Tag Archives: drill pads

Concerned About Fracking? — Part 1: The Three Waves

Here’s why we should be concerned

By Bernhard Debatin

Fracking comes like a storm to the affected areas, and it comes in multiple waves. We’ve seen the first wave in Athens county: the leasing frenzy. All it took was the creation of a purported “last minute opportunity” and many people were willing to sign leases that do not sufficiently protect the interests of the landowners. Some people may notice too late that there are Clauses With Consequences in these contracts, as the New York Times put it in a recent article. A worthwhile list of such regrettable clauses is provided in the NYT “Layman’s Guide to Lease Terms.”

The second, even more forceful wave, is what Paul Feecel, a  landowner from Carroll County and  chair of the Carroll Concerned Citizens group, described as “an invasion” at a recent presentation at the Athens High School (on Dec. 7): Continue reading


Landowners Need to Be Careful What They Sign

By Bernhard Debatin

Landowners in Athens County have recently been approached aggressively to sign leases for their mineral rights so that gas and oil can be extracted from under their land. The technology used for this, known as horizontal hydro-fracking, is highly controversial due to its potential adverse effects on the environment, specifically on the air and our water resources, and due to the lack of proper regulation and oversight.

At the meeting for landowners on Nov. 29, held by local attorney John Lavelle and Cunningham Energy at the Athens County fairgrounds, Lavelle presented a draft of a supposedly “landowner friendly” mineral rights lease. With their talk about a “window of opportunity” and the claim that “no better lease” would be available to landowners, it appears that Cunninghan Energy and Lavelle are creating artificial pressure to talk people into leasing their mineral rights. On Tuesday, Dec. 6, Lavelle and Cunningham will hold another such meeting. Continue reading