Jan 6 2011

Mayor Tillman vs. Governor Ridge

2-Minute Video Highlights Gas Industry Credibility Problem:

Mayor Tillman & Tim Ruggiero Live in a Shale Gas Zone;

Governor Ridge & Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Kathryn Klaber Do Not;

Tillman Is Not Paid for Speaking About Shale Gas;

Ridge Is Paid $900,000 by Marcellus Shale Coalition;

Tillman & Ruggiero Can Explain “State-of-the-Art Environmental Protection” for Shale Gas Operations;

Ridge & Klaber Cannot – But They “Embrace” & “Live” the Principle

Here is a question the shale gas industry should be able to answer:

Why can’t Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and Tom Ridge, the Coalition’s $900,000 man, explain what they mean when they announce with great fanfare: “We implement state-of-the-art environmental protection across our operations?”

The Marcellus Shale Coalition represents more than 40 US and foreign gas and oil companies along with scores of “Associate Members” including gas industry law firms, engineering and construction firms, according to its website. It is headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.1

Calvin Tillman, Mayor of DISH, Texas, has traveled to Pennsylvania and New York to speak on shale gas drilling.

  • The difference between Calvin Tillman and Tom Ridge is that Tillman lives in a shale gas zone (Barnett shale). Ridge does not.
  • The difference between Calvin Tillman and Tom Ridge is that Tillman does not get paid for speaking about shale gas extraction. Ridge gets paid.
  • Tillman and Texas Property Owner Tim Ruggiero (who also lives in the Barnett Shale gas zone) can explain what is meant by “state-of-the-art environmental protection” for shale gas operations. Ridge and Klaber cannot.

Guiding Principles or Guiding Platitudes?

In October, The Marcellus Shale Coalition and Governor Tom Ridge unveiled seven “Guiding Principles.” Link: http://marcelluscoalition.org/2010/10/gov-ridge-msc-unveil-landmark-industry-wide-commitment-to-the-community-guiding-principals/

To underscore industry’s passionate commitment to these principles, the Coalition states (emphasis added):

“We recognize that to succeed in business, we not only embrace these principles, we live by them each and every day. This will be our legacy.”

From Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Guiding Principles

http://marcelluscoalition.org/about/guiding-principles/

In fact, the industry coalition is so busy embracing and living these principles “each and every day” that it can’t explain what they mean. That includes Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber and ex-Governor Tom Ridge.

Meanwhile, Ridge and Klaber tout their “Guiding Principles” with press and public across Pennsylvania. In an op-ed column in the (Harrisburg) Patriot-News, Ridge states:

On Sept. 30, I joined with the leadership of the Marcellus Shale Coalition as we made a pledge to all Pennsylvanians when we released our “Guiding Principles: Our Commitment to the Community.” It is under these principles that the shale gas industry will operate and ultimately be judged in Pennsylvania.

Tom Ridge, Patriot-News Op-Ed, November 12, 2010

http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2010/11/gov_ridge_lets_make_sure_marce.html

Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, also is on the record:

“We want to be first and foremost safe and considerate of the communities we operate in,” she said.

Kathryn Klaber, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2010

“Gas Rush Reshapes Town,” by Kris Maher

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703350104575653293057514872.html?KEYWORDS=Gas+Rush+Reshapes+Town

“State-of-the-art Environmental Protection” Means What?

How do they “live by” that which they don’t understand – or at least can’t explain? The second Guiding Principle of the Marcellus Shale Coalition states: “We implement state-of-the-art environmental protection across our operations.”

Here is the question to which neither Klaber nor Ridge have responded: Does this mean members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition will put into place the following “state-of-the-art environmental” practices:

Require the latest emissions technology

  1. Use a closed loop system to eliminate plastic-lined holding pits, trenches or ponds for liquid drilling waste;
  2. Install vapor recovery units on condensate tanks to reduce or eliminate emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs);
  3. Use zero emission glycol dehydration units;
  4. Use pneumatic ‘no-bleed’ valves to prevent fugitive emissions (which can’t be seen with the naked eye, but such vapors can be seen with an infrared camera);
  5. Recycle the flowback frac water to reduce the amount of fresh water used in hydraulic fracturing.

“State-of-the-art” doesn’t leave much room for interpretation; but this blog has met with silence from the Marcellus Shale Coalition and Ridge’s office. Perhaps they need to hear from more citizens on this question. They are probably busy embracing, living and writing the next press release and op-ed piece touting the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s Guiding Platitudes – er, Principles.

Links & Resources

1Marcellus Shale Coalition website – Coalition Members: http://marcelluscoalition.org/about/coalition-members/

Sample news highlights of Ridge and his Marcellus Shale Coalition connection:

Ex.-Gov. Ridge talks ‘gas’ in Wellsboro – by Cheryl R. Clarke, Williamsport-Sun Gazette, December 7, 2010

http://www.sungazette.com/page/content.detail/id/557293/Ex–Gov–Ridge-talks–gas–in-Wellsboro.html?nav=5011

WPSU interview with Ridge on MSC

http://wpsu.org/index.php/radio/single_entry/LL-3330/stories/

Natural-gas companies turn to Ridge to fuel drilling efforts – by Angela Couloumbis, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 25, 2010

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/pa/20100725_Natural-gas_companies_turn_to_Ridge_to_fuel_drilling_efforts.html?viewAll=y

For more background on Mayor Tillman and Tim Ruggiero, refer to the following posts:

Mayor Calvin Tillman, Part 1 (April 26, 2010)http://www.spectraenergywatch.com/blog/?p=577

Mayor Calvin Tillman, Part 2 (May 3, 2010)http://www.spectraenergywatch.com/blog/?p=605

Shale Gas Economic Impact (Oct. 6, 2010); The Ruggiero family property value was officially judged by the county appraisal review board to have plummeted 70% one year after drilling rigs showed up on their property. In the post, scroll down to the subhead “Property Values Collapse,” and see also footnote #2 under “Links & Resources in that post. http://www.spectraenergywatch.com/blog/?p=860

One Response

  1. MarcellusGasInfo Recent Gas Drilling News (01-06-11 11:30PM EST) | NY WELL WATCH Says:

    [...] “Mayor Tillman vs. Governor Ridge: “…Here is a question the shale gas industry should be able to answer: Why can’t Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and Tom Ridge, the Coalition’s $900,000 man, explain what they mean when they announce with great fanfare: “We implement state-of-the-art environmental protection across our operations?” The Marcellus Shale Coalition represents more than 40 US and foreign gas and oil companies along with scores of “Associate Members” including gas industry law firms, engineering and construction firms, according to its website. It is headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.1 Calvin Tillman, Mayor of DISH, Texas, has traveled to Pennsylvania and New York to speak on shale gas drilling…” ” (Video, Spectra Energy Watch)- http://www.spectraenergywatch.com/blog/?p=977 [...]

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