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51% Show #1215

51% Episode 1215
Oct 25, 2012

Here in New York State, hydrofracking has been a headline for a couple of years now. Whether or not it will be allowed is still being debated and studied. But in other states like Pennsylvania, Texas and North Dakota, the new technique which extracts gas from shale deep beneath the ground is well established and the impacts are clear. The industry points to the jobs created, the money paid for drilling rights, the increase in domestic fossil fuel. Critics point to wells fouled by spills and leaks at the drilling sites, overburdened services in towns suddenly swelling with out of town workers, and landscapes that have changed forever. Vera Scroggins lives in Pennsylvania. She’s watched her county transform from rural to industrial…and she’s a vocal witness.

11:22  Vera Scroggins  Fracking

Vera Scroggins lives in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

Coming up, the other side of the argument…plus an organized effort to help towns get information, and make enforceable choices, about hydrofracking.  If you missed part of this show or want to hear it again, visit the 51% archives at wamc.org.  This week’s show is #1215.


Search for Vera Scroggins on the Internet and you’ll find there are people who appear to hate her. It’s also not easy to find people to speak out in favor of hydrofracking. Jennifer Huntington is an exception – a dairy farmer near Cooperstown, New York, she sued her home town of Middlefield, saying only the state has the right to prohibit drilling. She lost, and she’s planning to appeal. You’ll find some pretty appalling things said about her on the Internet, too.

7:42  Jennifer Huntington

Jennifer Huntington’s family owns a dairy farm in Middlefield, New York. 

The debate over hydraulic fracturing is an emotional one, and part of the argument is over a community’s ability to approve, or deny, drilling in its borders.  The Natural Resource Defense Council has begun the Community Defense Project in targeted states to help communities get information and, where necessary, work to get the power to make their own choices.  Kate Sinding is an attorney with the NRDC.

1:38  NRDC fracking

Kate Sinding is an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.  


That’s our show for this week.  Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance.  Our theme  music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.  Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.

Thanks so much for joining us…we’ll be back next week with another edition of 51% The Women's Perspective.

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