Marcellus Shale drilling opponents continue their push | Pittsburgh Business Times
Pittsburgh Business Times - by Anya Litvak
Date: Friday, October 29, 2010, 3:55pm EDT
In advance of the big anti-Marcellus Shale drilling bash in Pittsburgh on Nov. 3, we’ve been talking to some industry opponents to see how much progress they feel they’re making in shutting down this Marcellus gig.
(By the way, our print story said the protest was on Nov. 2. Sorry about that. Think of it as an extra day for your Frac-themed signs to dry.)
The protest is scheduled to coincide with the Developing Unconventional Gas conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where Range Resources has installed a billboard to overlook the entrance to Downtown Pittsburgh.
Josh Fox, the filmmaker who stirred up anti-gas industry froth with his movie "Gasland," is expected to be in attendance.
This week, another shale conference was in town, apparently under the radar of opposition groups: Platt’s 3rd Annual Appalachian Gas Conference.
Gasland was mentioned several times during the conference, held Thursday and Friday.
Today, Mark Casaday, vice president of PVR Midstream’s Eastern Region, said his company was merrily gathering right-of-ways for its pipeline project in Pennsylvania when Gasland came out and landowners started to get prickly, extending the project's timeline.
Yesterday, Range Resources spokesman Matt Pitzarella called it a “propaganda film,” counting the New York Times and the Washington Post among like-minded reviewers.
Pitzarella was there to give a talk about community relations, during which he declared that “activism is alive and well” in Pittsburgh but said opponents and community members need to be engaged.
Then he flashed this picture of Lincoln Place resident Loretta Weir, a very vocal opponent of the industry who often comes to community gatherings wearing a shirt that says “No Marcellus Shale Drilling” inside a red circle with a slash through the words.
“I agree with her,” Pitzarella joked.
Several hours later, one of Range’s most vocal critics — Mt. Pleasant resident Steph Hallowich, who has filed a lawsuit against the company — sent an e-mail blast with a picture of a Range Resources branded glow stick that her daughter received in school that day.
“I wonder if they have found a new way of disposing of hydraulic fracturing waste water??? It has a really creepy glow. Looks a little like my well water! :-),” she added.
Hallowich and Pitzarella are such common voices in this debate that both were featured in National Geographic, which has been running a series of stories on the Marcellus Shale with lots of southwestern Pennsylvania faces.
Does any of this activism make a difference?
The LA Times entertainment blog weighed in last week, saying Josh Fox’s film “Gasland” shook things up a bit but “Angelina Jolie could grab more attention with a wave of her hand.”
An anti-drilling group from Arkansas reports that Fox will release Gasland II in the spring, which might explain why he was shooting here earlier this year.
For the original online article, see: Marcellus Shale drilling opponents continue their push | Pittsburgh Business Times