throw poopWe’ve seen the hit pieces attacking studies and reports regarding the risks, dangers and hazards of industrializing our communities by the natural gas corporations.

We’ve seen the Chesapeake Energy and Talisman Resources coloring books

We’ve seen court documents which impose a gag order on children by Range Resources.

We are seeing the natural gas industry infiltrating our schools under the guise of “educating” children.

While the Natural Gas Industry (NGI) is plying children with coloring books, attaching gag orders, and attempting to create a captive audience in our schools, Energy In Depth (EID), a public relations campaign created by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) ran a blog post accusing fracktivists of “exploiting” children.

You may be asking, can NGI stoop any lower?


Public debates are normally confined to expressing opinions and views based on facts, based on studies, based on reports, based on research, and based on real-life documentation .  In a civil debate, personal attacks (also known as character assassination) are only used by those who have nothing else to offer.   It’s the equivalent of throwing poop.

More often than not, we see the poop throwing in tightly contested political campaigns where one candidate say “Vote for me because the other guy is a doody-head”.   Nonetheless, a personal attack on public figures goes with the territory.    However, crossing the line from a personal attack on a public figure to including his/her family is rarely crossed.

How low can the NGI go?  Really low.

Vera Scroggins, a retired grandmother living in the gaslands of Northeast Pennsylvania is very active with the issue of natural gas and its related activities.   Armed with a video camera she’s been documenting their activities and challenging public officials and the NGI representatives alike.  (Click here for videos)

This has all caught the eye of the NGI.  And the NGI has attacked back.

In the past, the attacks on Scroggins’ work have been limited to the issue at hand, usually by presenting variations of NGI talking points and presenting opposing “facts” as they know them.

Now they have sunk to a new low with coordinated poop throwing not only directed at Scroggins herself, but also at her family, including grandchildren.


An article has appeared on a number of fringe NGI group websites.   Why just on the fringe group sites?  It provides cover and distance from the industry itself.

One of the more “prominent” fringe sites is NATURAL GAS NOW (NGN) which featured an article by Jim Willis the self-identified Editor and Publisher of Marcellus Drilling News (MDN).

Willis asks:

Piped Piper Vera Scroggins has now led several New York State Senators throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania to see natural gas development, as they have relied upon a vile-mouthed individual, with some very strange revolting ideas, to help make the case for their own anti-fracking crusades.  Do they know who they are dealing with or what they are seeing?  Jim Willis wonders.

Please Note – Willis did not post this on his own website.  He’s more than willing to throw the poop but won’t touch it himself?

Willis is listed as a “guest blogger” on NGN, and has appeared as a guest blogger on EID/IPPA public relations campaign site.

In its “ABOUT” section, NGN describes itself as:

This Natural Gas Now blog is intended to promote responsible natural gas development as a vehicle to achieve American energy independence, promote rural economic development and, thereby, give farmers and other landowners the basis for keeping their land in its farm, forest or other open space uses.

Note “…keeping their land in its farm, forest or other open space uses…”.   Our public forests are being fracked.

Who runs NGN?  Natural Gas Now is registered to Tom Shepstone. naturalgasnow registrationShepstone is also the campaign manger, blogger and sometime spokesperson for EID/IPAA Northeast Marcellus.  He’s has also been the EID/IPAA representative at a number of public presentations and debates armed with the NGI industry talking points and misinformation.   (Click here to watch Shepstone explain how Hydraulicfracturing “improves waters quality.)

Poop throwing is a cowardly act and the last refuge for those who are unable to debate issues based on fact and evidence.   Poop throwing at children is beyond low, it is even beyond reprehensible.

Referencing a quote by Joseph Welch to Senator Joseph McCarthy

“Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Given the personal attacks on Scroggins and her family, if you were to ask that question of the Natural Gas Industry, the answer would be apparently not.


© 2013 by Dory Hippauf


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