Where Did 2012 Go? A Report from Your EID Marcellus Team
It is an understatement to say 2012 has flown by, but what a year it’s been for our EID Marcellus team. We have continued to meet so many good friends among the landowners of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York as we and they have labored together for economic freedom, property rights and the revitalization of the region through natural gas development.
As we sat here going through our top posts of the year and listening to everyone’s favorites, it’s hard to believe so much could have occurred this year, but it did. Much was accomplished as we made the case for natural gas development and fought back against the negativism of those who would demand we all adhere to their unrealistic utopian ideas of an energy future when the truth is we need it all.
Let’s take a look back on the jam-packed, whirlwind year that was 2012.
This year we’ve hit some records with our website. We have over 800 posts written by our team and other contributors, over 500 of which were written in 2012! It means our team was busy writing about 1-2 posts per day every day this year to keep all our readers informed on the events occurring in the Marcellus. We also now receive roughly 70,000 to 80,000 page views per month, depending on the season.
Dimock not only got a clean bill of health from the EPA this year, but it was also still the hottest topic of the year our website, with many of the top posts discussing it.
The top post on our site, in fact, is still Ann Van Lenten and Jim Grisley of Dimock Proud’s rundown of what was actually occurring in Susquehanna County. Dimock: The Full Story was written back in 2011 and updated in late January, but still continues to receive new views every single day.
Our second highest post of the year was also on Dimock, in part, and was written by Jennifer Smokelin, Chris Rissetto and Michael Joy (Counsel, Partner and Partner, Reed Smith LLP). Their post, EPA Stumbles in Natural Gas Actions, went over the many missteps of the EPA this year from Pavilion to Texas and, yes, Dimock.
Let’s break it down a little more by our contributors.
Tom Shepstone, our Campaign Director, had a pretty busy year. In addition to all of the work behind the scenes for keeping EID Marcellus running smoothly, he managed to write 52 posts this year, bringing his total to 136 overall on our site.
His top post this year was one the antis love to poke at with disbelief, but the simple science is undeniable. When natural gas is combusted or burned, it creates water, and over a well’s life it will produce more water than was used to develop it. You can read all about this simple chemical equation in, “Turning Natural Gas Into Water: Hydraulic Fracturing Doesn’t Deplete Water Supplies.”
His next highest viewed post this year wasn’t too surprising considering Tom is a planner by trade and it’s a topic we’ve touched on often. Home rule in New York is just one part of the puzzle that needs to be determined when Governor Cuomo and the DEC finally allow permitting for natural gas development in New York. “NY Law Provides Legal Recourse to Town’s Duped By Slottje,” reviews the options afforded by law for landowners and municipalities impacted by Home Rule bans or moratoriums.
Tom couldn’t quite decide between two of his posts as to which was his favorite, so we decided to throw in both. Afterall, the two go hand in hand, if you can imagine a few celebrities who are short on facts and big on antics being vocal against natural gas development. Yoko Ono and Angry Alec Baldwin top the charts on over-the-top responses from the celebrity crowd in 2012.
Our Communications Director, John Krohn, also had a pretty busy year on the blog when he wasn’t on the phone with reporters or doing the many other tasks he does to support our team. He wrote 30 posts for a grand total of 73 overall.
His top post on New York State confirming the safety and economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing, which also happened to rank as the 3rd highest post on our site!
John doesn’t get to be on the ground as much as the rest of the team, but his second highest viewed post of this year was one of those times when he was able to go to an event, in this case a rally in D.C. where natural gas opponents inflated their numbers to well beyond those given by police monitoring the event. This led him to ask the pertinent question, “Can You Call It A Rally If No One Shows Up?”
John says his favorite post that he wrote this year was actually a recent one where he reviewed over 2,000 pages of EPA emails to uncover the agency’s history in Dimock. It was a lot of reading, but well worth it in the end to see how completely the EPA ignored the data in front of them when they first entered the Dimock debate this past year (only to come around and find the same thing DEP observed in the end).
Deputy Campaign Director, Nicole Jacobs, ended the year with 46 posts bringing her total to 106. She also took on some new responsibilities with her new role, as she covered events in and around the Williamsport, Mansfield, Towanda and Finger Lakes Regions.
Her top post was also one of her favorites, written when the EPA results were coming out in Dimock. It was a rundown of a video, we deemed “SautnerGate” where the true intentions and childlike behavior of some of the litigants really came to light.
Her second highest viewed post highlighted a major occurrence in our region and one of the major players in the Marcellus. It was on Shell’s win-win natural gas strategy throughout the Marcellus, including in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and their decision to put a cracker plant in the southwestern part of the state.
Nicole’s favorite post of the year was the breaking news story when Binghamton’s ban was overturned by a judge. Just before Christmas last year, the team had spent the entire day and night at the meeting where the decision was made and talking with local business owners, already seeing positive impacts, who would have been impacted negatively by a decision to stop natural gas development. Nicole never got home until 3am that night, so hearing the news nearly a year later that a judge agreed with what we’d been saying all along, “a moratorium is still a moratorium, no matter what you call it,” was like getting a late Christmas present. It was a great achievement for the landowners and business owners in and around Binghamton, and laid a good foundation for home rule in general.
Rachael Colley, our New York Field Director, spent most of the year at Slottje presentations and in the Dimock area. She travels all over New York and is rarely home, but never falters on her enthusiasm to see natural gas development come to New York State. This is ever apparent in her 92 total posts on our site, 53 from this year, most of which covered the “Great Davidski.”
No surprise, Rachael’s top post had to do with Slottje, and how the Town of Sidney said no to his ban legislation and yes to natural gas, allowing their landowners the right to choose whether or not to allow development on their properties.
In her second highest viewed post she debunked art professor turned economist, Janette Barth, to show the facts on how natural gas development is impacting municipalities across the border in Pennsylvania and what it could mean for New York.
Rachael’s favorite post this year was also a recent one she wrote on marijuana and locally elected municipal leaders, i.e. Mayor Matt Ryan of Binghamton. She participated in a lot of drug awareness programs in high school, and absolutely could not wrap her mind around how someone could be okay with directly putting chemicals into their body, but be opposed to natural gas development. It was not only an interesting post to research, but it showed the hypocrisy of so many in the anti crowd, and it was a nice break from writing about Slottje, she notes.
Our newest member to the Energy In Depth family wrote a total of 41 posts this year, a whopping amount for such a short time on the team. He jumped in with both feet on the ground covering a territory around Scranton, Susquehanna County, and throughout New York, traveling as far as Buffalo, Syracuse and Albany to cover events.
His top post covered a presentation given by Professor Ingraffea of Cornell University. Joe worked to debunk his wild claims and show people to seek more information instead of always believing what you hear from a Cornell Professor. He even got an interview with Tony the Tiger, where the latter dumped on his Cornell superiors, which is pretty fascinating.
His second most popular post was the first one he wrote which covered a trip he took down Carter Road. It was his first time in Dimock Pennsylvania and the first time he saw the impact from natural gas development. Those who have not taken the time to travel to these developed areas may want to read the post for some first hand experiences after travelling there for the first time.
Although Joe has not been at Energy In Depth as long as the rest of us, he feels he has learned a great deal. The ins and outs of natural gas development have become second nature to him, and understanding where energy comes from and how we use it has also been a great learning experience. His favorite among the posts he’s written is Welcome to the Rational Middle, Where Smart Energy Decisions are Made. The amount of information provided and its importance to understanding this energy debate made it truly rewarding. The Rational Middle Energy Series works to show people how we use energy and where it comes from. There is a whole other side to this debate that many people don’t take the time to learn about and its something everyone needs to do. Joe likes to quote Buckminster Fuller, an American systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist; who said “There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance.”
EID Guest Bloggers
The largest contributor of posts on our website, isn’t actually a member of the EID Marcellus team. You see, one of our major goals is to provide an outlet for landowners, business owners, and others in the Marcellus Shale to share their stories, expertise and experiences in various aspects of this debate. We have had 219 total guest posts on our site, 168 of them written this year, and hope to continue to give these folks a place to bring to light issues relevant to their communities in 2013. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our site. We can’t wait to see what you send us next year!
Here are some of the top ones for this year:
With the new year upon us, another year has gone by for New Yorker’s who continue to wait for the moratorium to be lifted. Many remain silent but some have begun to see through the anti attempts to keep economic prosperity stopped at the border. One such man is Frank Maines owner of the Red Wood Inn who became vocal once the protesters got to his front steps. His story is also one of our top guest posts this year.
Scott Cline, a New York petroleum engineer, has become a fairly regular contributor, with most of his posts making it onto the top list of the year. But, none have had as many views as his series on Deborah Rogers debunking her statements on the economics behind shale gas development in New York State. If you haven’t read about the “Mother of all Spin (Part 2, 3, 4),” it’s well worth a few moments of your time.
Don Siegel, a Professor of Hydrogeology, Syracuse University debunked a paper written by the National Ground Water Association stating, “vertical transport of contaminants from the Marcellus Shale formation of southern New York to potable, near-surface aquifers is not only plausible, but likely – brought to us in as few as “three years,” he argues, and all because of hydraulic fracturing.” Don explains in three short parts the problems with this published journal for another one of our top guest posts of the year. Problem 1 – Mistaken assumptions on rocks above the marcellus shale, problem 2 – Mistaken assumptions with respect to movement of groundwater, problem 3 – Assumed fracture lengths wildly exaggerated. Given that groundwater contamination a concern for everyone it is worth understanding the science behind how it cannot happen.
We hope you had as much fun reading through our posts this year, as we did compiling the list, and couldn’t be more grateful for all of you who follow along silently or vocally, who write for us or just read what’s up there each day. We’ll continue to try to provide you with fresh content, relevant to your community every day in 2013 and welcome your suggestions for what you’d like to hear more about. And, we’ve got some exciting things in the works for 2013, so stay tuned.
From our whole team we wish you a very happy New Year. Be safe tonight and let’s make it a great 2013!