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by Paul Weamer   |  January 9th, 2012 17

Dimock Township Pennsylvania.  If you’ve heard anything about the fracking debate, you must at least know the name: Dimock.  This is fracking ground zero.  Josh Fox’s controversial documentary, “Gasland,” highlighted the struggles of the people who live here; the people who can light their tap water on fire; the people who can’t drink their own well water anymore.

Dimock’s population during the 2000 census was 1,398.  Their per capita income was a little over $15,000.  And 13% of them lived below the poverty line.   But that was all about to change after the census was taken.  The frackers were coming.  Money was coming.  Things were going to get better.  After all, fracking brings nothing but new jobs, higher incomes, better lives.  Isn’t that what the commercials and politicians tell us?  But the folks in Dimock got something else too.

For a while, after their water wells began going bad, they were having potable water trucked in by Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.  They had vents built into their showers so the methane leaking from their shower heads didn’t explode and kill them before they had the chance to spend all that new-found wealth.  But now the free, clean water has stopped flowing.  Cabot has decided that enough is enough, after regulators in Pennsylvania stopped requiring them to provide water to the affected families.   Of course, the frackers say that it isn’t their fault.  Dimock’s water must have always been that way.  Even though the generations of people who lived here, pre-frack, claim that they didn’t have these problems.  They say their water was fine until our country started the fracking march to energy independence and a better world for all Americans.

Would it even matter if it was proven, beyond doubt, that the frackers ruined their water?  These corporations are too busy making America better with jobs, money to stimulate local economies, and cheap natural gas for all to worry about quaint, antiquated ideas like the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Safe Drinking Water Acts.  I’ve read that some families on the East Coast are now saving over $500 a year on their gas bills because of fracking.  That’s a new 32″ flat screen television.  Now they really can have more than one TV, and pause live action when they want a sandwich, only to play it again when they get into the kitchen.  You know, like the Direct TV commercial.   If that’s not progress, what is?

There were three strange news stories in the last two weeks that returned Dimock to the forefront of the fracking debate.  Please read each of them and try to imagine that you live in Dimock, because if fracking begins near your home, someday you might.

EPA: Dimock water supplies ‘merit further investigation’

EPA could send water to Pa. town with bad wells

Federal Agency Cancels Water Delivery to Pa. Town

Am I the only one wondering why our tax dollars, through the EPA, need to be the engine for Dimock’s clean water?  Where are the gas companies who are really making all the money from this?  If it seems like they’ve purchased political support to get off the hook, they certainly have not!  They simply gave millions of dollars to political campaigns in the Marcellus Shale states out of their sense of patriotism.  They are saving our country, one Dimock at a time.

One final thought:  America has military troops stationed in 140 countries around the world, including Germany, Japan, South Korea, and most other places we’ve ever sent them.  We are like that party guest who wants another drink at 3 a.m.; once we go to a place, we never leave.  So for all the fracking supporters who believe that natural gas development will finally end our reliance on foreign oil, allowing us to leave the Middle East and all the problems that region creates for us, you are fooling yourselves.  You are denying American history.  We will always have a presence in the Middle East, whether our country is fracked or not fracked.


Some new information about Dimock in a article today (1/10/12)

And more information about Dimock from Bloomberg Businessweek today (1/11/13)

More pollution and destruction from those American patriots at Cabot Oil & Gas Corp here:

I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that Cabot will decide that it didn’t ruin these people’s water either.

  • Edj

    Terible situation for those people.

  • Michell'e Boice

    This is a horrible nightmare! Imagine living without water if you can. We lost power and water during the late summer hurricane. It was 3 days and I thought I'd lose my mind. You don't know how many times you flush a toilet until you can't. The third day without a bath and you get very irritable. This is OUR problem and if we don't all speak up for our neighbors in Dimock, we deserve what we get when it comes to our backyard, our water supply. This is not a fluke or isolated incident. Stand up and speak up, don't turn your head the other way thinking this isn't YOUR problem too.

  • Gloria

    Thank you for raising awareness about Dimock, PA and the larger story of fracking's destructive & toxic effects in every shale region of the world.

    Regardless of whether you fish, or not, whether you're short/tall, rich/poor, black/white, male/female, you do need water. We all do. Please join us, your fellow citizens, in stopping this mad, poisonous scrabble for shale gas. Thank you.

  • Joe Demalderis

    This all reminds me of two things said by two different people:

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." Ansel Adams

    "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Albert Einstein

  • Paul Weamer

    As usual, Joe, great and pertinent quotes.

  • Mutt

    Get the Frack out of there! I can't wait for the earthquakes to start…

  • Stone Fly

    Can't believe PBS (Frontline), 60 Minutes (CBS), or somebody in Hollywood would miss the opportunity to document what's happened, and is happening up there. Stay tuned . . this very same thing is probably headed to a watershed near you very, very soon.

  • harry t

    Not to worry the PA Department of Environmental Protection is on the job. IF only they could find and keep track of the wells. They were only off by 500 wells. A mere 12% error rate.

    • Paul Weamer

      Absolutely, Harry. You beat me to it. For those of you that don't know what Harry is talking about, read this:

      Pennsylvania (my home state) likes to brag that it is leading the country with Marcellus shale developement. But the only developement Pennsylvania's government is leading is a new definition for the word incompetence.

  • Troutchick

    Thanks for the story. PA flyfishers and people everywhere should educate them seives on the negative effects of Fracking. It's destroying many of our watersheds. It's happening all over PA. We've been working with Trout Unlimited, Sierra Club and many other organizations to stop this from destroying any more of our water and air but the fight is a hard one. The industry spends billions to lobby both in Harrisburg and DC. We are all grass root organizations fighting for our constitutional rights. Please help by writing to your senators, state reps and being up to date on what is happening. has a list of actions we've been doing over the past 2 years to stop this. The documentary "Gasland" is being aired on HBO this month. Thanks again for the report.

  • @MsCalin

    here is a link to the LATEST lab tests from Dimock , far exceeding ALL levels acceptable.. .
    also word from Dimock is that the gas royalty checks have dropped @ 90% since last year from 2000 a month to 100 dollars a month with unusable wells to boot, a year of cash versus many lifetimes of a compromised aquifer ….also see for a day in Dimock and press meeting last year where Secretary Hangar promised a water pipleline to the residents with UNFIXABLE wells . The Cabot gas company , the town of Dimock , the DEP , the Governor and now the EPA ( MAYBE ) has failed these Americans , it is truly shameful and unacceptable…..

  • Ann

    TODAY, JANUARY 11: last day to postmark or email concerning the woefully inadequate draft SGEIS (environmental impact statement) for New York State. PROHIBIT all fracking in NY and elsewhere!

  • Ann

    sign on here, another link coming:

  • Ann
  • Paul Weamer

    Thank you, Dory!

  • korbin

    I hope the reference to the guy at 3am wanting another drink and not wanting to leave wasn't about me! What disgrace this is for America

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