Gas industry group crashes NY senators’ Pennsylvania tour


Sens. David Carlucci, Cecilia Tkaczyk and Bill Perkins all traveled to northeastern Pennsylvania on Friday for a tour organized by an anti-fracking group. And when they got there, a staffer for a gas-industry-funded group decided to tail along.

Energy in Depth, an advocacy group funded by an assortment of oil-and-gas companies and trade groups, took an assortment of videos of the trip and posted their own take on it today. They show some relatively tense confrontations between the trip organizers, the Energy in Depth staffer and a spokesman for WPX, a gas company with wells in the area; At one point, the WPX spokesman refers to trip organizers Vera Scroggins and Craig Stevens as “professional activists,” to which Perkins objected and Scroggins correctly pointed out that the Energy in Depth staffer was being paid by the industry group.

The senators were shown a variety of different sites near gas wells in Pennsylvania where residents have complained of the water quality and health issues.

The site shown in the video above was the subject of a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection today. The state regulators, which had been investigating the Franklin Forks site since 2011 since residents began complaining of suddenly discolored water, found the methane in the water supply to be naturally occurring.

The trip was spearheaded by Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, who has sponsored a bill that would put a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York, tying it to the completion of a pair of outside studies launched by Geisinger Health System and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Carlucci says the moratorium is needed in order to give New York regulators the proper time to assess outside science still being compiled.

“I believe we are getting down to maybe some of our last chances to make sure that the science and not only the environment but the impact on human health are taken into the equation,” Carlucci said prior to the trip.

(Photo provided by Jason Elan of Carlucci’s office.)


About Author


  1. Interesting that 3 NY legislators take up a tour in PA with the help of anti-frackers. Vera Scroggins is a known anti-gas alarmist. To have gas industry representatives there provided balance who were able to point out the false information and fear that the anti want to convey as truth, yet are lies. These politicians should let the scientists and engineers at the NY DEC decide, which they did back in Sept 2012 that drilling is safe, and not listen to the fear-mongers and the lies from the anti-gas, anti-economic development. I hope the bus stopped in Binghamton so they could see the 10% unemployement and closed and boarded up storefronts.

  2. Well, I’ve said it before and I can’t help it, I have to say it again: there’s still no bottom in sight to how low the gas industry will go. They are reckless and dangerous, invasive and snoopy, even willing to crash a private tour. No bottom in sight. I guess they didn’t get the Governor’s message about their pr efforts not working out too well. They don’t have to try even this hard to make us not trust this industry and know we want nothing to do with their lies and greed. No siree!

  3. Hugh Kimball on

    I met Vera Scroggins a couple of years ago, and yes she is an activist and enjoys driving the gassers crazy. But she is an every day person who is concerned with what hppened and continues to happen in the Montrose-Dimock area. “Professional” would mean that someone is paying her which I seriously doubt.

    She is sincerely concerned about fracking and all the impacts from it. The world would be a better place with more Veras and fewer paid gas shills and other assorted liars who make unsupportable claims of safety.

    Speaking of which, eD12309, just exactly how did DEC claim drilling was safe when Gov. Cuomo still says “let science decide” and when DEC was still in the process of doing their yet incomplete “health impact study” which non of us has yet to see?

  4. HVHF is now being performed safely in 32 states and numerous other countries. The EPA, President Obama, DoE, NY DEC have all said it is safe. But Andy refuses to approve it because of politics. NY IS NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS

  5. You know, I really object to having our people called “anti”, “anti-gas alarmist” “fear monger” etc.

    None of us are anti-gas. We all use gas. Hydrocarbons are miraculous molecules, useful for many things.

    But Hydrocarbon extractions does cause toxic effects, and we are running out. These are both problems.

    Craig and Vera and thousands of other people in PA and NY
    are just regular folk, trying to protect our air and water.

    You say we are liars, but we have no reason to lie.

    Unlike the PAID PR people from industry, which do. They are paid to lie and distort the facts. The motivation is money.

    If we are anti-anything we would be anti-pollution. But we like to define ourselves with positive values:

    Our motivation is preservation and protection of life, clean air and water. Pro-rural.

    And why would we lie about the horror of fracking, when every day there’s some new toxic spill or pipeline explosion, more dead cows, more sick kids, more people with rashes, more sick animals, more cut forests, more democratic governments subverted.

    And you know what? If fracking was truly safe, we would all welcome it. But it’s not safe, is it “eD12309”?

    You can’t even use your real name? Who’s the liar?

  6. None of us are “professional activists” we are people who love our state, our lands and our water and air. We don’t want toxic pools and out of state/country corporatations to tell us we have to let them frack underneath our land. These people who are drones for the industry will say the same thing over and over “oh yes there are risks, but it’s clean energy” they always fail to mention the process of EXTRACTING natural gas is highly polluting. I don’t object to natural gas, I object to the extraction of it and the fact that the extraction of it is shrouded in secrecy and the laws are all for the gas companies. Hurrah for the Legislators who came to see for themselves. I hope they come back and report what they saw.

  7. Ed, if all you say is true, why did PA gag their doctors from talking even to each other about the illnesses they are seeing in people who live near wells and compressor stations? Why does the industry need the exemptions from portions of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts which were passed in 2005? And why did the U of Colorado’s School of Public Health find higher incidences of cancer in those living within a half mile of gas wells?

  8. Does anyone know who ‘Chad’ works for? Chad is the guy in the America’s Natural Gas Alliance TV commercials who claims to work in Industry, makes the ‘clean energy’ statement, and goes so far as to talk about the importance of environmental testing because he not only “Works here, I live here, too”. ‘Here’ is Celina, TX where there is NO production whatsoever. None. Miles from the Barnett Shale. Not a drill rig in sight. So Industry doesn’t lie or use deceptive advertising, right?

  9. It is sad to see the young women working for EID being used as pawns — out front and in a state of complete denial about industry propaganda and destruction.

  10. I always love the claim fracking has been done safely in 32 states. This is the biggest lie of all. In every one of those states, there have been reports of contaminated water, air pollution, people getting sick, etc. It’s never been done safely, can’t be done safely. I’m so happy that New York is taking its time and hopefully, truthfully, going by the science.

  11. The fact that NY is not allowing HVHF made it onto Lou Dobbs and the Fox Business Channel last night, 4/29. All the anti’s allegations of spills, contamination, toxic wastelands, deformed cows is UNTRUE. The Anti’s are spreading LIES!. The Doctor disclosure in PA is nothing more than complying to the federal HIPPA laws. This gaggle of politicians visiting PA only adds to the disbelief I have in the circus that makes up NY politics. So it is OK for NY to consume methane, but not produce it? That is hypocritical.

    HVHF is being performed safely in 32 other states but not in NY, so repeat after me, NY IS NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

  12. And to the reason I have an alias on this blog is the same reason the anti’s do not register their anti web sites domain names with a shell company that doesn’t disclose the owner under a WHOIS domain name registry. You know who you are, anti-business, anti-landowner, anti-economic development, anti-modern society.

  13. Andie Paysinger on

    Ed12309, you have obviously not been in one of the homes AFFECTED by nearby fracking. Nor have you worked in the areas where fracking is using up millions of gallons of water that is forever after contaminated.
    It has not been “safely performed in 32 states” and you just have to look at the serious damage in Colorado, Wyoming and Texas, including a lot of dead livestock and wildlife around surface streams and ponds that are “supposed” to be “unaffected” by fracking.
    Friends of mine recently moved from North Dakota to Oregon and he had worked in the gas industry for two decades, including 8 years in shale extraction until he got sick two years ago. He quit before he got too bad but he has been diagnosed with silicosis and, worse than that, he is sterile from testicular atrophy. In photos he looks ten to fifteen years older than his identical twin brother who never worked in the fossil fuel industry.
    There are a lot of REPUTABLE scientists that are INDEPENDENT who have cited the dangers of fracking and OBJECTIVE evidence has shown there are problems.
    Perhaps you want to live in a polluted environment poisoned by GREEDY industries, but don’t belittle people who do not want to see their homes destroyed and made unlivable. There are homes in Texas communities that have been rendered unlivable because of cracked foundations from subsidence, roads have collapsed and Texas is having to spend a lot of money fixing this because the industry refuses to accept responsibility. You sound like a paid hack for the industry.

  14. Show your proof, point to an instance where HVHF has harmed anyone. Never seen it, never will. The Anti’s spread nothing but lies and false tales of woe to protect their wilderness at the expense of landowners and everyone that uses gas. We are a hydrocarbon based society, get over it. We fight wars and have americans loose their lives to secure our energy needs. Why not develop it here in America and bring our soldiers home. Because the anti’s dont want the whitetail deer disturbed.

    Go cold-turkey off hydrocarbons, anti’s are hypocrites.

    And Texas subsidence is cause by water withdrawls, not natural gas development. Anti’s are LIARS!