Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Ultimate Shell Game: New York Times Exposes Natural Gas Drillers Manipulating Energy Market

Big Gas is playing with us.

Posted by: Noël Jones

In this exposé for The New York Times, Ian Urbina reveals the content of industry insider emails that suggest that those within the natural gas industry, and those who make their profits by speculating on the energy sector, are deliberately manipulating the market by overstating natural gas reserves--in other words, claiming that the wells will produce gas for up to 65 years, when they know that they are not likely to produce for more than 10, and in some cases they are not suspected to produce much at all, after destroying the environment to drill them.

Let's restate the opposing sides of the hydrofracking issue:

1. Those against fracking say the process is dangerous to the environment and human health, and risks destroying the drinking
water flowing into our homes through our taps (and our property values along with it). Families are getting seriously ill, and winning settlements from gas companies upstate from us.

2. Those in favor of fracking say that the process is not dangerous to the environment, not making anyone sick at all, and that it will earn hundreds of millions of dollars that will benefit the states through severance taxes, while helping America to become independent of foreign oil.

So now--even if you're on team #2--you know that you have been had. This article even quotes emails from a former Enron official who says that the behavior of these drillers and speculators reminds him of behavior at Enron before they were busted. Now we have one more reason to fight these drillers--to prevent a deeper economic crash than the one we're already in, based on the phony projections and value inflations of these greedy bastards. 

These drillers do not care if they make us sick, if they destroy our drinking water, our environment and our property values. They will just keep on lying and laughing, all the way to the bank, at our expense.

Are you ready to fight yet? Click on the links on the right side of the home page to contact your local, state and federal elected officials, or click the links higher up to write a letter-to-the-editor of the Express-Times and Morning Call.


Anonymous said...

I attended my National League of Cities Environmental Steering Committee two weeks ago and had an interesting session on fracking. The first speaker was from the industry and of course touted the process as being the next best thing to motherhood and then we heard from a rep from the EPA. That was scary. EPA is "doing a study" that isn't scheduled to be completed until almost 2013 and he presented the Agency in a way that they didn't think it was a priority. He learned differently from many of us local officials in the room.

This is getting more and more serious and I am also really upset that our Senate Republicans are caving in to Governor Corbett on the whole issue of the industry and it's impact on the environment - especially our clean water initiatives, and we still have't imposed some type of fee to cover mishaps.

Keep up the good work on keeping this issue in the front of everyone's minds becasue it must be addressed.

Anonymous said...

oops, that was me, Sal Panto the wrote the above.

noel jones said...

Thanks, Mayor, I thought that must have been you!

It is comforting to know that at least we in Easton have a mayor that takes this issue seriously, but it is up to us as residents to give him the support he needs on this issue, and to apply CONSISTENT pressure on our state and federal officials.

I want to appeal to everyone, to please make this a regular part of your week. Set a calendar reminder to call or email at least one official each week, or write a letter to the editor or take some other action weekly, so that they are inundated with concerns from the people who put them in office and begin to take this issue SERIOUSLY.

Mayor Panto--I'm interested to know whether or not you have had conversations with other mayors nearby who are also taking this issue seriously? I have not heard a peep out of the Bethlehem or Allentown mayors on this issue, but I could very well have missed it. I am interested in the mayors of smaller neighbors of Easton as well. This blog has a lot of readership in Bethlehem and Allentown, so it would be good for them to know whether or not their mayors are also taking the reins on this one.

noel jones said...

Here is the email I sent to Senator Bob Mensch and Representative Bob Freeman--please feel free to use as much of this language as you like in an email of your own if it is helpful. Quick and easy--you can copy the text, click on the appropriate link on the right side of the home page, paste the text into an email and then edit it to make it your own:

Senator Mensch and Representative Freeman,

I appeal to you as your constituent once again to do all in your power to stop the onslaught of more fracking in the Delaware Watershed before the EPA cumulative impact study is finished. Here is the link to my latest blog post on the topic, which aggregates Ian Urbina's latest article for The New York Times, exposing industry insider emails that reveal that those in the business of both production and speculation are aware that reserve estimates are deliberately being inflated by as much as 50 years of gas production, threatening to set the stage for an additional economic collapse on top of the one we're already in:


If these tens of thousands of projected wells are given the green light in Harrisburg, it will be disastrous for our state, and the behavior of these drillers and energy speculators is dangerous to our nation's economy. Wells in Texas are already down to 10-20% of projected production. These drillers and traders are all about short-term profit, and are lying to get richer, and they do not care if they destroy the drinking water in our homes and make people seriously ill to do it, any more than investment bankers and hedge fund professionals cared when they were trading risky subprime mortgages as AAA products, tanking our economy while they laughed all the way to the bank, continuing to pull down huge annual bonuses, in addition to their lucrative salaries and side-by-side investing with their firms.

Now, there is not even the lure of the potential severance tax to cling to, as those estimates are based on reserve estimates on up to 65 years of bogus projected production.

Please do all you can to stop this before our drinking water, property values, and environment are destroyed!


Noël Jones
Neighbors of Easton

tunsie said...

I yuv U noel.........anonumous