On this, one of a kind warm night, when the usual sounds should be tree frogs, peepers and birds at vespers, all we can hear is the low grind of heavy machinery. The usually dark sky is now pierced by a needle of lights; the drillers have come like in some Steven King apparition. No amount of cajoling, petition signatures, scientific and news articles could change the ultimate end. A combination of laws and supervisors who were not willing to take a risk gave us this dark scenario.

Our rights as citizens and taxpayers entitled to clean water and air have been shelved into oblivion by a State Government interested only in the business of drilling. Yet, at the same time our Governor will not consider a severance tax on the gas industry. The DEP with the exception of a few individuals has protected the environment as if they were bound, gagged, and eviscerated. But it protects the gas industry like an over indulgent mother. No time spent on site examination, no thought about location in water shed areas, just a rubber stamp.

Maybe one of the most frustrating things is passing the entry to Mary Dohler’s well number 1 and seeing the presence of uniformed security agents with signs that boast of protecting the drilling site. As I passed this scene, I wondered who would protect our rights. Our rights to clean water, air and a tranquil place to live. It seemed as if the powerless had no protection and the industry doing the real damage and harm had an arsenal at its fingertips. The Government of the people, for the people seems to have perished in a sea of industrial rights.

I think the worst thing to watch is the fluttering of the American flag atop the rig, the drilling company seeming to mock us, as being that part of America doesn’t matter, its’ citizens.

S. Griffin

North East

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