyer. Not exactly the way to get rich with a law degree. And he founded non-profit PennFuture, who aren’t exactly the best friends in the world to natural gas drillers. When he was in office, he carried a big stick and wasn’t afraid to use it. You can try to attack the guy’s character all you like since it is now convenient for you to do so, but the anti-drillers LOVED him when he was DEP head. How quickly they forget.
Really? So, you think you couldn’t be the Region 6 EPA Administrator? Well, Mike Knapp, don’t underestimate yourself. I see there on your web site that you “bleed black and gold.” Perfect.
You don’t have any qualifications for this, right? Excellent. Be sure to purge anything remotely concerned with science or environmental concern from your Résumé. Sounds like that won’t be a problem. I can’t locate your bio, so I’ll leave that up to you, Mr. Knapp.
Based on all the other “environmental” agency appointees in Texas, you, Mike Knapp, will be a perfect fit. Do you know Rick Perry? He’ll love ya. Come on down. You really don’t need to check your biases at the door either. Let it all hang out. This is TEXAS. Yee Haw!!
As you prepare, be sure to check out Dr. Al Armendariz’s biography ~ Warning: It’s impressive. But don’t you worry for a second about that. Not being an environmental engineer, a chemical engineer, a graduate of MIT or even serving as a public health official ~ none of those ridiculous things should keep you from being appointed as our NEW Region 6 EPA Administrator!
You, Mike Knapp, are a LANDMAN. And you care a lot about us…mostly our LAND. But hello, you do LOVE us. Thank You!
Region 6, EPA Administrator, Dr. Al Armendariz’s Biography.
Reality is where we need to be with all of this. We need very smart people who understand what’s going on with the shale gas. Even if they sometimes actually come to small towns like Dish, TX, listen to the problems, admit to speaking “crudely” about it since the ones of us who have actually experienced it believe it IS so CRUDE, and then promise to “Protect” us.
Thank you, Dr. Armendariz.
If you call the town of DISH “anti-gas drilling extremists” here is how it happens:
Knapp is the president of a company that operates in the Marcellus. Classy comment filled with lies. The industry is consistent.
Jim Schermbeck says
Based on the rounds I just made of the echo chamber, I’d urge everyone not to relax. We still need folks to contact both Lisa Jackson and their congressman/woman to stomp this manufactured outrage out before a too-timid White House overreacts. More info on the latest antics over at our site:
Memo To Media: EPA Official’s Comments Applied Only To Lawbreakers
So, what’s the big deal, if your company is following the law?
I’m just guessing here but maybe the big deal is that none of them follow the law?
Tim Ruggiero says
Again, whom did Armendariz offend? Maybe the not the best choice of words or the best analogy, but remember who you’re talking about here. He’s a geeky be-speckled SCIENTIST, not a Public Relations Spokesman like Matt Well Documented Liar Pitzrella or Julie It’s Just Steam Wilson. I have no expectations of scientists to speak eloquently or become public speakers. Remember how fascinating the scientists were in high school and college that taught us the biology’s and geology’s? Right, it wasn’t fascinating by any stretch-at least not for more than 10 minutes before we were struggling not to doze off.
So now some Republicans (and I am ashamed to admit I am still officially one of them) are calling for Armendariz’s head because what he really said was, “We’re going to hold you, the operators accountable. Maybe if we, the EPA, can nail a few of your asses to the wall, perhaps the remainder might catch on and do this right for a change.”
Note to Mike Knapp: If natural gas operators really can be trusted to always do the right thing, why bother with regulation at all? Why not call for the dismantle of not only the EPA, but also the state agencies as well? More importantly, why bother to support ‘strong regulation’? What do you suppose would happen without any at all? Might explain why there are hundreds upon hundreds of complaints (all documented on the TCEQ and TRRC websites) and virtually no enforcement actions. Industry certainly well enjoys this type of ‘strong’ regulation.
The pipeline industry fought & lobbied hard to prevent a national pipeline safety agency. But, too many dead people (17 in just one “accident” in Lou. in 1966) & destroyed neighborhoods led to then Pres. Johnson to push for what is now PHMSA.
Self regulating was too erratic. Cathodic protection had been known to reduce external pipeline corrosion for decades before, but some pipelines had to be forced to use it by law around 1970. Yes, they would have saved money in the long run on repairs (and lawsuits), but some companies didn’t think that way.
And, if self regulating & “doing the right thing” works so well, then why the Deepwater Horizon accident?
Mike Knapp says
There are millions of people the industry. The overwhelming majority of operators already go far and beyond the regulations here in PA. Regulations aren’t for those companies. They’re to make sure that EVERYONE plays by the rules.
Tim Ruggiero says
Oh, I’m just dying to know who are the GOOD Operators. Of course, my idea and your idea of a Good Operator may be different, so here’s my definition just so we’re clear:
– Respects people and their property-and their neighbor’s property. Just because my idiot neighbor bought the B.S. about becoming a millionaire doesn’t mean he gets to destroy my property, either.
-Wouldn’t dream of setting up a drill rig 150 feet away from a home or school, much more a compressor station, dehydration unit or pipeline.
-Doesn’t sue me to condemn my land because I said I don’t want your shit on my land.
-Doesn’t tell me that I’m stupid because I didn’t buy the mineral rights to my land, as if having the minerals would prevent drilling on my land.
-Uses all available technology, regardless of cost to ensure there are no leaks, spills or emissions.
-If there is a leak, spill, fire. accident, the operator reports it IMMEDIATELY (This word is actually in capital letters, bold and underlined in Texas’ State Wide Rule #8, so I’m repeating that here) to the TRRC AND the property owner, and then does whatever it takes to clean up or correct the problem, not cover it up.
-Doesn’t bribe a local authority, such as a town councilman with promises of an extra percentage of royalties to be the front man convincing other s to lease.
-Doesn’t employ Landmen who go door to door lying about anything and everything to get someone to sign a lease.
-Doesn’t take out full page ads in USA Today or on television JUSTIFYING what it is they do, and blowing patriotic sunshine up my ass. (i.e. Exxon’s Sr. Engineer Artis Brown saying that the building of the “Keystone XL has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil”, in spite of the fact the pipeline company is a foreign country and the oil will be sold to other foreign countries)
-Doesn’t threaten me with a restraining order when I challenge their right to be on my property.
-Doesn’t demand a variance to every town reg regarding drilling and then lie about their reasons for doing so.
-Doesn’t alert the press and create a big fanfare about their charitable giving. (Do those laptops really need to be engraved with the corporate logo? Does the $500 check to the food bank require it to look like a lottery winner’s photo op? )
-Doesn’t blast people with dangerous chemicals in huge vapor clouds and then LIE about it calling it “Just steam”.
-Doesn’t set up toxic waste pits with hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic fluid, dehydration units, compressor stations and no stop tanker trucks right next to someone’s home.
Everything I mentioned above came from major operators like CHK, Range Resources, Devon, Exxon/XTO, Encana, Atmos, Cabot and some others, as well as some very small operators no one has ever heard of.
So, I’m waiting patiently for you to tell me what great operator(s) all these alleged millions of people work for.
By the way, saying ‘go above far and beyond regulations’ is alluding or implying the regulation(s) operators go above and beyond on are a highly set bar to begin with.
Did you say PSYOPS?
-No PSYOPS or insurgency manuals.
-No tapping our phones or intercepting our email.
-No threats of bodily harm.
-No following us in black vans and SUVs.
-No hiding behind NON DISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS.
-No bribing scientists or paying for skewed science.
-No subpoenas to nonparties.
-No SLAPP suits.
-No illegal dumping.
…to be continued.
Tim Ruggiero says
I didn’t mean to imply mine was complete list, not by a long shot- but I thought if there was an operator out there that is doing and following the few I mentioned, I’d love to know who that is. I’d be more than happy to support that company. (I’ll be holding my breath)
Not enough bandwidth to make a complete list.
Mike Knapp says
Complaining about gas companies philanthropic work? Wow, you really did leave no stone unturned. If you look at almost any human activity and spin it as hard as you just did, you can make it sound bad. We did the same with the relatively mundane thing millions of people do every day, putting their kids on a school bus:
Tim Ruggiero says
I wasn’t complaining about Industry’s ‘philanthropic’ works, I was pointing out their true purpose in doing so., and it’s certainly not to help the poor. The best works of charity are those that are done privately and without any expectation of something in return- then’s there’s little doubt as to the intent.
Fracking Crazy says
Sometimes people who make lots of money off of other people’s illnesses and contaminated water and air get their feelings hurt.
Like in Mike’s case.
At least it’s nice to know that they do have some feelings.
I just got a call from a friend who was in SW Colorado who called to ask me about the ‘dizziness, nausea, and concentration problems he was having in the center of a shale, did I mention he was having difficulty breathing too?
My comment, “can you imagine how I felt living like that for 1.5 years? Puts it all in perspective.
Southlake Dad says
We are not liberal carpet baggers, we are conservative, rational, and open minded people. Gas industry, you should be very scared, we organized, protested, and ran one of the largest oil and gas companies out of our town. We are every day people. We work, have children and we believe in the American way and we demand justice for all. Not justice for those who stand to make money but justice for all of those who could be affected by unsafe drilling practices. We will turn the lights on and you should be very scared.
Please go say that to Lisa Jackson, Dr. Al’s boss.
Mike Knapp says
I hate to break it to you, but I’m not scared. We invented gas and oil drilling here in Pennsylvania, been doing it for 150 years. The society you know and love is quite literally powered by (and built out of) oil and gas. We’ve safely and without incident completed over 5,000 Marcellus shale wells, and the benefit is a reduction in the nation’s carbon footprint of 300 million TONS. That’s the equivalent to the entire state of Pennsylvania’s carbon footprint, and doesn’t
mention huge reductions in mercury, arsenic, NOx, SOx, and a host of other airborne pollutants and toxins. Coal’s market share has dropped from 55% to 38%. That’s a lot of mountaintops that will never have to be removed… and all this while saving the average Pennsylvania family over $1,000 last year in the form of lower utility bills.
So, in a nutshell…. YOU’RE WELCOME.
More self regulating “issues: that have come up:
The Williams Production gas compressor explosion in March: PHMSA does not regulate in Class 1 areas, and PA does not, either. Now I hear of people that don’t trust any division of Williams after that one. And, since no one regulates these in PA, who going to keep such things from happening again?
Wild gas well in Wyoming, residents evacuated in a 2.5 miles radius. But, it’s a Chesapeake well, & I see lots about Aubrey counter borrowing money, but not much said about safety.
FWIW, there’s still production companies that feel gas compressors & wells are safe enough to be put point blank to homes, hospitals, & schools.
The Olympic Pipeline failure in Bellingham WA. Olympic failed to test a pressure relief valve right, it would never open at any pressure, yet claimed it “worked”, failed to recognize a pipeline flaw properly from a smart pig run, didn’t bother to find out why an automatic valve would mysteriously close on it’s own, and the final disgrace, was using a LIVE SCADA computer to test new software. It locked when the pipeline failed. Oops, 3 dead, major fire, major pollution.
Would you like airline crews to “tinker” with autopilot computers, while flying with passengers? That’s about what happened, but, the NTSB had to admit there was *no* rule against using live SCADA computers to test software, while controlling a pipeline system. They did say it was unwise.
Then, the mysterious liquids that have been dumped by tankers on roads in fracking areas of PA. One of those tankers was eventually caught, since the sulfuric acid it was leaking (or dumping) had ruined paint on some following vehicles.
Did anyone every track down those CS2 vapors coming from rayon plants? That was the knee-jerk reaction by gas producers there when CS2 was found to be way high.
More “self regulation” at DISH:
The next barbecue at that gas plant could always be a real “bang”!
What’s not to love?
Myth: “Oil & gas are so expensive it forces energy suppliers to be cautious with it”
“LAGOS, April 23 (Reuters) – An oil spill in Nigeria for which Royal Dutch Shell is being sued for tens of millions of dollars in a London court was at least 60 times worse than it announced, a report by Amnesty International said on Monday, citing research it commissioned.”
Russian pipeline & energy related spill about 5,000,000 ton of oil each year. No incentive money wise to do better?
James Barth says
My goodness, “how a body gets around”. Imagine my surprise seeing Mike Knapp blogging on TX Sharon’s site. Usually, I stumble across him at The Scranton Times Tribune, spreading his landman’s “truth”, from his office in Kittanning, perhaps? Well head price slowing things down Mr. Knapp? Too much time on your hands?
I’m not surprised that you attack Dr. Al Armendariz, just as you have always attacked the Dimock victims of Cabot Oil & Gas. I’m not surprised to see you praise John Hanger, now that he is employed by oil and gas interests, but to see you describe Hanger as an environmentalist is ludicrous. To describe Hanger as a tough, effective, PA DEP secretary (perhaps compared to that joke Krancer, who now occupies the office) is nothing but your industry propaganda.
Hanger was appointed Secretary in September of 2008. By October, the Mon River was overwhelmed with TDS to the point that more than 350,000 citizens had bad water. That lasted 3 months, and that scenario repeated itself twice more while he was chief. Dunkard Creek was killed in September of 2009. Dimock happened, blowing its lid in January, 2009. Chesapeake wells exploded. Illegal dumping of toxic flowback waste happened everywhere drilling happened. The Susquehanna now has huge populations of fish with large, black lesions. Shall I give more examples? Neither Hanger, nor PA DEP was, or is, capable of protecting anything. Who cares about fines after the fact? For your industry, it’s a simple business equation, a cost of doing business, often less expensive than doing anything properly.
If you think Dr. Armendariz’s comment, or that his comforting the victims of shale gas drilling, are inappropriate, why not comment on Krancer’s recent outrage, reported by, amazingly enough, the Wayne Independent, in Honesdale, PA?
Here’s a snippet, “He was also critical of the state of Delaware. He said the state is shaped “like a dog with a tail” and added that it sometimes smells “like the tail of a dog.” Those comments were directed at the Delaware River Basin Commission…”.
Actually, those comments are directed towards anyone who stands in the way of the shale gas and gas liquids drilling industry in PA, or who oppose / criticize Corbett’s policies. Your politics, as usual.
On a separate note, Armstrong County, PA, where you practice your gas man business, has had 399 Marcellus wells drilled from January ’09 to January ’12, according to PA DEP’s website.
What’s your take on the fact that in December of 2008, the unemployment rate for that county was 7.9%. Yet, in December of ’09, after 176 wells were drilled, it was 10.1%. In January of 2011 it was 10.3%, and now, January of 2012 it is still 10%, all of this massive, increased, unemployment percentages, despite people like you inflicting upon the population, the drilling of 399 Marcellus wells? Where is that Marcellus miracle, the Marcellus multiplier, the “hundreds of thousands of jobs” drilling will create in PA?
Thank you for commenting. I owe you a couple of cold beers.
James Barth says
Well, TXSharon, we all respect you, your dedication, and your work, immensely. It is I, who owe you, a couple of six packs, and it wouldn’t be Busch beer. It sounds too close to the disease that started this shale gas chainey (sic) link that screws us to the courthouse doors.
Mike Knapp says
Re: the high TDS… It was Hanger that issued an order that all water treatment facilities, except for a handful with grandfathered permits, would have to meet safe drinking water standards with their Marcellus discharge. Krancer then put a halt to it all together. In the year since Marcellus drillers have stopped all surface water discharging, guess what? The bromide levels didn’t drop hardly at all. Why? Because the real problem is coal mine discharge. Bass with those spots have been spotted all over Pennsylvania for decades (my dad is a professional fisherman and a nationally known outdoor writer here in PA), in areas where there is no drilling. Hanger hung a lot of gas drillers out to dry after they had problems, and he was loved by anti-drilling activists when he was in office.
As far as Armstrong County, you can’t just flip a switch and turn unemployment around, but Marcellus drilling has barely taken off in this county. Areas with more drilling have experienced huge reductions in their unemployment levels.
You can take whatever shots you want, but the plethora of positives far outweigh the handful of negatives
Tim Ruggiero says
Mike Knapp: ‘m still waiting for you to post my comment I made on your blog days ago. Perhaps you’ve been too enthralled with the truth on Bluedaze that it’s slipped your mind. But then again, since there’s painfully little traffic, perhaps you’ve forgotten about the blog itself. Or perhaps, you’re too busy being ‘environmentally conscious’ about whose property is going to get fouled next. I can only guess.
And, Mike, I’m still patiently waiting for you to name just one operator you believe fits the noble distinction of ‘Good’. So, while you’re searching through your Rolodex prioritizing and compiling that undoubtedly lengthy list of GOOD OPERATORS, I’ll respond to your promotion and defense of Industry Whore John Hangar:
John Hangar is yes both an attorney, but also a politician. While he was in office, he certainly knew which side his bread was getting buttered. Like most public officials, he only paid attention to those issues that adversely, or had the great potential, to adversely affect him personally.
Hangar was also the same guy who got himself painted into a corner by Josh Fox, and after taking about an hour to realize he was quickly running out of answers, switched to DEFENSE. Then, like that idiot TRRC Commissioner David Porter, abruptly put an end to the questions and walked out in a huff. Although, unlike Porter, didn’t threaten to ‘call security’ when a local homeowner dared to ask if she could meet him.
I will admit, I was quite surprised to see that in his last days in office, the orders and directives he issued regarding Dimock and more importantly, Cabot. And while those were good things he did, he also had plenty of time to hold Cabot accountable long before he knew he was about to be out of a job. I see what Hangar did in his last days was nothing more than a set up for his next career. When you have YEARS of complaints and one bad act after another by operators, and then only take any real action when you’re about to box up your office, the intent and motives are at least suspect.
So, in the end, Hangar can honestly talk about his actions and what he did, all the while knowing that his his replacement, if not the Whorehouse Madam Tom Corbett was going to waste no time in overturning anything done that would negatively impact Cabot and all those dozens of other Good Neighbors that parked themselves in our backyards.
So, if there’s really no such thing as ground water contamination due to anything related to drilling, why all the dozens and dozens of water buffaloes, paid for by operators, accompanied by Non-Disclosure Agreements? If you can’t ‘flip a switch’ and positively impact unemployment, why are all the operators barking about JOB CREATION? You might want to have a look around, note a few license plates next time your’re out visiting one of the Good Neighbors. If there’s a dozen trucks on site, I’ll bet you’ll be hard pressed to find one that’s from the Keystone State.
So, if you really want to know the real John Hangar, there’s a simple solution: Let’s take a gander at the DEP website, and let’s add up all the complaints, all the self -reported incidents and then compare that list to the list of Enforcement Actions. Then, when that’s done, let’s then look at the dates of all of these, and fit them into the timeline when Hangar was sitting in his office working on his golf swing. That way, we can take an honest look at what Hangar did-and didn’t do only when he was in charge, being the anti-driller’s advocate that he is.
Mike Knapp says
Your comment on my blog is now posted. I honestly forgot to approve it over the weekend when I saw the e-mail about it.
It must be some bizzaro world that I’m living in now… me the “industry guy” actually DEFENDING John Hanger from environmentalist scorn.
He increased water discharge standards to Safe Drinking Water standards (effectively closing a big part of the “Halliburton Loophole you all hate so much), he shut down all operations at several companies for months during investigations of blow outs, he oversaw a huge increase in well construction standards, he increased the permit fee from a couple hundred bucks to a couple thousand bucks, and used the proceeds to increase the number of oil & gas inspectors from 88 to well over 200. PA has more boots on the ground regulators than Texas does, despite being much smaller geographically and having much MUCH smaller number of active rigs operating. All because of Mr. Hanger. Ive spoken to him several times, he’s about as genuine a guy as you’d ever meet. And if you read his blog, he pushes renewables extremely hard.
Sue Heavenrich says
Thanks for continuing to keep this in the spotlight. I got a chuckle from TCEQ’s comment, esp this: “We believe the way to protect human health and the environment is through vigorous enforcement….”
Oh, wait. Isn’t that what Dr. Armindariz was saying?
TCEQ evaluation shows they take no action 99% of the time. http://www.texassharon.com/2010/10/11/records-show-texas-takes-no-action-on-99-of-barnett-shale-complaints/
“The overwhelming majority of operators already go far and beyond the regulations here in PA.”
There’s people in PA that feel otherwise:
This just in: