"Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked to Eliza Griswold about her new book "Amity and Prosperity," which delves into how the fracking company changed people's lives in one rural Pennsylvania community. ...

Eliza Griswold: So Commins the puppy belonged to Beth and John Voyles. And Beth Voyles, she thinks Cummins drank from a puddle of water that was contaminated by industrial waste. And that's what made him sick, and eventually Cummins died. ...

Ryssdal: I want to point out here that this is a story, in part, anyway, of the terrible things that happened to Stacey Haney's family — contaminated water is the least of them. The child gets horribly sick, the livestock — I mean, terrible, terrible things happen after she signs with Range Resources, the fracking company."

Audio story and transcript: https://www.marketplace.org/2018/06/12/economy/how-has-energy-boom-...

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We are all surely gonna DIE!    oooohhhh.  The Frack devil is running wild. THe sky is falling,the sky is falling.

You have a great sense of humor OT. Looking back at the 83 years behind me, I have to wonder why I am still able to walk at all.  I've had some pretty close calls.....Just dumb luck and no panic as I chose the right move to make!

Granddad Ladd

I live 2 miles from this well site profiled in the book.  While i am a leaseholder and I recognize that the majority of people do not suffer ill effects, these people's lives were destroyed by carelessness.  Please read the book before you comment.  It is written by a reporter who presents facts clearly and concisely.  This is one of those early cases that all the gas companies learned from.

'reporter' and 'facts' clearly should not be used in the same sentence

but E&P companies do mess up, and when they do, they should fess up and fix their errors.  Its unfortunate that human nature is more akin to covering up and denying.  Oh maybe that has something to do with lawyers...

Eliza Griswold will speak on Thursday 6/21 at 6pm at the Carnegie Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh. Free.

In conversation with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Environment Reporter Don Hopey.

Prize-winning poet and journalist Eliza Griswold’s Amity and Prosperity is an expose on how fracking shattered a rural Pennsylvania town (just outside of Pittsburgh), and how one lifelong resident brought the story into the national spotlight. An incredible true account of investigative journalism and a devastating indictment of energy politics in America.


Book review excerpt for "Amity and Prosperity":

"Griswold writes of Stacey Haney, a nurse who leased her mineral rights to Range Resources in 2008. Haney thought the money would help her and her two children, whom she was raising on her own after a divorce. Stacey tries to counter the odor with spritzings of Febreze and a steady supply of potpourri. Parts of “Amity and Prosperity” read as intimately as a novel, though its insidious, slow-motion ordeal is all too real.

Griswold follows the Haneys over the years as their hope turns to worry and grinding disillusionment. Stacey’s problems begin with her old farmhouse, which acquires a blanket of dust and a cracked foundation after Range’s trucks start barreling up the dirt road nearby. Then the health problems kick in. Watery eyes and runny noses eventually give way to headaches and mouth ulcers. Stacey, in a loving relationship but anxious about cancer risks and fetal deformities, gets her tubes tied. “After the gas wells,” Stacey says, “we just don’t heal right.”

Most debilitated is her teenage son, Harley, who suffers from stomach ailments so overwhelming that he becomes a “listless stick figure” and can no longer attend his regular school. A urine test reveals arsenic poisoning. Stacey’s hydrologist says her well water is contaminated, while Range’s experts say otherwise. The company tells Harley his wood shop class — which he barely attended — might be to blame.

Griswold chronicles all of this with care, as the Haneys and their neighbors, the Voyles family, endure mysterious ailments as well as the brutal demise of their farm animals to sudden seizures and horrific bleeding. But the graphic parts of this book are in some ways the least of it. Even more crushing are the humiliations of litigation, as Stacey and her neighbors try to get help from Pennsylvania’s financially decimated Department of Environmental Protection. The D.E.P. gives them such a runaround that they have to petition the courts to force the state agency to do its job.

Range doesn’t look good in Griswold’s account, but at least the avarice of a corporation bent on profit maximization isn’t all that surprising; what’s more astonishing is the failure of the state government to regulate the company properly, and to protect the people under its watch. Here, Griswold’s multiple years of reporting convey the slow crawl of accumulating frustrations that eroded trust in government bit by bit. All the while, victims like the Haneys fret over the hassle and cost of obtaining clean water, as Range hands out mini water bottles at the county fair."


All of this is anecdotal.

No proof of direct causal effect.

Just made up horror stories.

What next? The Creature from the Black Lagoon of Frac Water?

No, it is all carefully documented.  If you read the book you will find that two very experienced lawyers took on her case bro bono and put a million dollars of time into it, getting expert witnesses and finding horrific things- like how Range sore they divulged what was in the frak fluid, then she found two separate sets of results with  the dangerous chemicals that these people tested positive for left off their lists.  I know ever person mentioned in the book.  They are not making this up.  Range has since admitted that in this case, in the earlier days of drilling in Pennsylvania, they did things that  didn't work and now they have changed many many procedures.  If you have a safe fracking experience, you can thank these people who went through hell.  


The point you are missing is this, the procedure - hydraulic fracturing, was not the cause of any of the "problems".

People such as Paul, conflate oil and gas development with hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is but one part of the drilling and completion operation.

The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has allowed for the development of the Utica Shale and Marcellus shale.

People such as Paul hate this and will make things up to discredit the benefit development of the "shales" has brought to this area and the country.

... and for a bit of balance, here is Range's response:


The first sentence in their response is a lie.  It is not funded by anyone.  I personally know the author and she says this is just one of the lies they tell about her.

And Range doesn't say that they settled rather than go to court, because the case was so strong.

I was at that recent meeting they refer to and yes, they have been good about telling us what they want us to know. 

The physical facts showed that his water well was located adjacent to a salvage yard with numerous automobiles and other solid waste product on the grounds over the years…The appellant never performed any maintenance on his water well or on his septic system."


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