|photo by Frank Finan|
Not content with going after the New York Times, now the gas industry is targeting public meetings – at least in a more obvious manner (because – heck – they’ve always sent industry supporters to meetings).
Yesterday Jennifer Cox, Chesapeake Energy’s “coordinator of corporate development for Marcellus Shale” sent out an urgent e-mail appeal asking pro-gas supporters to attend a talk in Deposit. Not one that Chesapeake is presenting – but one organized by a group of citizens who want to know more about what gas drilling looks like in agricultural communities.
The event, “Neighbor to Neighbor: Living the Drill” features two Bradford County (PA) dairy farmers, Carolyn Knapp and Carol French. I’ve heard these women – they speak honestly about how industrialized drilling has changed their agricultural landscape. They share accounts of how drilling has impacted their neighbors – some of whom have had to sell their livestock because the drilling made it impossible to move cows to pasture or bring hay back to the barn.
The idea that people might be talking to their neighbors seems to bother Chesapeake, so Cox is asking drilling supporters to “attend and share with others the economic benefits that natural gas development has brought to your community and the positive impact the industry can have on our nation’s economy and energy security”.
Why is she – and Chesapeake – so concerned? “Public opinion about the industry is still being shaped,” Cox wrote, “and you have an important role to play.”
If you want to hear just normal folks share what it’s been like to continue farming while surrounded by a ring of wells a mile away, head to Deposit this Sunday, October 23. The talk begins at 2 pm at the State Theatre, 148 Front Street. Doors open at 1:45 for refreshments and conversation.