Open Letter: Why Did an Energy In Depth Staffer Post a Blog for a Cecil Resident?

The blog was supposed to be written by Cecil's Janice Gibbs. But the user name was from an Energy In Depth staffer. What's up with that?

Dear Energy In Depth,

I'll just put my cards out on the table here: I don't know what kind of unit you're running over there.

First off, and by way of background for those unfamiliar with your operations: I understand that my website and yours are different. Mine is journalism-based. And as a reporter who has worked for a laundry list of newspapers over the years, I can tell you that accuracy, objectivity and fairness are cornerstones of every one of those organizations.

Second: While yours might be a site that is funded by the Marcellus Shale industry, your "about us" section indicates that you folks have some high standards.

Let me quote, if I may:

"Launched in April 2011, the Northeast Marcellus Initiative is a natural gas industry funded organization that serves as the eyes and ears (as well as arms, legs and heart) of the EID coalition in the region—and the catalyst for a campaign that seeks to engage, educate and mobilize supporters of responsible resource development throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York."

I got caught up on the word "educate," guys.

And here's why: I received a blog entry titled, "Washington County Resident Speaks up in Support of Natural Gas."

Because I, too, want to educate my readers on issues of importance (and we all know that Marcellus Shale drilling in this area has been polarizing), I ran the blog on the subject—especially since the name of the woman reportedly writing the story, Janice Gibbs, is a known name in Cecil Township.

I thought people would be able to hear first-hand why a woman in our area would support the natural gas industry.

But upon looking further, the user name associated with the blog was not Ms. Gibbs—it was from Joseph Massaro, who is a field director for Energy In Depth's Northeast Marcellus Initiative.

And the person who posted the blog was apparently not even a Washington County, or Pennsylvania resident.

Mr. Massaro actually is from New York, according to his bio located here.

I would think that an organization that seeks to educate the public would do so in a more transparent manner.

And I wanted you to know personally that was the reason why the blog was removed—because I don't want to pass off what could be the writing of an industry-paid field director as something that was composed by a local concerned resident.

I'd like to add that various comments on my stories from Tom Shepstone, your campaign director, had been removed because the gentleman would post links to his own stories in the comments section—despite the fact that they were often off subject.

Mr. Shepstone: In MY industry, that would be the same as me posting a link to my stories under those written by the Observer-Reporter or Almanac on their sites. It just doesn't happen.

That all said, I would like to ask why a staffer for your organization is posting as or for a Washington County resident, yet using his Energy In Depth email.

You may comment directly on this story so we are all on the same page—because I don't understand why, if Ms. Gibbs wrote the story, she was not the one to post it.

Also: I have included screen shots to show what happened. Take a look at the attached files.


Amanda Gillooly, editor of the Canon-McMillan Patch

PS - This question goes out to Mr. Massaro personally: You commented on a story that appeared on my website last week that Energy In Depth just put two people "on the ground" in our area. What exactly are their responsibilities?

Prouder American February 08, 2013 at 01:35 PM
This is all so amusing. Can we all agree that companies like Range Resources are too cheap to do the right thing by using technologies of companies like AquaTech?
Amanda Gillooly February 08, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Proud - I didn't close comments. Just sharing my opinion that the conversation is devolving. Thank you all again for your comments.
cecil resident February 08, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Do you have the cost of any of the processes used in fracking and how they all work. Just because AquaTech was brought up as one of the new techniques and it wasn't used at this time doesn't mean it won't be used in the future. their are the gas companies themselves and colleges, scientists and independent company all looking at better ways to handle the waste that is what we do in this country using all of our ingenuity to better things. You don't like Range and that is your choice so you will find fault no matter what is proved.
Joseph Massaro February 08, 2013 at 05:33 PM
The wells surrounding Don's home have been producing for some time now and everything is fine for him and his neighbors. I don't understand your argument. Have there been accidents, yes. However if we look at the amount of wells developed in Pennsylvania and the number of accidents or issues, they are no where near equivalent.
Me February 08, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Who is this well known Cecil Twp resident Janice Gibbs? Is she a business women or a writer.It was a great article. Hope to see more articles from Janice Gibbs
Amanda Gillooly February 08, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Tom, I still can't post a link to your site. It doesn't allow me to even post it. It simply says "spam deleted" as soon as I click submit. Others have had the same problem. I have included the screen shot as an attachment. Any help would be appreciated.
James Barth February 08, 2013 at 11:37 PM
My heart goes out to Rep. Jesse White, and to all responsible citizens, and, residents, of areas drilled, and, about to be drilled, for having to deal with the likes of an organization such as Energy In Depth. Their blog posts (articles?) make Glenn Beck's wild associative charts appear substantial. That is their modus operandi, to find just a shred of a starting point, from which to construct a false portrait of a group, or person, whose credibility they wish to undermine, in their sophomoric writing style. Meanwhile, as their industry paychecks are deposited into their accounts, they refer to their industry as a "victim" of a smear campaign funded by The Park Foundation, or the Heinz Foundation. Tom Shepstone, and his staff, stand truth on its head, while they accuse their opposition of standing truth on its head, then write, the "jokes on you". Joe Massaro was a field director under Tom in NYS and NEPA. His job description, as he performed it in our area, is to show up at an event, with camera, shoot, listen, then, write a juvenile attack on that person, or group, that stands in opposition to EID's goals. Perhaps, Representative White should pre-emptively take out a restraining order on Joe Massaro? Their actions are downright creepy. EID's new attention on Western PA, shows how effective Rep. White, and local shale gas opposition, has been, as well as how important the "wet" gas Marcellus, has become. You will need a strong stomach.
Amanda Gillooly February 08, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Mr. Shepstone, With respect, I (as well as several readers) have inquired many times about being able to comment on your website. I kindly ask that you give me the professional courtesy of an answer, especially after you've accusing me many times on this thread of inappropriately deleting comments, etc. I look forward to your reply. Stay warm everyone!
cecil resident February 09, 2013 at 12:44 AM
James Barth you don't believe in freedom of speech? On this site we have had Dory Hippauf who appears a lot with SHALE SHOCK MEDIA an anti drilling site, Txsharon of BLUEDAZE DRILLING REFORM (TEXAS) also an anti drilling site. Just because pro gas residents in Cecil Township now have a voice and it is getting louder you act like we are some kind of monstor. I want to thank Mr. Shepstone and Mr. Massaro for giving us a voice. My heart goes out to the farmers and landowners who have keep silent long enough and they deserve to sell their gas rights. Looks like other counties aren't pushing the gas company away read the article. http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/3450133-74/consol-gas-airport#axzz2KGynxCDf
cecil resident February 09, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Amanda I have had trouble posting on your site also again today had to use a different internet browser the one I always use won't go thru. Comment posting are coming into my email posted and when you go into the Patch they are not their. They will eventually show up but a good well later.
Amanda Gillooly February 09, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Proud, I received notice that there have been some issues with the delay of comments and events showing up on the sites. The comments will show up, as I have no special settings for the comments portion of this story. The problems are expected to be resolved soon. Again: I hope to hear from Mr. Shepstone soon, per his former comments.
Donald Roessler February 09, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I sent him an email. Sometimes it takes a while to get a hold of him because he is busy. I also sent one to Joe.
Donald Roessler February 09, 2013 at 01:51 AM
James do you mean making fun of people like this article does ?? http://eidmarcellus.org/marcellus-shale/yoko-ono-sends-message-to-governor-cuomo-on-natural-gas/17955/
Lori Mungello February 09, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Good job Amanda!! Keep up the good work in seeking the truth like a good journalist should!God Bless!!
Donald Roessler February 09, 2013 at 02:20 AM
I just received an email that they are experiencing technical difficulties with that article in getting comments to come through. I also forwarded the message to Amanda and she can verify it.
cecil resident February 09, 2013 at 02:39 AM
We also appreciate The Patch so that pro gas enviromentalist can also get their message out. Thank you Amanda
Amanda Gillooly February 09, 2013 at 02:43 AM
I appreciate all the views you guys are sharing. There's room on The Patch for all civil discussion!
Donald Roessler February 09, 2013 at 02:46 AM
Amanda check your email. I put the wrong address on it and resent it too you. Can you verify if you got it.
Amanda Gillooly February 09, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Donald, I did receive the email. So we are all on the same page, I will post the content of the message here (a cut and paste with no alterations to the text) From: "Thomas Shepstone" <mail@shepstone.net> To: "BUGABOO19621" <bugaboo19621@comcast.net> Cc: "Joseph Massaro" <joe@eidmarcellus.org>, "John Krohn" <John.Krohn@fticonsulting.com> Sent: Friday, February 8, 2013 8:59:10 PM Subject: Re: I did change some settings and asked DeBerry to try again or send me the comment directly. I got nothing. Will try to resolve. After changing the settings I was able to see all spam for the last 24 hours and found two positive comments on other posts that shouldn't have been market as spam but nothing regarding your post. Thomas J. Shepstone Shepstone Management Company, Inc. 100 Fourth Street, Suite 33 Honesdale, PA 18431 PHONE: 570-251-9550 FAX: 570-251-9551 CELL: 570-470-0467 http://www.shepstone.net mail@shepstone.net On Feb 8, 2013, at 8:41 PM, BUGABOO19621 wrote: Amanda on Patch is still saying that they can't get comments through to your website on my article about Dr. Deberry. Apparently they are having issues again too with their comments. I gave her your email address to get a hold of you before.
Amanda Gillooly February 09, 2013 at 03:04 AM
(Thank you for following up, Donald! I appreciate it!)
James Barth February 09, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Neither the proud response, nor Mr. Roessler's response, to my comment, have a "reply" button, so I will just reply to my own comment so that I am near theirs. No, Donald, perhaps not like that essay to which you provided a link (I opened the link, but I refused to read yet another EID Yoko Ono "article"- "einmal ist genug" as some Germans might say). But, since you bring up Yoko, I can refer to the one that one of the other northeast field directors wrote less than a week ago that began with the headline "Loco Ono", instead of Yoko. Tom is famous for his changing names as well, such as Delaware Riverkeeper, to "Delaware RiverCreeper". So, are you EID fellows lowly bloggers, or something higher? It's your choice. As to proud American, perhaps you should be employed by EID as a northwest regional field director? You seem to fit right in. My post has nothing to do with curtailing "free speech", yet, you opened your response with that assertion disguised as a question? As you might have understood, if you had read more carefully, is that I am highly critical of the quality, and, truthfulness of that "speech". Most people understand that EID does more harm, than good, to the Oil and Gas industry in Pennsylvania, and New York State. With opposition such as that, what anti shale gas extraction person would want to stop them from writing? I would just like them to improve their quality, and, honesty.
Donald Roessler February 09, 2013 at 03:41 AM
Maybe Shaleshock Media should have picked another spokesperson. All I can say is if the shoe fits where it.
cecil resident February 09, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Prouder American when you can post proof that they are not working on new method the we can debate more. I gave five articles about new methods now give me five that they are not.
Donald Roessler February 09, 2013 at 02:14 PM
I write unpaid for guest articles for them so I'm the second person.
Kittypepper February 09, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Prouder American: Why are you so h--- bent on knowing who the second person is on the ground. Do you have something to hide.. There is a whole lot more then just two people on the ground just wait and see. I am number three...They will be coming out of the astrotruf before this is all over. Why are you so down on Proud American, she has voiced her OWN opinion on this site (PATCH) for over a year... She doesn't need esquire after her name to be well spoken...
cecil resident February 09, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Prouder American I personally chose EID to write my story and when I did that it was theirs to use Donald Roessler liked my story and posted it on a blog on the Patch it wasn't EID. Later on Joe Massaro commented and from what I understand and Amanda correct me if I'm wrong ,she removed Mr. Massaro posting which is her right to do if she feels for what ever reason wrong , I personally didn't see an issue with the posting but I am not the editor of the Patch. I do have the postings before they where remove because I make copies of everything, a life lesson ,you never know what you may need someday to back what you are saying. My association with Donald started on The Patch with comments and goes back before I knew anything about EID,we have one thing in common we are pro gas enviromentalist we are for the gas industry but we also love our enviroment we know the gas industry is here to stay and we are being a responsible citizen working to also make it a safe industry like the people did with the mines and the coal industries decades ago to improve their productions. Some day when the pro gas people feel a little more comfortable speaking out I would like to see The Patch write a series of articles that are for the citizens who support drilling. Amanda knows me well I have posted a lot of comments on the Patch and have always tried to be respectful even when I disagree with a person I'm not 100% sure but I don't think Amanda has ever had to remove any of my articles.
Wendy Lynne Lee February 09, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Dear commenters, and Ms. Gillooly, My apologies for being tardy. I'd like to make a contribution that will shed additional light on EID's motives. I have attached the web addresses of what I think your readers will find illuminating. The upshot is that EID is an agency of the fracking corporations whose mission has nothing to do with education and everything to do with (a) propagandizing for fracking, and (b) discrediting their opponents. EID is not above making false accusation, fabricating false "evidence," banning anyone who threatens to derail their operation, and engaging in character assassination. Mr. Massaro is an EID hit-squad member who follows Mr. Shepstone, whose own demonstrable interests have nothing to do with the truth, and everything to do with the money he earns as an agent for the natural gas industry. As for Mr. Shepstone's claim that EID allows for opposing views--THAT is a claim so laughably and demonstrably false, it's surprising they still continue to make it. I hope these essays are helpful: Raging Chicken Press. org: Energy in Depth’s Soldiers of Fracking- Fortune: Why We Must Understand Who They Are and What They Do: http://www.ragingchickenpress.org/2012/12/30/energy-in-depths-soldiers-of-fracking-fortune-why-we-must-understand-who-they-are-and-what-they-do/ Raging Chicken Press.org: Bait You, Gut You, Eat You While You’re Still Alive: The Landmen Energy in Death Will Do Anything to Get To Your Farmhouse Door Wendy Lynne Lee
Wendy Lynne Lee February 09, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Mr. Roesseler, First, my contributions here are not about Mr. White. Second, the truth of my claims have nothing to do with those of Mr. White's. Third, I am not from Susquehanna County, and I don't live there. Fourth, the effects of fracking to environmental deterioration, social injustice, and climate change make local politics the business of us ALL.
Wendy Lynne Lee February 09, 2013 at 09:34 PM
As for Shaleshock. It is one of the several locations where I post scholarly research articles--usually short summaries with links to the longer pieces at RCP--a young web address that get more than 13,000 hits a month. Through Shaleshock, I can reach both a Pennsylvania audience and one in New York. Thanks for reminding readers of that important task.
Amanda Gillooly February 09, 2013 at 10:02 PM
With respect, one of the points in my open letter was missed. Donald - I deleted a mess of comments because this website is not a clearing house for links that are unrelated to this story, and for links for your website. It is one thing to offer pertinent background. It is another to almost spam my site. Out of fairness, I tempered the links left by Ms. Lee, too. Insider, I warn you one again that there are no personal attacks on this site. If I have to delete one more of your comments for this reason, I will need to block you from the site. Since the discussion has obviously degenerated, I am not shutting off comments. Thank you all, and if you would like to write a guest column or letter to the editor, please feel free to do so.


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