The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

July 8, 2013

Fervent foes devote their lives to fracking fight

VESTAL, N.Y. (AP) — Big energy companies have been trying for five years to tap the riches of the Marcellus Shale in southern New York, promising thousands of new jobs, economic salvation for a depressed region, and a cheap, abundant, clean-burning source of fuel close to power-hungry cities. But for all its political clout and financial prowess, the industry hasn't been able to get its foot in the door.

One reason: Folks like Sue Rapp and Vera Scroggins are standing in the way.

Rapp, a family counselor in the Broome County town of Vestal, in the prime shale gas region near the Pennsylvania border, is intense and unrelenting in pressing her petitions. Scroggins — a retiree and grandmother who lives across the border in hilly northeastern Pennsylvania, where intensive gas development has been going on for five years — is gleefully confrontational. She happily posts videos of her skirmishes.

The anti-fracking movement has inspired a legion of people like Rapp and Scroggins— idiosyncratic true believers, many of them middle-aged women, who have made it the central mission of their lives to stop gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus region that underlies southern New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

They are not necessarily popular; they have been shunned by former friends who support drilling and the economic benefits it brings. Their opponents accuse them of distorting the truth about fracking's impacts by insisting that their communities and surrounding countryside will be transformed into a polluted industrial wasteland if natural gas interests have their way.

But many of those same opponents acknowledge that Rapp, Scroggins and others like them have been effective.

"There's no denying that their actions have had an impact," said Jim Smith, spokesman for the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York. "If they weren't doing what they're doing, we would have been through with this a long time ago. They're wrong on the facts but they're very loud and very vocal, and that gets noticed for political reasons."

Text Only
AP National
  • Court critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears to be highly skeptical of laws that try to police false statements during political campaigns, raising doubts about the viability of such laws in more than 15 states. Justices expressed those concerns early

    April 23, 2014

  • Report on CIA interrogations shadows Gitmo trials WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's forthcoming report on the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques could add to the legal complications facing the long-delayed U.S. military tribunals of terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The

    April 23, 2014

  • APNewsBreak: Clemency after 10 years in prison? WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars, according t

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal. William Rousan's last words were, "My trials and tran

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage LAS VEGAS (AP) — As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger vot

    April 23, 2014

  • Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans WASHINGTON (AP) — Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time, an Associated Press-GfK poll found. Ameri

    April 21, 2014

  • Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms. Fat chance. An indefinite ext

    April 21, 2014

  • After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security BOSTON (AP) — A large police presence greeted runners and spectators filtering in Monday morning for the Boston Marathon, a year after a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

    April 21, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. WHO HAS HARSH WORDS FOR SOUTH KOREA FERRY CREW President Park Geun-hye says the captain and some crew members of the sunken ship committed "unf

    April 21, 2014

  • Kids get codeine in ER despite risks, guidelines CHICAGO (AP) — There's new evidence that the potent painkiller codeine is being given to hundreds of thousands of children in emergency rooms despite guidelines on limiting its use. That is the conclusion of a study based on an analysis of 10 years o

    April 21, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National