The Scourge

Be Prepared to Stop

We live with windows open wide in the summer, though it’s not such a good summer for listening to crickets and insect chatter. There are signs everywhere … slow, stop, men at work, road work ahead … fence lines and driveways littered with multi-colored ribbons that speak the secret code no one truly understands.

Gas well on farm

There’s one in every direction, so it seems. The roof you can barely see through the grass on the left is my house. Our barn is a straight shot from the drilling rig about a half mile away. Just because we say no drilling here doesn’t mean we’re exempt from the bother next door.

The drilling continues 24/7 … someone said four new holes at the same site. I can’t really fathom the whole thing. I’m all for progress but if this is it I’d really like to stick my head in the sand where it’s blissfully quiet. I don’t know, though, if I can pretend the slow, silent hillsides around here are undisturbed.

The back-up beeps of trucks in motion travel across the hills, bounce off the barn straight into my bedroom window throughout the night. This is the summer of glorious lightning bugs but the night noises have disappeared in my neck of the woods.

Gas well drilling rig

Trucks barrel down back roads. Dust rolls. Strangers drive onto properties and open gates and literally cut fences to make roadways to mysterious sites. And no, they don’t give 24-hour notice even though that’s what someone’s contract says in black and white.

This is not a black and white issue. There are 50 shades of gray and 100 shades of white hot and blood red. Who do you call …

… when calves eat ribbons tied to fences and die a slow death?

… when strangers make holes in fences without regard for the animals they contain?

You should complain to someone, surely! But who? Mr. No One is in charge and good luck finding that needle in the haystack. Everyone has a story and everyone speaks a bit of the truth and you’ll never, EVER get a straight answer.

Just say no.

Of course not everyone agrees. What do YOU think? I’d love to know your opinions …

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    Nancy June 27, 2012 (11:43 am)

    We got a voicemail message on Good Friday from a gentleman that said they want to buy our home because the gas separation plant was going to be built on the farm behind us. We’ve been negotiating and house hunting since then. We don’t want to move but we don’t want to live next door to the plant either. I’m sad for losing my home, sad for all the extra traffic, sad for the noise and sad for the change in our hillsides. And I’m scared that soon we won’t have good well water either. I don’t know if all the royalties in the world will help that.

    • comment-avatar
      Farmgirl June 27, 2012 (11:48 am)

      Nancy, that’s horrible! I’m so sorry … I wish you well on your house hunting, though. I hope you find a place without any natural resources under the ground!

  • comment-avatar
    Melissa Wells June 27, 2012 (8:24 pm)

    ohhhhhh…. don’t even get me started on this issue!! Everywhere I look I see corporate greed… The sums of $$$ handed out do nothing to preserve peace and harmony of nature. Traffic is ridiculous! White trucks everywhere… so much so that I want to vomit each time I see one! Ugly scars on once beautiful rolling hills of crops and pasture. The whole thing is just vile! they say upwards of 60 well sites to built within next couple of years!!! I personally have not seen anything good that has truly come of this other than several new shiny tractors and trucks at some local farms. There is too much traffic, too many “out of towners” and I have a friend who is basically being evicted from her long time rental because her lease is up and the landlord wants to rent to the oil riggers who are allotted up to $1800/month living expenses and she is being asked to pay an additional $250/month of which she can’t afford or vacate so riggers can move in! Ridiculous! This whole oil boom makes me want to just spit nails!

  • comment-avatar
    Kelly D. June 28, 2012 (8:16 pm)

    I stand beside you with a loud “NO!!!!!!!!” We chose to live here for a reason. The beauty that surrounds us has been tainted. My heart hurts. I am afraid we have been made fools of by big business.