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December 09, 2016
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The good life in Bradford

Jack Danchak

After seeing some TV advertisements for jobs recently in Towanda and other parts of Bradford County, where natural gas drilling is already taking place, and where a recent spill occurred, I decided to take a ride out there. On arrival I saw a town that was booming. People were cheerful; they looked happy and were very friendly. They did not hesitate to talk about gas drilling and how it is improving their economy. Gas companies are looking for truck drivers, security guards and laborers. Restaurants are seeking waitresses and other help. Motels were filled with signs saying “No Vacancy.” Supermarkets and mini-markets looked busy. I felt like I was in a different world compared to Sullivan County, NY.

I did see protesters holding signs about the accident and spill that recently occurred here. Chesapeake Energy Co. replaced a damaged wellhead, thus bringing everything under control. Tests have shown this spill had no effect on environment issues.

It seems that whenever someone slips on a banana peel, the anti-drilling protesters are right there. I did take notice, by talking to the protesters, that many were not from this immediate area, which gave me the impression of them being “professional protesters” because they will go anywhere to protest against drilling for natural gas.

I did not see any devastation of the environment or contamination of drinking water. I did not see or hear of any livestock being sickened from polluted water. I did not hear of people complaining from taking showers that lead to skin rashes and other medical problems. I did not notice dead fish floating in their streams. In fact, the Pennsylvania trout fishing season just opened and the streams were filled with fishermen catching trout and apparently enjoying themselves.

I was told that a farmer who leased his 250-acre farm for natural gas drilling has five working well pads on his land and is receiving royalties of $22,000 a week or $88,000 a month for a yearly income total of $1,056,000. He expects the gas company to be producing gas for at least 10 years.

I ask anyone who doubts what I saw in Bradford County to take a ride and see for yourself.

Recently, when the Highland Town Board presented resolutions to the county legislature and asked for their support, Sullivan County Legislator Frank Armstrong is reported to have said, “While I agree with the intent of taking care of roads, what this really is an anti-drilling statement. And if they’re asking the county for support on this issue, I think that’s the wrong direction we need to go in, especially in hard economic times.” Public Works Commissioner Bob Meyer also indicated that industries like gas drilling are important to New York’s economy.

We need more people like Armstrong and Meyer to sound off. They realize the jobs and benefits that natural gas drilling would have for our county and New York State.

I am an environmentalist and have been one all my life. I own a 100-acre fishing lake in Bethel, and I believe the geologists, the experts and the knowledgeable people when they tell me they can drill for natural gas beneath my lake and not pollute it or any other waterway in Sullivan County. I know what natural gas drilling will do for the economy in Sullivan County and New York State.

Sullivan County, what are we waiting for? Drill, baby, drill.

[Jack Danchak is a resident of Swan Lake, NY.]

You are so right, Jack!

Today's Scranton paper (June 27,2011):

Each of the Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. wells in Dimock Twp., Susquehanna County, is capable of producing 30 million cubic feet per day - believed to be a record for the Marcellus and enough gas to supply nearly 1,000 homes for a year. The landowners attached to the wells, who leased the well access, numbering fewer than 25, are splitting hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly royalties.

"There was definitely excitement among the team that planned out these wells and executed their completion," said Cabot spokesman George Stark.

Drilling companies knew the Marcellus held a lot of gas. They just had to figure out a way to get it out, and they say they're getting better at it all the time.

The result is that the Marcellus, a rock formation beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio, has turned out to be an even more prolific source of gas than anyone anticipated. Energy firms are boosting their production targets, not only because new wells are coming on line but also because they're managing to coax more gas from each well

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/gushers-show-shale-s-potential-1.116757...

Washington, Pa

TheNatural had the pleasure of hearing a few neighbors relate their recent experiences in Washington, Pa at a hearing by some Department of Energy panel. Commenter after commenter that spoke before the panel told how much gas drilling has improved their lives. It was very heart warming to see a healthy economy based on a product that is needed by all and helps this nation gain energy independence. There was a blow-out in that county months ago that obstructionists claimed was the end of days. It was handled, no one died, all is well, and the economy flourishes. These people strongly support gas drilling.

Joshy Fox filmed himself give his usual "no gas is safe" speech and then rushed to his camera to film his adoring fan as he stood and cheered the brilliance that is Fox. Jester was asked once again as he was leaving about what gas company offered him so much more to lease his dad's property than anyone else was offered, but he declined to comment. A man that signed up to speak in the #28 slot read all the names listed before him and the Fox name did not appear. Guess what. Fox spoke before him and the #28 man somehow slid back to #38 on the speaker list. Funny how that works.

The neighbors said the trip was a real eye opener and made them realize how good things will be in Wayne County when gas drilling gears up. Mr. Danchek has only seen the beginnings of the benefits of natural gas extraction.

the natural's comment was paid for by Energy in Depth?

Yes, thenatural's neighbors who made the trip out to Washington PA, all expenses paid for by Energy in Depth, and organized by our own Energy in Depth's local rep, Tom Shepstone, to make a two minute statement to the panel headed by John Deutch, the chemical engineer on the board of Cheniere? Energy? What an industry sided panel (six of seven members?),appointed by President Obama's energy czar Chu! What a travesty!

A panel that should be gathering info from people whose health has been negatively impacted by shale gas drilling, has the majority of speaking slots taken up by a group that has been flown, or bussed in from a few hundred miles away, hotel paid for, along with meals, by Energy in Depth, to simply state that such drilling is an economic godsend?

What a tremendous waste of money and time.


the energy panel was made up of energy experts. They could not round up enough bad actors, sleazy film makers, whining second home owners, and performance artists to form an alternate panel. Jester Fox was even there. The neighbors said he gave a talk that amazed himself then rushed to his camera to video the reaction from his adoring fan. On the way out, Fox was asked point blank what company offered him $100K to lease his dad's property, but he had no response. He painted himself into a corner with that bogus bit of fluff he tossed into his mockumentary. Many people at the affair chuckled about his trailer trashing and eagerly await the next Fox epic, tentatively titled "Trailer Trashland". Some claimed that the now famous voodoo math was used when signing up speakers as somehow Fox slid in the lower speaker numbers in a mysterious fashion.

Name a beer after it!

Goes to show you how different our experiences can be. I've spent time in Bradford County and met people who had anything but the "good life" as a result of their experience with gas drilling. One gentleman lost his drinking water almost immediately after drilling started on a well pad next to his house; after that there was leakage of a dark, foul-smelling substance through the side of the pad embankment that might have been flowback waste material which Chesapeake spent weeks desperately trying to clean up. Bradford "Good Life""? This fellow's quality of life is ruined and he can't afford to move.

I photographed 4 upper middle class homes on a single road near Towanda that had the signature setup of 3 requisite items in the "Bradford Good Life": 1) a methane vent jutting up from the front lawn to let methane escape from the water well into the atmosphere to avoid explosion (adding to greenhouse effect, global warming and climate change about which nobody seems to care); 2) an unsightly water buffalo containing water to replace their ruined well water for bathing and cleaning, 3) their drinking water was either replaced via plastic bottles with surreal "Chesapeake Energy" labels or by a filtration system to remove toxic substances and/or the methane which is said not to be toxic altho explosive (jury's out on health effects of methane in drinking water as few studies have been done on long-term consumption of methanated water). Perhaps Mr Danchak would find the "good life" in drinking methane-laced or brown well water or letting his children or grandchildren drink it. He (and/or the gas company) might insist the water was always that way so it couldn't be the driller's fault; he was drinking all that brown water before the driller began drilling. Ah, yum yum, tasty! A family purchased a lovely house for the better part of a mil with full knowledge of methane in the water and sludge oozing from faucets. Yeah, sure.

Name a beer after it! Bradford Good Life!

These were only the houses where these hallmarks of the Shale Age were visible; other houses had these setups out of sight behind their houses. By the way, their property values have sunk like a rock and three of these families are suing the gas company individually for alleged ruination of their water.

Oh, and when I first entered Wyalusing my eyes and throat were stinging from the polluted air, and the roads were deeply rutted and torn up from the heavy frack truck traffic. Part of the stinging from the air came from the diesel exhaust fumes from the frack trucks. People get used to the air stinging their eyes and throats, takes only a few hours. But that doesn't mean the pathological process stops. The health effects just go inside and their symptoms will likely reappear in other forms later.

The Bradford Good Life! Here comes our future when the DRBC drops the flag to let drilling begin over here in the Delaware River watershed. What a godawfully stupid and negligent decision that will be. What job is worth the ruination of our air and water, our environment and our health? Name that one job or those 100 jobs or 1000 jobs or that amount of lease cash. There is nothing that is worth it and the only advantage you have in your position, Mr Danchak, is the fact that it hasn't happened to you yet.

Jane W. Prettyman

I Like Beer!

How about Wicked Ale? Already taken. How about Picken's Sweet Lite Crude? Or Sheister's BrewHaHa? Or StillNoFishKill Swill? Or Economic Stout? Or FauxFoxFroth? Or Obstructionist AleMent? Or Extremist Pilsner Agenda (EPA)? That last one was a stretch.

Sorry if I can't take this seriously.


Mr. John Danchak, Jr., the author above, alludes to the fact that he owns about 172.2 acres in Bethel, NY. It is clear that he envisions gaining his financial dream through this industrial development. It is also clear that he hopes to pursuade people by portraying this polluting, industrial, development as the means of providing the "good life" to the entire community, which is terribly far from the truth, rather than simply, "It's my property, drill baby drill".

It is the small minority of land owners, who have large properties, such as himself, along with the 250 acre fellow in Bradford, that he describes, who stand to benefit above the downsides of this development. The rest is speculation, and a crap shoot in a casino, where the odds are stacked against the community as a whole.

Never have so few, stood to gain so much, at the expense of the majority. The rest is boomtown propaganda, that has very little to do with the projected reality of our rural, residential communities.

The more peer reviewed, science based, study, and experience, that is learned about this new shale gas extraction process, the greater the peeling away of the pro shale gas propaganda.

Everyone should continue to keep their ears, and eyes, wide open. Don't be afraid, be very skeptical, especially when someone offers you that "free lunch".


If Jack Danchak lives in Swan Lake, NY, who is John Danchak, Jr. that has leased 134.61 acres in Buckingham Township, Wayne County, to Hess?

I guess under certain circumstances, if I went to Bradford County, and spoke only with people who are profiting from the shale gas extraction, I'd be looking through my rose colored glasses at the glass half (or more) full, too.

It would be nice if Mr. Jack Danchak would broaden his "view", to include the multiple dozens of households (the number is now reported to be over 100), in Bradford, that have had their drinking water contaminated by, at the least, explosive levels of methane. There have been less than 700 Marcellus gas wells drilled thus far in Bradford. That is a rate of contamination of higher than 1 household water source contaminated, to 7 Marcellus gas wells drilled.

Neither the gas companies, nor the PADEP, have yet stepped up to the plate in nearly a sufficient fashion.

Perhaps, the happy lessors can start a water replacement fund to pay to alleviate, or remediate, the contaminations resulting from shale gas extraction?

Perhaps then, their view would not be so rosy, and they might have a little more consideration for those who are suffering the intolerable impacts of this "good life".

Classic JB Maneuver

Let me guess, Mr. Barth, you couldn't wait to google, wikipedia, whathaveyou Mr. Danchak in an ill conceived attempt at digging up some dirt on the poor fellow to toss about the comment section as you have done countless times in the past to people who are careless enough to use their real names. Find out a guy owns some leased property and speculate on his intentions, eh? All I can say to that is: cowardly. On the bright side however, have you noticed that the editorials are also now authorless? Must be difficult for you, no? Perhaps more difficult than, say, percentages?

TheHick's Bull Shtick

No Google, no wiki (pedia or leaks), just the Citizens Voice public leasing information for Wayne County, and the PA and Sullivan County public tax assessment information websites.

Does finding out the fact that Mr. Danchak owns a lot of property, and has already leased the PA property (if that is his property), and would obviously like to lease his Bethel, NY property (if he hasn't already) constitute "digging up dirt on the poor fellow"?

I see it as exposing the obvious, and primary reason for his viewpoint, optimism, and enthusiasm for such drilling.

When this "poor fellow", to use TheHick's description, is expressing the opinion in these TRR pages, that this extraction makes "the good life" for everyone in Bradford, and will do the same in Sullivan, and Wayne, after I vomited, I responded, with some solid info.

This is "cowardly" to TheHick?

Quite to the contrary, it is his constant behavior that is cowardly, whether anonymous on websites, or anonymous in real life, like the American Waters Delaware River press conference last year, when he wormed around the crowd, sneaking up behind me, and others, and then, crowed about it the next day in the Wayne Independent.

What a gallant, brave, moral, man.


JB knows all about morality. He would never stoop so low as to bring up a person's prescription meds or marital status based on some crap he dug up online. But hey, why bring up the past? Stall, stall, fear, stall, repeat. If you have no valid argument, attack the messenger. How's that math class going?

Hick knows little about a lot

The Hick simply accuses others, of his own crimes. It is a little like the little boy who singsongs "I'm rubber, you're glue, what ever you say, bounces off me and sticks to you".

And, the Hick is a little boy, as we all can tell. He plays hide and seek, falsely identifies himself as film characters, calls others names, and accuses others who write under a real name, of being a coward, while he hides, afraid, in the dark, under a silly pen name.

He writes that I have no valid argument, when that is mostly all that I present, along with information. While, it is he who writes the kind of posts he has become known for.

I invite all who want to know him, to read here, or even more depressingly, in the Wayne Independent.

This is why TRR's online blog will fail. I will not post, and others who want to write under real names, will not post, because there is nothing to gain, everything to lose, while going back and forth in such a demeaning situation.

I continually challenge TheHick, the alternate side of his person, TheNatural, and TRR, to show courage, become real citizens, engage in a real dialog, in a real country. This is a very useless enterprise, a waste of time, otherwise.

As a longtime supporter of TRR, I hoped for so much more when the publication took this online road. I'm sorry to say that it is failing, miserably.

Dialogue Shmialogue

You don't want dialogue, you want conformity to your opinion. If one is so bold as to disagree or point out your epic math fail, you become angry and want them removed. I think the TRR is doing a stellar job and I can't help but notice more comments all the time. It would be nice to see a hit count difference between the time the TRR started the comment section and now. You see, this drilling is good for business and the TRR is raking in its fair share.

Also, "Don't Let Them Create an Industrial Zone"

A letter by Richard Kreznar, has generated 15 "comments" by three pen names. What are they? TheNatural, TheHick, and oibu. Wow, that is what TheHick describes as "...more comments all the time"?

TheHick/Natural love the sound of their own name. Yes, TRR is "raking in its fair share" of TheHick/Natural. That can not be denied.

Did TheHick, who says he lives in the SRB, ever purchase a TRR, or take out an ad? Did his twin coin flip, Natural, who says he lives on a "ponderosa" in the western edge of the DRB, ever purchase a TRR, or take out an ad?

Ooh, a one hundred year flood of BS is rising.

If one drops out the two of them, me, and oibu, how many comments would there be?


I do enjoy life in the SRB. I debunk obstructionist junk in the DRB pro bono. It is its own reward! What ad might I take out? Perhaps one on proper investments for shalionaires? or one on tuning hippie banjos?

Once again,

TheHick brings a smile to many faces with his clever responses to Mr. Barth's tired old refrain. Mr. Barth is enraged that the accepted internet custom of anonymous commenting even exists. He wants names so he can find out more about his worthy opponents. The message is in the text, not in the name of the contributor. Mr. Barth tries to insult and demean us anonymous commenters at every turn, even at the expense of his obstructionist allies. Why not stick to the subject matter, Mr. Barth? Voodoo math indicates you are ahead on points, if not patience. You shun open discussion and differing opinions and beg to have this forum limited to a few narcissists that love to see their name and opinion in print. Ideas need no name. They stand or fail on their own merits. TheHick, TheNatural, and even Obie are content to present ideas and opinions and discuss them. Only you, Mr. Barth, feel a higher calling, along with a large amount of name calling.

Envy, Envy, Envy

Mr. Barth is the poster child for property envy. He equates everything into money he will not be receiving. TheHick and Mr. Danchek hit the nail on the head. Most people that live in the area are badly in need of an economic shot in the arm. Gas drilling is that shot.

Straw men

Mr. Natural is the poster child for fabricating false, and empty motivations behind his opponent's comments. He can do this because he is a cartoon character, hiding, in cowardly fashion, behind anonymity. He can do this because TRR continues to allow these empty posts of his.

It is Mr. Danchak who was presenting a money equation as an argument for drilling. I responded to it, with obvious, factual (real) motivating factors behind Mr. Danchak's enthusiasm for this development.

I present far, far greater arguments against shale gas extraction than the economic factors, which are secondary to the destruction of health, and the inevitable environmental contamination that results.

Natural calls Perseusman (a blogger in the W.I.), Enviou$. Now, he calls me envious. What a shallow man he is, and what little he has to say.


Sometimes, it seems like you are trying to hurt TheNatural's feelings. Every blogger that does not use their Christian name is a cartoon character in your rather limited book. You have no arguments against shale drilling, Mr. Barth. You have only insult and fear. Fracturing has not contaminated a single well. The head of the EPA feels that natural gas is a very good fuel. The Susquehanna River is fine, and so are the residents of the many counties that have gas drilling. There are hundreds of thousands of people living in that area and you and your obstructionist friends search for a few malcontents that feel as you do and you push them on us. Gas drilling is not a problem. How would you suggest that we meet our energy needs if you find natural gas so onerous?

Natural misinformation

Going back and forth with the artificially, self-inflated character Natural, is a good definition of insanity, so I admit, I'm temporarily insane to respond.

In this case though, Natural refers to a Lisa Jackson recent comment at a congressional hearing, to support his gas as a good fuel theory. In the same breath, he repeats the Jim Inhofe canard, that "frac'ing" hasn't contaminated anything. People seem to agree that there is no direct evidence it has, just as people seem to agree there is no evidence it has not. There is no evidence, because there has been no study completed, let alone a scientific, peer reviewed study(and Mr. Natural is very happy that there is no study, and is fighting hard to prevent investigation and study).

There is absolute evidence of methane migration, and chemical migration, into private water wells after drilling and frac'ing, however. This contamination from the whole process can not be denied, except by the anonymous mousekateers, who suffer no consequence to their shoddy reputations. They just deny and repeat.

There are about one hundred cases of household water well contamination in Bradford County, alone. I repeat, Bradford County alone, which does not have "hundreds of thousands" of people living there. We are talking about Bradford here, not the entire Susquehanna River Basin. If Mr. Natural thinks that about 100 private, household, drinking wells contaminated by the drilling of less than 700 Marcellus wells is a ratio to mock, or dismiss, then he should do PR work for Muammar Gaddafi, and Gaddafi's partner, Hess (Oh, I forgot, Natural already does PR work for Hess).

So, let's visit Lisa Jackson's appearance before the recent House committee. She said "Burning natural gas creates less air pollution than burning other fossil fuels." No one contests this argument about the "blue flame" point of burning.
That is not the case with the whole extraction process, but enough on this.

As to frac'ing and contamination, however, here is her exchange with Rep. Gerald Connolly:

"Is there any evidence that hydraulic fraction... can affect aquifers and water supplies?" Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va, asked.‬

“There’s evidence that it can certainly affect them," Jackson conceded. But as far as evidence it ever has, she said "I am not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water, although there are investigations ongoing."

In that case, she is referring ONLY to the fracturing moment, and what she says should be plenty clear to everyone, if not Mr. Natural. It will not stop him from beating this poor, dead horse, however. If he didn't have the dead horse, what would he say. Oh, yes, "envious".

The link to the Lisa Jackson quotes is:

Amusing that

this cartoon character had to correct the voodoo math of the self proclaimed genius that is Jim Barth. Us clowns get lucky once in a while.

Hit the nail on the head

Congratulations on having the gumption to go see for yourself. I, like you, had my doubts but quickly sought out the professionals and did my own investigation of the facts before I jumped into a lease. These drilling people are shrewd and will try to pull a financial fast one on you from time to time but that is just that pesky American thing called a profit motive which exists in every business including mockumentary film productions by which an unscrupulous person will prey on the fears and misconceptions of a relatively new industry.

In my mind, the simple fact is that the average non government employed resident of Pennsylvania and New York need whatever economic boost they can get and this is it. The anti crowd will incessantly repeat a few key talking points (none of which they can prove). The fact is that for whatever reason they are insanely comfortable with the status quo. They don't feel economic pressure. They don't mind or don't have to pay taxes on land they can't drill. They think it is perfectly rational to dictate what others can do with their property. They are scared to death of something they don't understand and enjoy spreading this fear like some sort of air borne illness. Is this you? Do you worry about the impact of five well pads on someone else's property despite the fact if it wasn't well pads it would be condominiums? Do you ponder what is acceptable energy production while you fill up the Eddie Bauer edition SUV? Or are you the person putting off the phone bill to pay the light bill? Given up on finding a job because there are none. Cleaning toilets in a camp bunk for $5 bucks an hour wondering how people in Long Island can pay $8000 to get rid of their brats for 8 weeks? These same brats grow up with a nastalgia for the area, buy a second home and demand a moratorium on drilling. When are we as a nation going to pull our heads out of our collective backsides and start producing a product again? Is this the economy for unfounded sensitivities?

5 well pads on 250 acres?

Mr. Danchak wrote "I was told that a farmer who leased his 250-acre farm for natural gas drilling has five working well pads on his land...". Is Mr. Danchak confusing "pads" with "wells"? I ask this because most shale gas enthusiasts, and lobbyists, claim surface disturbance benefits by describing one pad per 640 acre, or even 1,280 acre unit. This puts one pad per 50 acres, which is disturbing to say the least. At that rate, something like 10% of the land surface would be changed, given an average of 5 acres per pad.

Even if it is one pad, with five wells, on 250 acres, that translates into a lot of pads, and a huge amount of wells.