Gas Drillers and Townships Working Together Resolve Issues

A recent example from western Pennsylvania illustrates how drilling companies and residents in PA are working together to resolve thorny issues and move forward with gas drilling in a way that everyone can live with:

After months of conflict over gas drilling in Mt. Pleasant Township, David Poole visited from Texas to help calm the waters.

Poole is a senior vice president and the top lawyer for Range Resources Corp., a $9.5 billion oil and gas exploration and production company that spent the spring fighting new rules governing what drillers can do in the Washington County township, which has a population of 3,515 and a $1.2 million budget. Company officials at one point wrote letters threatening to quit supporting local businesses.

So Poole visited, partly to meet with township leaders in private and mend some fences. Local Range Resources officials stopped complaining about the new rules and started adhering to others they had fought, Mt. Pleasant Supervisor Larry H. Grimm said.

"When they said this David Poole wanted to meet with us … I said, ‘Who cares?’ But it turned out to be different," Grimm said, noting that some issues had festered for years without resolution, including limits on work hours and other conditions on drilling. "They worked out a lot of the small problems that could be big problems, and they did a good job on that."

Conflicts between drillers and communities such as Mt. Pleasant, Cecil and North Bethlehem that began with high emotions — often involving threats and lawsuits — lately have ended with calm resolutions.*

*Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Dec 18, 2011) – Conflicts between shale gas drillers and residents seem to be easing

  • Anonymous

    Meryl, this is exactly the type of article that i wrote a reply to you about, in another blog. Businesses, local Government and Residents must communicate issues and concerns with the gas companies and not try to make enemies of them. If your community leaders contacted them and had a sit down, most issues could be resolved. The world of ” Lawsuits” and threats have taken over this country. What happened to the old fashioned way of resolving issues? Most of these gas companies, I believe will be a huge asset for local communities and are willing to calm the hysteria that the Anti’s along with the Media have portrayed. There is so much deception and negativity presented by the Anti’s/Media that the uninformed resident is sent into a panic. I would like to see the Gas Company representatives, become more public and hold question and answer town meetings before they start drilling in small town America. I believe, the more the truth is explained about ” The  process”  from the industry reps, the more people will embrace it and calm community fears.