Let’s set the record straight.
January 2011, I received an email from Steve Lipsky with a video that showed flames coming from a garden hose. I didn’t know anyone named Lipsky so, although it was late at night, I Googled the name and learned he was the landowner in the Parker County water contamination case where, in December 2010, the EPA issued an Imminent and Substantial Endangerment order (ISEO). I had been blogging about the case but didn’t connect the name Lipsky as the landowner because he had never contacted me. None of my blog posts about the case mentioned Lipsky until January 18 when I copied and pasted a paragraph that contained his name from a news article.
The next morning I did what I do with most videos landowners send me. I posted it on my blog.
I still didn’t know Steve Lipsky. He sent me an email with a video and that was it.
The next thing I know, one of my emails is in the New York Times. The email simply said “Yee Haw! Hats off to the new sheriff.” I‘m a 5th generation Texan and that’s a Texan thing to say. Back in early December 2010, the EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendairz sent out an email notification to some stakeholders letting them know he had issued the ISEO. I was at work when I saw the email on my phone. Initially, I thought it had something to do with air and didn’t know until several hours later when I took a break and watched the news video on my phone that it was a water issue. This email gave the industry and their protectors an opportunity to distract the media and focus on reading email while water burned.
I didn’t know Al Armendariz either. We had never talked on the phone or shared a meal. I blogged about Dr. Al’s work in the same way I have blogged about President Obama’s work, and Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman’s work. I supported Dr. Al’s nomination as Region 6 Administrator the same way I supported Obama for president and the same way I did not support Barry Smitherman for commissioner. But I did not know Dr. Al the same way I do not know Obama or Smitherman.
When Dr. Al won the nomination as Region 6 Administrator, I attended a party in Arlington to help celebrate. So did over 100 other people. That was the first time I met him. Like people do when they meet a public figure they admire, I had my picture taken with Dr. Al. So did about 75 other people.
That’s when–DRUMROLL–I became the “orchestrator.”
From Energy In Depth, the industry’s PR campaign’s website, aka Fracking’s Joe Camel.
Somehow, I was the “orchestrator” despite the FACT that I had absolutely ZERO contact with anyone involved in the order until a full six week after the order was issued.
A lot of stuff happened after I was declared the “orchestrator.”
I went to court for a hearing that was meant to intimidate me but we decided to stand up against intimidation. The judge ruled against me using faulty logic and math but I got some really good press. I had to comply with the subpoena. The judge got some really bad press and Karma found him.
A few hours after I posted this blog post, I received notice that Range Resources wanted to set the date for my deposition. The notice included a cease and desist. Their decision looks like retaliation since my discovery and sworn testimony at the hearing showed I was innocent of any conspiracy. This same month, my blog logged its 1 millionth view.
I was deposed and it was ridiculous. My favorite moment may have been when my generous and kind attorney, Scott McLain, said something like this: Andy are you going to ask any questions about the Lipsky case because if you’re not we are going to leave.
I don’t know who came up with the silly conspiracy theory and that I “orchestrated” it all. Maybe it was the Range attorney Andy Sims or maybe is was the Fracking Joe Camels. But Range’s general counsel bears the ultimate responsibility for this waste shareholder’s money.
The Fracking Joe Camels continue to claim that I was the “orchestrator,” and still have that on their website. This despite the fact that there was absolutely no evidence in my discovery, or in my sworn testimony, or in my ridiculous deposition, and despite the fact the Court of Appeals “concluded that Range did not present sufficient evidence of such a conspiracy.“ Here’s what the Court of Appeals said:
…we have concluded that the trial court abused its discretion by denying relators’ motions to dismiss Range’s civil conspiracy claim,
But Range has not dropped all aspects of their counter suit against Lipsky and it seems part of that suit relies on what they call the “misleading video.” Now, If you watch the video, and listen to the narration, it’s clear that Lipsky was not misleading anyone. He shows the pipe where the water is flowing and talks about the gas that is venting from his water well. He never, NEVER implied that his water was on fire although his water did and still does light on fire.
This was all made clear in the WFAA report: Welcome to his nightmare: Flaming well water. Mr. Lipsky and his family have been vilified and harmed by all this. But the truth is coming out. Stay tuned.
Where are we now?
I know Steve Lipsky now. I’m not too worried about Steve because he’s smart and a fighter and his water still lights on fire.
I know one of Steve’s neighbors now and she also has flammable water. See: Records show drilling operation violated law while water wells contaminated
I know Al now. He has a new job working for the Sierra Club in Austin. And it seems he also likes to have his picture made with admired people.
I have a lawyer now who kindly and generously represented me pro bono through the orchestration of the whole Range Resources vs Sharon Wilson debacle.
I’m getting close to 1.5 million views on this little old blog and my Twitter (@TXsharon) followers continue to grow.
I don’t know how to put this but, I’m kind of a big deal. An amazing journalist, Suzanna Andrews, just wrote a profile on me for the September issue of MORE Magazine (here’s a teaser). A genius and badass photographer, Dan Winters, who is possibly the nicest person I’ve ever met, took my picture for More. (I’m serious here: Go take a look at his amazing photos.) Veronica Martinez was the stylist who ironed the clothes I wore, fixed my hair and makeup and made sure that she had everything we could possibly want or need during the photography session.
Range stock is dropping and there are a lot of red dots on the executive insider action page at MarketWatch. Intimidation, misuse of the legal system and psyops is very expensive. So is being the brunt of a joke on The Colbert Report. A reputation as the Baby Gagger can’t be helpful. BTW, those kids are still gagged for life.
I guess I should thank David Poole, Sr. Vice President – General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Range Resources, for coming after me and the Range Resources share holders for taking a financial hit to help catapult my popularity.