Responsible Drilling Alliance

Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption

NY Times Trifecta, upcoming events – Mar. 7th 2011 Newsletter

The New York Times Trifecta of gas drilling

RDA salutes the New York Times and journalist Ian Urbina for a series of 3 articles on the lax regulation, wastewater treatment, and political ramifications surrounding the gas industry and the technology known as hydrofracing. The first story, published on Feb. 27, discussed the toxic and radioactive wastewater produced by the drilling process. On March 2nd, Urbina took a look at the recycling of this water by the industry. Two days later, the third NYT story focused on the deep division among federal regulators that has led to limited enforcement and narrowed research. The 3 articles, interactive maps, previously secret documents, and a wealth of research materials are all available online at:

RDA President Responds to Sun Gazette Letter

A letter to the Sun Gazette on Saturday, March 5th, was titled “Research Needed” and read as follows: I urge everyone who is so worried about fracing to do some research on it. There has never been one documented case of groundwater contamination. If you do not believe it, I challenge you to find one. All this misinformation by the media and the enviros is feeding mass hysteria. Undoubtedly you have new neighbors who are gas workers – go meet and ask them. What do you really know about fracing? Shannon Rutherford Williamsport In his rebuttal, RDA President Ralph Kisberg invites Ms. Rutherford to widen the lens through which she views the gas industry’s activities: Like many environmentalists, Shannon Rutherford overemphasizes a connection between a fracing operation and groundwater contamination (SG 3/5/11) in assessing the environmental impacts of gas development. There are other components of fracing to be concerned about. Even the chief operating officer of a Williamsport gas industry waste water treatment facility was quoted nationally last week saying, “No one wants to admit it, but at some point, even with reuse of this water, you have to confront the disposal question…there still needs to be a candid discussion, and there needs to be accountability about where even the recycled wastewater is going,” (NY Times 2/27/11). So far, there are no legal verdicts proving a frac procedure has caused groundwater contamination. However, the EPA is currently investigating well-water contamination in a heavily drilled area of Wyoming, has ordered a well developer to provide clean drinking water to residents above a contaminated aquifer in Texas, and in nearby Penn Township, in a 12/30/11 letter regarding an XTO Marquart well pad release of industrial wastewater, the DEP commented, “Groundwater has been documented to have been impacted by the sampling results of the spring discharge.” Anyone paying attention to our local news the past few years knows gas industry waste fluid dumping, spills, and accidents have happened here, and are unacceptable. If, in the research she recommends, Ms. Rutherford would include the work of Temple University Professor, Engineer and Hydrologist, Dr. Micheal Boufadel, she would learn why it might be years until fracing-related contaminants are detected in an aquifer. The gas industry’s legal and public relations arms utilize language very carefully. If we all stop pushing our agendas and begin warily examining what is going on, we can work together toward better outcomes from this welcome or unwelcome invasion we are all experiencing.

March in Harrisburg on March 9th

This Wednesday, March 9th, PA citizens will join Clean Water Action and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in a march to the offices of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the group that serves as the mouthpiece of the gas drilling industry. All interested persons are encouraged to attend. Marchers will gather at 1:30 pm outside the Capitol Forum at the S.E. corner of the Capitol Complex on Walnut Street between Commonwealth Avenue and 7th Street. Clean Water Action provides this statement regarding the purpose of the march: “Gas drilling companies like Exxon Mobil are making billions of dollars in profit, but not paying their fair share.  That’s why Governor Corbett is preparing to cut essential services– slashing things that people rely on like schools, care for seniors and veterans, environmental programs that protect our water, public transportation, roads & bridges, and more. The budget crisis was borne from corporate greed and Wall Street scam-artists. Join us to push for a fair budget, where vital services and environmental programs are protected because drilling companies pay their fair share!” If you would like to join an RDA carpool to the event, send your request to:

Why the cold bike ride to Harrisburg?

One of the marchers on Wednesday will arrive by bicycle. Peter Buckland is riding from his home near State College to join with others in Harrisburg. He writes: I will be riding my bike 110 miles to Harrisburg from my house in Pine Grove Mills to do my own small part to stand up to Corbett and the gas companies. It just seems like the right thing to do. The Corbett administration’s actions for the gas industry are out of control. Two recent decisions pushed me to this point. The first was to yank DCNR’s ability to assess potential impacts on state forest and parkland and the second was gutting DEP’s ability to monitor air quality from drilling sites. For me this is very personal because I love the forest. Every year I spend hundreds of hours in Rothrock, Bald Eagle, Moshannon, Tioga, Forbes, and Sprowl on my mountain bike, on hikes, and camping. Many of you have your own stories with our state forests. It is also about the quality of our water and air and my hopes and fears as a father. Who wants to wake up and have your daughter bleeding from her nose because of toxic chemicals in the water? Who wants to breathe evaporating benzene? Not me. I am riding my bike to Harrisburg because it is better for the forest, for the person, for water, for air, for noise, for the climate, and for all of us than gas trucks, well-pads, natural gas, and frack water. I am riding my bike because it means something better and brings me in touch with life and living. As a citizen of this commonwealth, the government should help me and my fellow common people to reach the common good. When I called the governor’s office and asked to speak with Corbett, I was told that all requests have to be submitted in writing. I could not talk to him on the phone or just arrange a meeting no matter my concerns. I understand. You can’t let just any yahoo in. Okay. My letter will be delivered in writing. I invite you to come with me as I deliver this request following the planned march on Wednesday.  I am doing this instead of using the faceless email or fax system. The point is to put another real face to this gas-drilling invasion. I am tired of this. I am worried. I am afraid. I am seeing and hearing too many angry and unheard people. I am also very motivated and believe that we must demand a better way for us, for the water, for the forests. Letters aren’t working. Protests keep failing. I write to my representative, Scott Conklin, and I get very short replies back and no solid action. My state senator, Jake Corman, is doing the gas industry’s bidding. We can’t match the industry’s hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy access to the governor. He HAS to talk with us. He is OUR governor. I have to do what I have to do. I invite you to attend the march and join me afterwards. It would be an honor to be accompanied by good people who deserve better. I suggest you also bring letters requesting to meet with Corbett. Even if we have to walk away at the end of the day in limbo, waiting for replies to our requests, at least we will have tried and started something new. Perhaps it will become something more. Or, maybe I’ll end up looking like a complete fool. I don’t know. I just know that something must be done differently. It is a modest goal. Please join me if you can. RSVP to With great hope, Peter Buckland

Advocacy workshop on Marcellus Shale development

You are invited to attend a strategy session on drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale to be held on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lycoming College’s Jane Schultz Room (700 College Place in Williamsport). The free event, sponsored by PennFuture, Clean Water Action, PennEnvironment, Pennsylvania Sierra Club, Responsible Drilling Alliance and EARTHWORKS, will focus on avenues and opportunities that are ripe for action in 2011. During the 3-hour event, you will:
  • Hear from top environmental advocates about the political landscape in 2011
  • Review the legislative avenues for action at the state and federal levels
  • Learn more about drilling on state lands, the severance fee, setbacks from water resources, bonding, enforcement and other issues confronting Pennsylvania
  • Learn more about wastewater treatment, compressor stations, municipal zoning authority, and the issues facing your local community
  • Find out how to be involved in local citizen monitoring and visual assessment efforts
The event is free, but pre registration is required. Register today at:


2:30 pm Sunday, March 20TH

United Methodist Church 1319 Eighth Street Drive, Watsontown

ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE Admission is FREE Donations to WRRRD gratefully accepted

Sponsored by: Warrior Run Residents For Responsible Development (WRRRD)

You are donating to : Responsible Drilling Alliance

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note