Marcellus drilling in New Milton area
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Marcellus Researcher

United States

#21 Aug 7, 2012
Also why are you attacking the John Erwin family? You say there are 65 other of these type wells being drilled in Doddridge County. I don't see you bashing these familie's names. Sounds like to me you are personally discriminating against them. If you are attacking Antero and their drilling then do so with ALL land and mineral rights owners who are permitting drilling on their properties. You sound intelligent but I think NOT! Leave people alone and use your time constructively.
I too have heard that statement about 65 other Marcellus wells currently being engineered for this county. A lot of people are surface owners who are drilled on and don't make that decision.

Did you know that 50% of all suface land is owned by "absentee landowners" who live out of state? And 80% of the minerals are owned by people or companies out-of-state, so also absentee mineral owners.(Those figures from published research back in 1974 and 1984) and I understand now that a research groups is currently updating that data by court record searches statewide to see the current stats...due out this fall.

Most of the wells currently underway now or proposed soon are from leases dating as far back as 1920 or even older and not belonging to the surface owner. Perhaps in this guy's case he owned his minerals and made that proactive decision to drill. Absolutely his right to do so.

But, unfortunately, unlike conventional, shallow, vertical wells of the past, the Marcellus drilling most definitely affects much more than the landowner where the pad goes. Again, do some research about this on the internet.

Since you are on this site, you obviously enjoy using the internet to share opinions and exchange ideas and information. Please start googling fracking issues and read what's out there.

For every (industry sponsored) research article that says shale gas drilling and horizontal fracking is safe, I guarantee I can produce at least a dozen other articles (by research universities not funded by the industry or environmental groups) that say otherwise.

Whole communities are having well water issues, strange rashes, nosebleeds, respiratory problems (read about silicosis for well workers) livestock issues,etc., and all are people living near these wells.

The emissions and use of extremely toxic chemicals in Marcellus drilling, wasn't what was used in conventional drilling. This is quite different. Fascinating to learn about. But also very scary.

Already the rhetoric is picking up from people just starting to feel the adverse impact from the little bit of drilling that's gotten underway here in Doddridge. Tip of the iceburg, and hopefully the research community can learn from it since PA is already having issues.

Time will tell for Doddridge citizens, won't it?

Hyattsville, MD

#22 Aug 8, 2012
This is a post directed at the drilling industry:(Please, lend me your ear...)

I've got an idea, why don't we stop with the bickering and legal positioning and simply solve the problem once and for all?

Yes, this may require some "out of the box" thinking, but I'm betting it can be done. When it is, the drilling/extraction industries will IMO, look like a heroes to the American public! How much would that be worth to you?

I agree with what's been said here about simply moving and leaving Doddridge county as a sacrificial extraction zone for the producers to use as they will. I for one would like nothing more than to do this.

My problem with this plan, has been that the industry seems to be far more interested in winning a legal fight than working with citizens to find mutually beneficial solutions?

This makes me wonder, who is truly benefiting from the whole process as it exists today? I wonder, how many billable hours are involved in all of this litigating? I also wonder, could there be just a little self interest involved in the advice that is being giving to the decision makers in the industry? I don't know, I'm just just asking the question...

To answer the next obvious question on my side of this, yes, I've tried to sell and have thus far been unable to do so. Partly because in my opinion, too many people know what's in progress here, and they don't want any part of it.

So, as a once and for all final solution, how about this? Instead of spending huge money on things such as television advertisements telling us how wonderful you are? Or, spending it on fees in this perpetual, never ending accumulation of billable hours, why not simply buy us out?

Problem solved!

Then you can collectively go about your business as you please? Imagine, no resistance to anything you want to do? No one in your way?

This would most certainly cure any issues I personally have with the extraction industries. That, and, IMO it would truly make you a good corporate citizen in everyone's eyes? Think of it, positive press!!!

I for one would sell to you in a second for a fair price. For the record, we're talking about property that has been in my family since this country was settled. I am a native, and I for one am willing to do what would be good for everyone involved and get out of your way. I simply need to be provided with a sensible fair opportunity to do so.

I just can't believe that the current "business as usual" practices are adding up to be the best solution for anyone. Also, I truly believe it is harming both the public interest and the industry. Where buyouts would completely solve the problem and benefit both sides of the issue?

As for folks who refuse to sell, I would think you could argue that you made the offer and they turned it down choosing to stay? Perhaps some of them want to stay and provide services to your workers as a business? What ever their reason, it was their choice. Again, problem solved. Your interests would be met, and America as a whole would benefit as a result of your industry's "good business practices" thus providing America abundant energy fueled by "American made natural gas"! Now, there are some positive headlines! That could translates into political capital for you as well? I'm told that is as rare and very useful a commodity as oil and gas...

Please, think about it and try to find a workable variation of this idea....
old timer

United States

#23 Aug 8, 2012
Good thinking Plaguey. My family ahs been here as long as the dirt has and we'd sell out in a minute if the damn gas company would make us an offer. They basically said grin and take it yup the *ss. The way it looks, we're gonna have close to 10 of those marcellus wells around us in the next few years. It sure seems like the lawyers are the only ones gonna make out on these deals when family starts suing family. If they want us to sacrifice our farms and our way of life, the least they can do is offer to relocate us so we don't die from the pollution they are gonna create in this county. And if the damn surveyors let my cows out one more time, someone is gonna wish they had shut the gate like the sign says
the way it is

United States

#24 Aug 8, 2012
Nope,they don't want to buy your land! They just want to drill on it, and you continue to pay taxes on what you have no right to use for your own purposes even though you own it.

And to top it off.... here's the latest I've been turning up as far as finding even more impacts of this "unconventional drilling" --

There has been talk down in Charleston about taxing the property that these well pads sit on as "commercial property." ...after all they ARE just that--an industrial site plopped in the middle of your farms. So, imagine paying your property taxes and having a portion of your land being taxed as being for commercial use at a higher rate and YOU have to pay it not the drillers! Yup, been told that the tax office has been doing some initial study of this possibility!

This is one of many reasons why the industry WON'T buy you out so you can move on.... nope they want to devastate your land without any obligation on their part. Ya'll need to shed yourselves of the complacency that has plagued this county and state for so long. Start speaking up and for God's sake, vote these b*stards down in Charleston out of office! No secret they are whores to the drillers, but what does that make you to allow them to continue to be in bed with them, and do nothing to stop it? Is it any wonder that the industry believes you are dumb hicks and treat you like it?
It is a shame

United States

#25 Aug 9, 2012
Those from Texas and Oklahoma entered WV with an attitude. The snake skin boots, the big hats, large diamond rings , I guess is their way of trying to impress. When the fake charm does not work with the landowners, they become forceful, somewhat of a bully type. They have no respect for the landowners. I read on a previous post where the poster talks about surveyors letting out the cows. The surveyors (all the ones that I have seen in our area are from out of state) dont ask for permission to be on your property, they do as they please. Had problems with them crossing into electric fences, spooking the horses, more or less taking over like they own the place. This is a depressed economy and some folks are just not thinking about the long term problems when they sell out for a few thousand dollars when the companies are making billions. Some companies have promised that they will fix the roads in the areas where they work. They pull up their signs, move on and the roads are left in horrible conditions. Gates at most of the sites, who gets in to inspect them? Permits issued at an alarming rate and not enough inspectors. Millions of gallons of water pumped out of our streams and waterways. Doctors want more research done since people are getting sick. People just do not understand that fracking is nothing like the traditional drilling. No one knows exactly what the long term problems will be and as long as some are making money , they dont care. The big out of state companies will just move on. It is a shame, People need to wake up. If fracking is so safe, so good for the economy, so great, why did Vermont ban all fracking?
Farmer John

United States

#26 Aug 9, 2012
Why did Vermont ban fracking? Because rich people live there.

Hyattsville, MD

#27 Aug 9, 2012
Farmer John wrote:
Why did Vermont ban fracking? Because rich people live there.
lol!!! Good one! I couldn't have said it better.

Funny how much of a difference that seems to make.

Hyattsville, MD

#28 Aug 9, 2012
A few more thoughts...

I truly wish we could pull some industry accountants and idea people into this discussion. Because, there must be some way of making the whole "buy out" idea more attractive and beneficial to the industry. It couldn't be anymore work for them than they currently do by fighting with everyone?

It would be interesting and frankly fun to riddle out the whole cost/benefit equation with them. Particularly, to find ways the industry might recoup some of their expenditures. Say for example, could they use buyouts as a deductible business expense?

Or, as another example. Understanding that these folks aren't in the real estate business, I wouldn't view these purchases as permanent. But rather, something they hold on to long enough to do their work and then re-sell after the fact "AS IS". Again, recovering some or all of the money they spent.

As A liability protection, I would hope they could use pre sale disclosure as a way to cover themselves from any post sale liability from what was done on the land?

I even have a few ideas as to who their buyers might be. Think, natural resources companies, energy producers, the federal government etc... Heck, this would be a great place for power stations, prisons, hazardous material storage etc... What I'm saying is, a buyer could be found even after the drillers raze the pace.

Bottom line, some or even most of the expenditure could be recovered?

I know one argument I've heard against this idea is the fear of setting undesirable precedents? Perhaps someone out there could explain this to us, as I'm not sure what all of the legal catches might be?

However, because of our location this close to the Eastern seaboard, I would think that it could be argued that Doddridge county is a special case because of it's "east of the Mississippi" location and extremely low population. Only 7k people taking up this much acreage, this far east is an aberration in this day and age. Meaning very few affected surface owners for the amount of land involved, plus cheap prices, especially compared to prices the same land would sell for in other areas close by.

What do you all think? Any other ideas on how we could make this idea work?
Quiet Observer

United States

#29 Aug 9, 2012
plaguey wrote:
<quoted text>
lol!!! Good one! I couldn't have said it better.
Funny how much of a difference that seems to make.
I've heard that NY has approved drilling Marcellus wells in only 5 counties. The 5 poorest counties in NY State. Just as Doddridge is targeted being rich in the wet gas and poor in the economy. Problem is, while the local diners, sub shops, and lawns turned campgrounds are no longer needed and the drilling companies and mostly out-of-state workers pull out... we'll still be a welfare state! Why can't our lawmakers see the problem with that?
It is a shame

United States

#30 Aug 10, 2012
Fracking has been banned in Vermont. Some think that it is because rich people live there. If fracking is safe why would the rich not want to get richer. If fracking poses no harm to the environment or to natural resources, why would Vermont not jump on the bandwagon? WV needs to wake up before it is too late. The out of state oil and gas companies are leaving the areas making huge profits and the roadways are in horrible condition and who knows how much toxic waste remains. When all is said and done there will be no positive impact from the marcellus drilling. Doddridge, one of the most beautiful counties in the state will be a wasteland and that is a shame! Many other areas will be the same.
Marcellus Researcher

United States

#31 Aug 10, 2012
One only needs to pose this simple direct question and wait for an answer (that the industry refuses to provide).....

If fracking is so safe to people and the environment.... then why does the oil and gas industry have to be exemp from SEVEN (yes,seven folks) federal exemptions in order to be able to do what they do? (seven different exemptions they enjoy)

The answer to that above question will tell you whether fracking is a safe process. The O&G industry is the ONLY industry in the U.S. which is exempt from the same protections that any other industry has to follow.(Thank you Dick Cheney and the Republicans for allowing this to happen to the American people via the 2005 clean water act ammendments and those exemptions to protect your
industry friends.)

By the way, I AM a registered republican. One who believes in opportunity for businesses and individuals alike to be able to pursue the american dream of prosperity, private property protections & enjoyment of use, and all the usual things that give hope for the "little guy."

I just never envisioned that our government would "enable" these huge multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporate conglomerates to do this to the American people.

And sadly, the end result is NOT going to be lower gas prices at the pump. Do the research...this is not what is really behind this natural gas boom!

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