Gas Drilling Operations Can Be Improved, Says Scott Rotruck of Chesapeake Energy

by Duane Nichols on March 24, 2012

Ed Wade & Rose Baker of Wetzel County, WV

Gas Drilling Operations Can Be Improved

According to Ken Ward in the Charleston Gazette, the natural gas industry seeks  to keep working to reduce the on-the-ground impacts of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle. “With natural gas, everybody likes the blue flame,” Chesapeake vice president Scott Rotruck told a business conference in Charleston. “Making it can be problematic. Nobody likes that part.  I can tell you this: The sausage-making will get better and better and better.”

Rotruck spoke at a two-day conference of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association to promote the prospect of landing a cracker plant and “downstream” facilities that would turn natural gas wastes into marketable products. Governor Tomblin with other state officials tried to attract the Shell Chemicals ethane cracker plant that has been sited at Monaca, PA.  However, there are many claims that West Virginia is well positioned to secure one of several other similar projects being considered by other companies.

 >>>>  An Additional Report by Rose Baker  >>>>

 Chesapeake Energy and Law Enforcement in Wetzel County

By: Rose Baker, March 22, 2012.

Chesapeake Energy is once again making a compressor station move of extremely large oversize equipment on Rt. 89, 2 or 3 days a week, which means that all residents along this 18 mile long route must get out of their way and give them the road, no exceptions.

On Thursday, March 22 at 8:50 I left my home to head for work. At Laughlin Hill Rd. I passed an escort driver leaning against her car. Upon seeing this, I knew they were making another compressor move today, (as they had on Monday, and when I neared that oversize load, I pulled off the road and let them pass). I continued on until the top of Doolin Hill, where I was informed they were coming up the hill, so I pulled over near the intersection of American Ridge, waited about 10 minutes till the compressor passed me.

I started to pull out, and one of the escort drivers starts yelling at me there is another one coming (how was I to know, when he had only stated it was coming up the hill earlier, not specifying that two were coming), another 10 minutes and that compressor passes me, so I proceed to pull out onto Rt. 89 only to be blocked by two off duty city policemen telling me that a Sheriff’s deputy is coming to talk to me. In the few minutes we waited I was verbally harassed and yelled at by these off duty city officers (who work in their off hours for Chesapeake as security), of course I did some yelling back.

Once the Deputy arrives, he has me pull over and give him my license, registration and insurance card. He then proceeds to tell me that I must stop for these escort drivers and do what they tell me. I tell him they have no authority to pull me over, they only serve as a warning symbol to proceed with caution, which I did.  He proceeds to tell me that I could possibly be arrested; he is filing a report with the Prosecuting Attorney.  I asked him why should I stop at Laughlin Hill Rd and wait for an hour on this load, when I could drive closer to where it’s at and pull off the road till it passes me, maybe only waiting 10 minutes. His answer was that I should leave earlier.

Another example of Big Corporations using their muscle and money to use our local law enforcement against the citizens. Will be interesting to see how many deputies show up on Monday as I head out to work. Hopefully I can get some media there to witness.

[Note:  Rose Baker and Ed Wade are  members of the Wetzel County Action Group.]

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