By Barb Jarmoska, RDA Board of DirectorsThere are some things that RDA does really well. At the top of the list is truth-telling. Since our inception, RDA has sought to expose the deceptive practices and outright lies perpetrated by the gas industry and their paid mouthpieces and lobbyists. RDA’s truth-telling began in earnest back in 2010 when Jon Bogle, a founder and past-president who continues to serve on the RDA Board of Directors, wrote his expose of a Penn State “research” report entitled An Emerging Giant. In truth, the report wasn’t research at all; it was industry-funded propaganda. In spite of the fact that the Sun Gazette didn’t carry the story, Jon’s article, Lies and Broken Promises, made headlines across the country and in several foreign nations. Jon’s entire expose is available on RDA’s web site. Here’s an excerpt from that 2010 article:
The “Penn State Report,” as the industry has dubbed it, is the big lie that has put Pennsylvania citizens at a disadvantage when negotiating their future with this new industry. Overstating their economic impact has been a very successful strategy for the gas industry. Trumpeting promises of jobs, tax generation and economic development has stampeded our legislators into giving concessions. Expecting a “greater good,” our elected officials have become more willing to sacrifice the well-being of the Marcellus region to what they believe is a coming bonanza for the entire state. The millions of dollars spent by the industry on lobbying and campaign contributions have helped to sell this proposition. Almost nothing in the Penn State study can be objectively verified because it relies on industry-generated statistics. The authors then applied these statistics through an off-the-shelf statistical software program, Implan, which, by its maker’s own admission, is highly malleable to the user’s intent.RDA’s truth-telling has continued on for the past 7 years, as we have hosted educational forums, offered testimony and written comments to state and federal agencies, shown documentary films, written letters to decision-makers, provided speakers and Power Point presentations to schools and civic groups, hosted a web site, maintained a presence on social media, and of course, continued to publish this RDA/Keep it Wild newsletter. As good as we are at telling the truth, there is something we don’t do well at all: ask for money. Oh, sure – the “DONATE” link appears at the end of each newsletter and in March we will remind you of our participation in First Community’s Raise the Region event, but we don’t cry “Please Help!” nearly as often as we need to. I am the treasurer of this organization, and thus acutely aware of its finances. As RDA closes out another successful year of truth-telling and trustworthy accountability, I am doing something here that makes all of us squirm a bit – I’m asking you to help RDA stay solvent through the coming year. In soliciting funds, it’s a common theme to proclaim that there is “no such thing as a too-small donation”. How very true that is for RDA. With a donation under $10 from everyone who subscribes to this newsletter, we could meet our financial needs for all of 2018. With more, we could do more. Donations can be made by check made payable and mailed to RDA. Our mailing address is: PO Box 502 Williamsport PA 17703-0502. Credit card donations can be made via the RDA Pay Pal account here: https://www.paypal.me/ResponsibleDrilling. If you can spare a few dollars, we are deeply grateful. If you can spare a few dollars, we are deeply grateful. Moreover…. if you can donate 2 hours of your time once a month, we’d love to have you come to a Working Group meeting on the second Wednesday evening of the month from 5:30 – 7:30. If you can re-post our newsletter and other announcements on Facebook – we offer thanks for helping to spread the word. Aldo Leopold wrote, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Here atop the Marcellus, in the place we call home, RDA partners with you as we carry on our work with an abiding love and respect for our way of life and our treasured land.