Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," ranting and raving and generally misbehaving since 2005! I'm your host, Anne Johnson. From a long line of Artemas, Pennsylvania Johnsons.
Seriously. If you write "Johnson" and "Artemas, Pennsylvania," and the Zip code on an envelope and send it, the letter will fall into the hands of someone related to me. Probably my uncle Foggy. They send all the weird stuff to him. He drew this picture of our homestead. Isn't it nice?
This past week there was a meeting in Artemas, Pennsylvania at the community center for all the residents of that area. The topic: drilling for and storing gas from the Marcellus Shale Deposit, a repository of natural gas that sits about 2 miles underground deep beneath Pennsylvania, mountain Maryland, and West Virginia.
The meeting was held so that residents could talk to a representative of Columbia Gas Transmission and Geokinetics USA Inc., the company that has been browbeating and misleading ... errrr ... trying to browbeat and mislead locals into allowing it to do seismic tests for natural gas on peoples' properties.
I don't think Columbia's hired hack was quite prepared for the reception she got in Artemas (permanent population, 7). Sounds to me like the entire lower half of Bedford County turned out to give the corporate shill a butt-kicking, richly deserved.
First, the good people of Artemas demanded a "town hall"-style format. Then they let fly. I'm sure that shill was surprise to find herself among a hostile crowd that would rather have pure drinking water and a nice view of the sunset than pockets full of Big Oil money.
The last time I posted about Marcellus Shale drilling, I was on the fence about it. No more.
First of all, I'm grateful that this process is occurring in Pennsylvania, because the Philadelphia Inquirer has been covering it. Today, in a pro-business article meant to ease fears that the drilling would foul local watersheds and personal wells, the newspaper printed a graphic of how the drilling process works, what is sent into the ground, and what comes out.
Thanks, Inquirer. This gas drilling looks to me like just the latest creative rape of Appalachia. NIMBY, bitches!
Second, this corporate entity, Columbia Gas Transmission etc. etc. etc. USA Inc., has used tactics that were based on a snobby certainty that Appalachian people can be easily fooled and manipulated, lied to with impunity, and otherwise trod upon.
CGT, etc. etc. etc. sent letters to residents of Bedford County and its neighboring Maryland county, Allegany, basically telling people that they had to sign on for seismic testing on their properties, or it would be done without their consent under an eminent domain kind of thing.
With the rich history of corporate greed all around them, the residents of southern Bedford County said, in essence, "Take your briefcases and lawyers and go back to Texas." There's a recession on, and no one's buying boondoggles anymore.
Thank goodness, because based on these drawings in the Inquirer, the earnest collection of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale Deposit will create a wasteland and call it progress. Yes, there is a lotta gas trapped deep beneath those craggy mountains. But it's not nearly enough to make a serious difference in our country's energy needs.
It's kind of whacked when you think about it. The sun beams down every day. The wind blows every day. And yet we've got to drill miles and miles deep into ancient mountains to get the power to cook our grits?
Am I missing something?
In conclusion, as a taxpayer in the township for which Artemas serves as community center, I put down my dainty foot and say ... no. The only thing that will be drilled on my property during my ownership will be a new well. For baths and drinking and such. That kind of well.
Not. In. My. Back. Yard. Bitches.
And I'm glad my neighbors and kinfolk agree.