Wednesday, October 31, 2012

EID forms new FAKE "astroturf" group in Brooklyn Township, PA

"Brooklyn Township Teamwork for Marcellus Future" is a new fake EID astroturf group to create false impression that locals support the massive industrialization of the township

The illegal and unpermitted 53 acre Williams Central Station in Brooklyn Township PA
is the start of the Constitution Pipeline, currently in prefile with FERC
.
[Update Nov 2 2012-- the report that Vera Scroggins was called an "eco-terrorist" seems to be a misunderstanding based on second-hand information, and has been removed. Apologies to Joe Massaro]

1. FIRST: some background on EID

The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA),
has created a Public Relations division called "Energy in Depth" (EID).

IPAA is organized as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation,
the same as a Business League or a Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.guidestar.org/organizations/73-0296927/independent-petroleum-association-america.aspx
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/501#c_6

Their revenue in 2010: $8.7 Million dollars.

EID is a completely illegitimate business entity which operates in
PA and NY without any state charter.  (I have searched both NY and PA
not-for-profit records, and there is no record of any business by this name)

Lots of us have been writing about EID and their tactics:

2. What does EID do? 

Their PR playbook looks like this in response to a toxic spill
or a true grassroots citizen group:
  • Bully, harass, defame, and intimidate the opposition Call us NIMBYs, ANTIs, hypocrites, etc.
  • Debunk and Discredit (legitimate science and evidence of contamination)
  • Create fake science. e.g., UB "Shale Shamstitute"
    https://www.google.com/search?q=shale%20shamstitute
  • Create fake grassroots ("astroturf") groups which try to give the appearance of community support for this deadly, toxic, and destructive industry. (e.g., Dimock Proud, Enough is Enough, Franklin Citizens for Truth, Brooklyn Township Teamwork for Marcellus Future, etc)
A full list of their techniques are here:
TinyURL.com/PRPSYOPS


3. Examples of EID Fake Grassroots groups

Example 1: The amazing film GASLAND which created this movement

Example 2: First, the many problems with water in Dimock PA

Example 3:
Franklin Township problems with water

NOTE that EID has had involvement in the organization and promotion of each of these groups,
even though they recruit locals who appear to be the leaders.


Let's ask Joe Massarro from Energy in Depth where the Lawnsigns come from:


Dimock Proud and Enough is Enough.... who is really behind these groups?
Well... it's industry-funded PR operative Tom Shepstone from Energy in Depth!


4: And now the latest:
 
Example 4: Massive industrialization of Brooklyn PA, including the illegal Williams Central Station

Location of PA drilling operations (orange dots) and EID Astroturf groups.
Dimock and Franklin were sites of many water contamination problems.



Here's a quote from the article:
Donna Williams
Founder, Brooklyn Township Teamwork for Marcellus Future
Residents of Brooklyn Township have come together to start the Brooklyn Township Teamwork for Marcellus Future landowners coalition.  Following two initial meetings, the group is working with local operators to educate themselves on natural gas development.

I got the idea to form this group after speaking with Heidi Mitchell at the Harford Fair.  She expressed to me how good it was to come together as a group and work towards getting questions answered and support each other.  After talking with Heidi, I contacted Cabot and I was put in touch with Energy in Depth where I worked with Joe Massaro to gather the necessary resources to form the group and get an initial meeting together.
Through my involvement with Farm Bureau I heard about Dimock Proud and my thought was that the natural gas companies are here in Brooklyn Township and they are here to stay.  So why not embrace this change and get a group together to get further educated on this development process?
As landowners with Marcellus Shale and natural gas development in our backyards, we need truthful information as quick as possible.  Forming this landowners group has helped us to do that.  Energy in Depth has been helpful in bringing the right people to our meetings so we have the opportunity to ask whatever questions we may have.
I called some local landowners who I knew for our initial meeting and was able to get a good turnout.  William DesRosiers attended the first meeting on behalf of Cabot and it was a general question and answer in regards to the process of hydraulic fracturing.  It was a rewarding experience to sit down with DesRosiers and get all of our questions directly from the information source closest to us.

Notice they don't even hide the involvement of Cabot's DesRosiers (formerly of EID) and Joe Massaro (EID). Note also they mention their prior astroturf group, "Dimock Proud".

What they don't tell you is this: Not every resident of Brooklyn Township was informed about the meeting.  At least one known activist from the area, Rebecca Roter was not invited.

Also interesting, which we have learned from someone at the meetings, that the EID folks were clearly running the meeting. After all, creating fake community groups which seem to support the industry which is destroying the place is their specialty!

Lastly we note this new group is different. Both Dimock Proud (Enough is Enough) and Franklin Citizens for Truth were created in response to major incidents of water contamination.

We are not aware of any major problems in Brooklyn Township, other than the everyday horrors of dealing with living in a gas field:
  • Trucks, 
  • Flaring, 
  • Foul Oders, 
  • Noise
  • Scarring of the landscape with 
  • well sites, 
  • access roads, 
  • pipelines
  • gravel pits
  • compressor stations
  • etc...
So this begs the question--- 

Has this group been created because there is some major environmental disaster which has already happened in Brooklyn Township which has not yet hit the news?


23 comments:

Thomas J. Shepstone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas J. Shepstone said...

Joe Massaro never called Vera Scroggins an "eco-terrorist." Your "informat" has informed you incorrectly. Please correct this false statement.

Lisa Barr said...

This is excellent! Mr. Shepstone--a source is not an
'informaNt'--and I suspect Bill's source is accurate. Certainly the on-the-take police departments in areas where fracking exists act as if people trying to cover the issue, and people who oppose fracking are 'eco-terrorists'--which is a legal term of art designed to deprive citizens of the right to free speech. But we've learned that those police officers and assailants most likely to try to deprive us of our rights are not the best folks, haven't we?

Joanne Fiorito said...

Mr. Schlepstone, just because you say it hasn't happened doesn't prove a damned thing....why isn't Joe Massaro making this statement...who are you to speak in his behalf, are you his personal manservant, or what....

nothing you say here amounts to anything worth listening to....so why don't you tell Joe to grow a set and if he feels that strongly about the issue then he should be the one making this statement....

Personally, I'm tired of all of your lies and deceitful folly....

good day!

Bill Huston said...

Tom, I will try to get an affidavit as to the veracity of that statement.

I find it a bit amusing that you didn't challenge any of my other assertions... Maybe the rest of it I got right?

BJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BJ said...

So what would happen if lets say a township or borough hired Mr. Shepstone to write a zoning ordinance that would prevent certain activities in most of the municipality. That is what he has been doing out of his office in Honesdale prior to EID. I wonder if some of the more recent PA court rulings supporting local zoning have had an effect on his recommendations for zoning in the last few years or has he recommended a different course of action? May be I have seen a few of them.

Franklin Citizens For Truth said...

For your information, Franklin Citizens for Truth was established when a group of residents came together with questions regarding the Natural Gas industry in our Township. It continues to grow and encompass surrounding townships as word gets out that their neighbors find it an excellent way to communicate with each other. Instead of listening to one or two people who have twisted information to create panic. Get used to these groups, because this is how a real community works. With each other, not against. The group was not started by EID and we contacted the Gas Company directly for answers to our questions. EID and local resident groups do not need to portray you and others like you in a bad way. If they haven't had interactions first hand they have seen for themselves the public displays of bullying, harassment, slander, obscene actions and language by the "activists". And to top it all off, they place these public displays on line. Do you think people will believe in your/their cause when they act like this?
I can assure you that our grassroots ("astroturf") groups as you call us, are not fake and the purpose for invitation only meetings is so the residents can ask their questions and get answers without having to put up with the shouting and obscene actions of those that are looking for attention. You can also plan on the fact that these type of persons will not be invited to any of these "non-public" meetings in the future either.

Bill Huston said...

Franklin Citizens For Truth, why did you register with that name just now, apparently for this post? Why not post with your real name? You know my name. Let's engage openly about this. Thanks -- BH

Franklin Citizens For Truth said...

Bill Huston - Your allegations were directed toward our Franklin Citizens for Truth group - not me personally. My response was to clarify your misinterpretation of what our group of residents is about. Our residents may have different opinions or feelings about the Natural Gas Industry but share the common desire to receive and communicate information within the group. I see no need to "engage" with you open or otherwise. In fact, based on your initial post and how you labeled our community and our neighboring communities as FAKE "astroturf" and your false assumptions and allegations all clearly demonstrate that you are not able to communicate anything that I would consider to be of any value to me or our residents.

Bill Huston said...

Who is this speaking? Tom Shepstone? Bill Derosiers? Joe Massaro?

John Blom said...

Who or what is a Bill Huston? I've never heard of you, should I have? Oh, you're from Binghamton? That, (Binghamton is a ghost town) and your worthless rhetoric, proves to me you actually know very little of which you speak. I find no fact in anything you say, and question where you could be getting your information from? I can only conclude you're taking whatever clips you find on the internet and intertwine them to suit your agenda. These local groups have been formed as a way to communicate, and speak out in response to eco-terrorist's like you, and your pals. Dimock, and Franklin Forks were attempts by "have nots" to extort settlements from the gas companies. This has been proven over and over again. I do not know EID, and do not speak for them. I know some of the people in the Franklin Forks group because I live here. All of this "industrialization" and destruction of the environment is taking place on private property, and what we do with our property is our own business. I suppose if your environmental groups had gotten together years ago and pitched in to pay our taxes and maintain our farms you would have a right to protest. But since you're just an anti, standing in the way of natural progress, both in P.A. AND N.Y.,(yes many upstate land owners want and need this),you prove yourself to be just another blathering, nameless eco-clown, spouting non-facts in the desperate hope of attracting some attention to yourself and whatever group you represent.

Bill Huston said...

Tom, I could not verify the statements about Vera being called an Eco-terrorist, and in fact this seems to be an error. I have removed this. Apologies to Joe Massaro. -- BH

Bill Huston said...

John Blom, I strive to have accurate information. Would you mind if I call you? I would like to get your version of the facts. Thanks -- BH

Vera said...

It's good to see groups being formed by people with similar focus and interests and support one another. This is what community is about. We do have opposing groups with different ideas and opinions. Some who favor and approve of the gas drilling and there are those who are upset about the gas drilling and have their friends and community to support one another. Sadly, we don't agree but hopefully, we can try to be civil and respectful to each other; sometimes, we can't and tempers flare. This is human. But we can try to be civil and maybe, even talk to one another at some point and share our viewpoints and concerns.

Chris Salmon said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQ2G_MnrOkQ

Chris Salmon said...

Vera - you are so right. Wouldn't it be nice if this was just about mildly differing opinions among citizens who shared the common goal of making a better USA tomorrow for all of us and our children? I wrote a little essay I'm about to post here, that addresses some of that by basically saying both sides could improve their conceptual models of oil & gas development in your region by each taking some things they are missing from the other. Sadly, I have to say I don't think this debate will ever get civil, in fact it's only going to get worse. This isn't a friendly checkers game where the loser takes both players to lunch. This is a no-holds-barred cage match to the death. Two enter the cage, but only one comes out. The anti-frackers have explicitly stated their goal is the end of all hydrocarbon production, so they're the ones that announced they are targeting their opponents for death. You need to read up quite a bit on eco-communalism to see the root philosophy upon which anti-frackerism is based. Eco-communalism is the philosophy of Bill McKibben and Josh Fox, who believe our current civilization must be totally destroyed as we know it today, in order for mankind to regress back to the middle ages, which they see as some kind of hippie utopia. Kind of like a renaissance fair, but one where no one works to obtain more money than they "need to survive." Hey - I know it sounds crazy!! Trust me, I was shocked when I started studying what these guys basic philosophies are and what they actually want us to have as our future. But it just happens to be true, if you don't believe me, read McKibben's writings and books - a lot of it's available free on his website.

Vera - you are so right. Wouldn't it be nice if this was just about mildly differing opinions among citizens who shared the common goal of making a better USA tomorrow for all of us and our children? I wrote a little essay I'm about to post here, that addresses some of that by basically saying both sides could improve their conceptual models of oil & gas development in your region by each taking some things they are missing from the other. Sadly, I have to say I don't think this debate will ever get civil, in fact it's only going to get worse. This isn't a friendly checkers game where the loser takes both players to lunch. This is a no-holds-barred cage match to the death. Two enter the cage, but only one comes out. The anti-frackers have explicitly stated their goal is the end of all hydrocarbon production, so they're the ones that announced they are targeting their opponents for death. You need to read up quite a bit on eco-communalism to see the root philosophy upon which anti-frackerism is based. Eco-communalism is the philosophy of Bill McKibben and Josh Fox, who believe our current civilization must be totally destroyed as we know it today, in order for mankind to regress back to the middle ages, which they see as some kind of hippie utopia. Kind of like a renaissance fair, but one where no one works to obtain more money than they "need to survive." Hey - I know it sounds crazy!! Trust me, I was shocked when I started studying what these guys basic philosophies are and what they actually want us to have as our future. But it just happens to be true, if you don't believe me, read McKibben's writings and books - a lot of it's available free on his website.

Chris Salmon said...

They blame cheap, abundant energy for pretty much all the world's problems, because it fueled the rise of capitalism, big business, and big government. They don't want anything to be big anymore, ever. They don't want to allow businesses to be larger than a decent sized restaurant. They want to do away with mechanized production and agriculture, to ensure that everyone has a simple job that doesn't take more than a couple hours a day. They rather bizarrely believe that by making energy expensive and hard to get, human lives will improve. They believe human lives will improve because you won't work much, and you can't travel, and their isn't anything much to do, so you can sit around and jawbone and socialize with your friends all day and play board games that don't require power or the large factories that high tech needs, which would be useless to you anyway since they want to make energy so expensive it shuts down travel. I'm not even getting into the REALLY weird parts yet hahahahah They believe that the human desire for material comfort and success, and the drive to compete and achieve ahead of your fellow man can be eliminated from the human race by a constant and ongoing education program that will create a new kind of human (forget what they call him) that no longer sees himself as separate, but only exists as one with the group or community mind, kind of like bees or ants or something. They want everyone to be simple, happy, and content and to derive their happiness from feeling togetherness with the other hobbits as a group, and socializing. So there will be an ongoing brainwashing program for hundreds of years after they destroy the current civiliation and regress to tiny little hamlets here and there. I once said it was like they want us to be Hobbits, and that's still a good description. They want the USA and all other nation-states to end, and have nothing bigger than small-town sized communities, and those would each rule themselves. Each town would have a volunteer security/military force of 30 or so guys with a few firearms that I guess they keep locked up somewhere.

Chris Salmon said...

So basically, the first things I thought of when I read that plan all it takes is one good Comanche Chief or Genghis Khan or Caesar, and all these happy, simple bee/hobbit people will be enslaved and live their short lives in misery building wealth for their rulers. Well not all, they'd kill the men at first, just to prevent future problems.

Anyway, the whole thing would be a laughable joke except for the fact that these people are serious about it, and that's why they are against hydraulic fracturing. Because frac jobs are used in all wells, not just horizontal ones, and they're used throughout the life of the well to extend the time it's in service and the barrels recovered. They were hoping their little hobbit-renaissance fair-hippie festival civilization would come into being when "Peak Oil" caused energy prices to skyrocket so high, our civilization couldn't survive. This is all in their writings, this is all published and in their own words, especially McKibben. Anyway, darn the hobbits' luck, human scientists and engineers worked and pushed and developed methods that open up vast untapped reserves of hydrocarbons and energy production is going up right when they were hoping it would crash and destroy all this wealth and comfort and travel and food and high tech medicine and everything else they hate. Basically anything large they think is bad, just because it is large. Anything capitalist is bad, because if you're working to achieve more profits so you can build something for shareholders or your family, then you need economies of scale, which means you need large organizations and then everyone wouldn't be equal anymore like ants and bees. You'd need travel, shipping, mechanized production -- all the things they blame for "destroying the planet" and "taking our humanity away" - I guess because we can't sit in the dirt in the backyard and whittle all day and feel like a bee.

Chris Salmon said...

Hydraulic fracturing is a key technology and without it, oil & gas production would crash because you couldn't keep old fields alive, and you couldn't drill for newer style fields like the Marcellus play. That's exactly what they want, and again, they say this explictly in their own writings and speeches, so it's not a question. That's what they want. If they can't demonize hydraulic fracturing and spread enough lies, rumors, and fear abbout it to get it banned, the current civilization will continue to exist and won't leave space for their renassance fair world. They believe the current civilization is evil and is destroying the planet and keeping people from achieving true happiness as bees in a hive. So it's gotta go. I'm not kidding about any of this - read up on it yourself.

Bill Huston said...

Chris, there is no "they" who are driving this movement. We are totally grassroots, and we can discern the truth without being told it by EID or Soros or Park Foundation or Josh Fox or Bill McKibbin or the "Eco-communalists" or whomever you think we are taking orders from.

We have to get off non-renewable energy, because if we don't, then the world population WILL drop from 7B to 0.5B when we run out. Because this is how many people can live on the planet without it.
(Source: Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, by Thom Hartmann).

It's not the globalists, it's physics. Did you know there are 10 oil calories in every 1 calorie of food? This is a big problem, especially with a growing population on the back-side of Hubbert's Peak.

I hope you can see this image:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=456183417735614&set=a.416151041738852.90146.114596215227671&type=3&theater

This image illustrates how we are accellerating towards dirtier and more costly fuel-- Tar Sands, Deep Ocean Drilling, Mountaintop Removal, and Fracking, etc.-- and ultimately we will reach EROI=1.

Do you know what happens after that? Then it will cost 1 barrel of oil to get a barrel of oil, and the WHOLE THING COMES CRASHING TO A HALT.

Fracking is not a bridge to the future. It is a jumping on a speeding freight train which is about to go over a cliff.

It is the FRACKERS which are ANTIs. Frackers are ANTI LIFE. All we are doing is trying to preserve life and the planet as a hospitable environment for future generations.

Chris Salmon said...

"Chris, there is no "they" who are driving this movement. We are totally grassroots, and we can discern the truth without being told it by EID or Soros or Park Foundation or Josh Fox or Bill McKibbin or the "Eco-communalists" or whomever you think we are taking orders from. "

Not taking orders, that's not what I'm saying. I'm talking about root philosophies which you all share, thinkers that form the underlying intellectual basis for protest. There are always root philosophies behind political and social movements. You don't have to take "orders" from anyone if you share the same root philosophies. And certainly you share those in varying degrees, some folks who are anti-frackers don't even know they are repeating the words and philosophies that originated in eco-communalist philosophy. That doesn't change what I'm saying, however.

"We have to get off non-renewable energy, because if we don't, then the world population WILL drop from 7B to 0.5B when we run out."

We aren't anywhere even CLOSE to running out. New technologies are going to provide plentiful hydrocarbon based energy for centuries, if we need it. However I believe hydrocarbons only need to carry us until we solve nuclear fusion, which is the ultimate and final answer to all our energy problems.

Bill Huston said...

Chris you wrote> "I'm talking about root philosophies which you all share, thinkers that form the underlying intellectual basis for protest."

This is called the Straw Man fallacy. You erect a Straw Man. You call this "Eco-communalists". You then say: Bill, you and Vera, and Bill McKibbon are eco-communalists.

You then define what that is in greater detail, judge that as something bad or evil, then say: THERE! SEE? Bill and Vera and Bill McKibbon are bad/evil!

Those are your names. I have no idea what an eco-communalist is. It's your name, your curse. I don't read nor follow those philosophies. I reject any names you call me, or ideologies you try to associate with me.

I am happy to tell YOU what I believe, if you ask me.

PLEASE do not tell me about what I believe, because that's just horseshit nonsense. Thanks.