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Letter to the editor: In response to the submission from Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation

Avaerie Fitzgerald

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In response to the submission by Ms. Mulac, Coordinator, External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, pertaining to my recent article “Oil and gas companies explore Northeast Ohio for fracking opportunities”,  I would like to offer the following responses to her letter:

Addressing Ms. Mulac’s disappointment that I only interviewed negative perspectives, she failed to mention that I did reach out for a comment from Cabot Oil & Gas as well as State Representative, Darrell Kick who has openly supported fracking, neither responded to that opportunity. That attempt was made to allow them to contribute their positive viewpoint.

It was pointed out that if I had addressed residents in Susquehanna County, that I would see the “positive impact” that had come to the area when the corporation arrived. I did not seek out residents from that county, or that state because my story focused on Ashland and the counties surrounding. The words of the locals have more value over those that have profited from the company.

She supplied two stories as examples of how these specific lives benefitted from their presence in that area. While I appreciate the effort Ms. Mulac offered to share these personal interest stories, I feel that she must take her own advice and share both sides of the story there as well. Perhaps she should take some time and research the responses of the neighbors of these landowners and not just those who profit from it directly.

I took Ms. Mulac’s suggestion and researched the Susquehanna County area. Two stories that came up were from the Akron Beacon Journal, discussing a $76,000 fine from the DEP for losing control of a well for 27 hours, and an incident that happened less than a year ago where they were fined $99,000 for air quality violations at numerous well sites throughout the county (taken from Pennsylvania Pressroom- Official News for the PA State Agencies). Beneath those, there were articles of water contamination cases, the documentary Gasland, and FrackNation, which were both based on that region.

I do not feel that what was written could be construed as disappointing. I stand by my article, which featured great opportunities for local residents to learn about health and safety precautions. It is important that they are not left to believe that there is no risk involved. That, I feel, is not a negative, but a reality.

 

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