Periodically someone will email me privately, or leave a comment on an article, and ask if the MDN website is sponsored by a drilling company or pro-drilling group of some kind. My answer, which is the truth, is always the same: No! I receive no compensation of any kind whatsoever, either in money or trade or services, for what I write on this site. Zippo. Nada.
There are those who don’t believe me. I’m not sure how I can convince you, but I am telling the truth. I think, if you read this site long enough, you’ll know that I always attempt tell the truth. I share my opinions, and from time to time I even own up to some mistakes.
I’ve made my position on drilling clear many times: I believe it can and should be done—safely. No blank checks for drillers to do whatever they want—but equally, we cannot and must not strip away individual property owners’ rights because of the shrill opposition of a relative few. Landowners have the right to allow drilling, or not to allow it, as they see fit. Don’t force people to have drilling happen under their land—even if everyone around them wants it. It’s America! We decide what to do or not to do—not the government, not other people, not environmentalist groups. And don’t force people to allow pipelines and other easements on their land if they don’t want it. But if they do want it—great! I believe my views are consistent. I guess I don’t make some pro-drillers and energy companies happy with some of my views, and I sure don’t make anti-drillers happy. But I’m always faithful to my own viewpoint and that viewpoint is not influenced by compensation of any kind.
My aim with this site has been to find articles of interest to landowners and those with an interest in drilling in the Marcellus (and Utica) Shale formations. I’ve done it regularly for some time now. And as anyone who writes and produces a blog site will tell you—it’s a lot of work. So back to no compensation… I was hoping I might get a few sponsors for the site to underwrite the cost of hosting, the cost of my email service, and to compensate a bit for the time it takes to read mountains of articles and select out the few that I think would be of most interest to those tracking the drilling issue each day. I’ve had no sponsors so far. It seems many businesses are concerned that in sponsoring a “pro-drilling” site they will be targeted by those who oppose drilling. Perhaps they have a point.
So I have a question for the 18,000 of you who visit this site each month: Is MDN worth a small subscription fee to you, to continue to the service? Please think carefully about it, and please be completely truthful. Perhaps the things I do on this site are “nice” and maybe “interesting” but not really vital or “necessary” for most people with an interest in the drilling issue. If that’s the case, I’m wasting my time and can find other things to do with it.
So here’s the deal, think carefully about the question I’m asking, and then please click on your answer in the poll (found on the right side of any page). The question: Would you be willing to pay $5 per month to continue reading MDN? Your answer is anonymous—I won’t know who you are. If enough people say yes, MDN will continue and I’ll ask you to subscribe using a credit card (or Paypal account) and it will be charged $5 per month with the option to cancel at any time. If there’s little response, or if the vast majority say no, time to fold the tent and move on.
Feel free to leave a comment on this post if you have thoughts on how MDN can be useful to you—something that would make it worth $5 a month.