Belmont County, OH Landowners Spread the Wealth Around

One of the early slanders MDN heard against drilling is the typical class warfare argument. Some citizens (landowners and drillers) are winners of the “drilling lottery” and everyone else around them suffers with all of the negatives and none of the po$itive$. We call it the Beverley Hillbillies argument–rich, white, liberals who can’t stand the fact that flat-busted farmers have come into some money. They’re jealous. It’s a bigoted and repugnant argument we’ve heard made by people like a certain Cornell professor (see Everyone Wins – Not Just Landowners – When Marcellus Drilling Happens in a Community). The image they portray is that the people who make money from drilling–landowners and drillers–are money-grubbing misers. Ebeneezer Scrooge counting his piles of gold coins. The only problem with that image is, it’s not true. As you might expect, salt-of-the-earth farmers DON’T just hoard the money–they share it. Like a group of landowners (along with Rice Energy) in Belmont County who have donated, so far, $170,000 to a fund that benefits local community groups–like fire departments and food banks. Their goal is to see the fund swell to $10 million–all of it benefiting local groups and charities. Whoops! There goes another lie peddled by anti-drillers that’s been completely deflated…

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