From time to time I hear from readers who say something along the lines of, “Hey Jim, I really like the news you deliver about Marcellus drilling, but lose the attitude and color commentary.” As you must know by now, I am an advocate of safe drilling. And those who disagree with my viewpoint get irritated by my occasional comments. They want “just the facts please.”
I honestly and truly don’t see any difference in what I do and what is written by mainstream media outlets. I’m just honest about my viewpoints and biases, while they pretend to be above the fray. Yet their bias comes through loud and clear in every article they write. They willfully ignore science and facts and instead color and shade their reporting to fit their preconceived viewpoints. I would argue (go ahead and laugh) that I do a better job of providing balance to both sides of the issue than many mainstream media outlets. I don’t cover up the problems when they happen. But I also shed light on the positive aspects of drilling. Try and find that in the pages of The New York Times.
Unfortunately, drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale by using hydraulic fracturing has become a political issue as much as a scientific one. I don’t believe you can separate the two. There is a philosophy and mindset on the part of many (not all) who oppose drilling that any fossil fuel is evil and the only solution to America’s long-term energy needs is so-called alternative energies (wind, solar, etc.). I think that viewpoint is not only naive, but dangerous to our country’s future.
When I read and repeat news coverage of drilling in the Marcellus, my approach is to “take you by the hand” and point out what I see—what things run through my mind. If I notice that in the newly released Energy Blueprint that the federal government claims they’ve delegated the right to regulate drilling to the states, I point out the inaccuracy of such a statement. Where do they get off!? Our citizenry has become ignorant of our country’s great history, including a Constitution which places severe limits on the federal government, granting states all rights not found in the Constitution. I realize that my rather traditional political viewpoint rankles some readers. So be it.
Let me be clear and open and honest: I value the viewpoints of those who disagree with me, and I’m happy to have you in the audience. I do not intentionally try to drive you away with my comments. I welcome an open debate about these issues. But you need to know that I am an advocate for safe drilling. This website is aimed people who want to know both sides of the debate, but in learning about it, appreciate my sometimes “snarky” remarks. I try to keep the snark to a minimum, but hey, sometimes I can’t help it.
I hope that helps you understand where I come from. And now, a favor: If you have thoughts about the coverage MDN provides, please leave me a comment below. I figure if you’re reading this on a Sunday, you’re pretty hard-core on the topic of drilling in the Marcellus, and I would like to know from you, the most dedicated readers, what you like and don’t like. If you don’t like my commentary and comments, tell me. If you do, let me know! It will help guide me as I further develop this service.
Below you’ll find the “top 5” lists and this week’s calendar listings.
Jim Willis, Editor