Buried Beneath some Shrubs and Grass and Wildflowers is Nothing but Frack-Tastrophe: Compressor Station Construction, Janet Hock Road, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, 10.13.12

It’s difficult to capture the sense of palpable anxiety I felt taking these sets of photographs.

This is the Janet Hock Road compressor construction site in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania that I have been documenting for about 10 months. It is simply staggering to witness the complete destruction of this once gorgeous vista, this small mountain now flattened, trenched, and riveted back together with pipeline.

Here is where it all began, March, 2012 (though in truth much earlier in the plans of Meridian Energy, LLC).

It began with the ripping off of the top of this small mountain.

It’s like the body of one moment of earth murdered and then reinvigorated as an industrial monster.

The public road going in and out has been appropriated as a staging area for pipe construction–so that there is effectively no way to not be on the site. There were a number of trucks–and quite a few workers for a Saturday. Note carefully the license plates–Texas, Alaska, Kentucky.

Note carefully the failed welds, the corrections pencilled in on the sides of the pipes.



They must have a way to get the gas to the global market where they can make a profit. They must have a million and one places to dump the carcinogenic, poisonous waste. They must have the water, the water, the water to frack.

They’ll eventually cover all this up with some green grass, some new shrubbery–and a big damn fence. They count on us to forget that it’s right under our feet. Waiting to explode just like the one in Susquehanna County. They count on us to NOT want to see.

So I keep taking pictures.

We must must MUST keep looking. And they must know that we are not merely looking–but that we SEE what they are doing. That our eyes are wide open to this RAPE of our land and the poisoning of our futures.


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28 Comments on Buried Beneath some Shrubs and Grass and Wildflowers is Nothing but Frack-Tastrophe: Compressor Station Construction, Janet Hock Road, Sullivan County, Pennsylvania, 10.13.12

  1. the pipeline looks huge that the workers are trying to move– they are putting thousands of innocent people at risk for the money-making schemes of men who don’t live next to any of this.

  2. Thank you for being our eyes with your camera and documenting the land rape in construction of this compressor station. We need to write vehement letters to Obama telling him he should immediately halt his promotion of fracking and all aspects of shale gas production and also halt his passive acquiescence to the Keystone XL pipeline enabling tar sands production; NASA scientist James Hanson says the CO2 from tar sands production and burning will be “game over” for climate change. Obama will likely be re-elected although not with help of my vote because of his dirty energy policies (among other reasons).

    You have one of the best subtitles on the web: “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.” Obama should be more angry but he dares not — major problem.

  3. That subtitle belongs to the genius of Kevin Mahoney–as does this awesome zine.

    Thank you for the compliment–I think the pictures are so important to documenting this ongoing tragedy. And yes–Obama–the only reason I can vote for him is because the alternative is unthinkable–barely.

  4. You all use petroleum products on a near constant basis. Does that make you accessories to said rape?

    I don’t understand how you can offer such colorful rhetoric, and then turn around and be willfully complicit in the commission of the alleged crime. You could all choose to live a life completely free of petroleum products, but you most certainly don’t. Why is that, and how do you make peace with that at the end of the day?

    • Mr Knapp uses a logical fallacy to try and justify his point, Faulty generalizations or Hasty Generalization fits his statement.

      Logical fallacies are flaws in reasoning that lead to faulty, illogical statements. They are unreasonable argumentative tactics. Most logical fallacies masquerade as reasonable statements, but they are in fact attempts to manipulate readers by reaching their emotions instead of their intellects.

      • There’s no flaws in reasoning here, just pointing out the blinding hypocrisy.

        If there was a practice that I truly believe was akin to rape, I’d do everything in my power to boycott that practice to be able to sleep at night. Apparently you all have no such qualms.

        I know you don’t see it, but to other folks, this is like watching someone lecturing another person that they should be vegan because it’s immoral to kill and consume animals, while chomping down on a Big Mac. It’s that blatant.

        • Now you use a false analogy to try to justify your previous logical fallacy.

          A false analogy is an invalid conclusion is drawn from a comparison between two situations. It uses analogical comparisons to connect one item in question to another.

          It typically used in propaganda and political rhetoric. (Fox News is one of the great perpetrators of false analogies.)

          Right-wingers love to use this example of a false analogy “Most extremists follow Islam. Therefore, Islam is a religion that propagates extremism.”

  5. Ah, Mr Knapp–

    You’d think you could be a bit more original. Indeed, there is no way to avoid the fact that everything in our world is made out of either fossil sources or corn–and for all practical purposes corn in also made out of petroleum. I can pretty well assure you, you don’t have half the clear idea I do about just HOW frightening this all is. Such is the power that companies like yours–though far larger–have managed to hold over the economies of nation state–fueled by the threat of things like war. NO ONE can live a life free of petroleum products. Absolutely NO ONE. You’ll not want to press this point. I DO have the goods for this argument.

    So–putting the ridiculous aside, what our moral responsibilities then are are to minimize as much as is possible–even to inconvenience–the uses we do make. And I DO. I drive a small fuel efficient Honda- YOU drive a gas hog truck. I utilize as little heating fuel as I can over Winter. I doubt this applies to YOU. I have as little to do with factory farming–a HUGE source of fuel consumption–as is possible (I am a 37 year vegetarian). I seriously doubt this applies to YOU. And so on.

    Here’s what your argument amounts to: “Since we can’t use NO fossil fuels, we might as well just throw in the towel and use’em all.”

    No, Mr. Knapp. That’s like saying “We can’t stop child molestation, so we might as well just not prosecute anyone for it.”

    Offended. You should be. YOUR line of work actively promotes and profiteers from environmental rape.

    Mine analyses the moral bankruptcy of your lame excuses, and then endeavors in very serious ways to minimize my participation in a world constructed via your graft.

    • There most certainly is a way to avoid fossil fuels! The human race existed thousands of years without them. I deal with quite a few Amish folks, they seem to be doing quite well without using hardly any fossil fuels.

      So don’t sit here and act like driving a Honda instead of a pickup truck is some sort of massive sacrifice. It’s not. You use thousands of gallons of oil to heat your home and power your car. You don’t have to do that. That is a CHOICE that you make.

      How comforted do you think a rape victim would be if her attacker said “I’m endeavoring in very serious ways to minimize my participation in additional rapes”? as he left. I doubt it would mean an awful lot to her, the same way your words here don’t mean much to me.

  6. Again, Mr. Knapp, you truly have no idea what you’re saying. And again, your claim amounts to “Since we can’t do everything we want, we have no responsibility to do anything.” The fact is that YOU need an excuse to do nothing. Except that what you do is worse. YOU participate cheerily in the RAPE of the environment. YOU make money off this RAPE, and then YOU try to make the victims of your participation in a RAPE think that they have been benefitted by your diseased cancerous penetration and corruption of their bodies–whether we mean their water, their air, or the effects these will have on human and nonhuman BODIES. I fully understand that you (as in, anyone in your position) have (has) a deep-going need to sanitize these facts so that you can live with yourself. But I am not required to help you make what is a RAPE look like a date. No. My job is to expose what is a RAPE for what it IS.

    If you think the Amish are living without the use of fossil fuels, you are sorely mistaken. This is rather like the mythological notion that organically grown food is unaffected by the cancerous nightmare brought to us by Monsanto and/or by the use of Frankenseeds.

    How comforted is a rape victim when her attacker says he is endeavoring to minimize his participation in additional rapes? You, Mr. Knapp, should be looking in the mirror when you ask that question. And you’re right, it means very little–none actually–that you make a pretense to minimizing the damage–especially with your record of environmental violations: http://ragingchickenpress.org/2012/08/20/stream-discharge-drill-cuttings-oil-brine-andor-silt-response-to-mike-knapp-snyder-bros-mds-energy-development-or-best-not-to-call-me-a-junkie/.

    And you’re right again–we are ALL compromised by the extraction industries. But it makes a world of moral difference that YOU work as hard as you can to capitalize on this compromise and make money on that dependence. Deny it, evade, it, rationalize your way around it, your bread and butter is baked and spread out of extortion.

    MIne is not.

    • You can deflect all you like Ms. Lee, you can try to change the subject and demonize me. But the fact remains, you’re buying what I’m selling, and you’re doing so out of convenience, not necessity. Does the earth know (or care) that you’re doing so under protest? Does your Honda emit less emissions because it knows that you’re ideologically opposed to fossil fuels?

      You propose an immediate cessation of all fossil fuel use be mandated to the entire country, but you can’t even do it yourself voluntarily, if for no other reason than to lead by example!

  7. Ah, Mr. Knapp–the fallacy of projection and the effort to deflect are, I’m afraid, all yours. You recognize it too–such is the reason you choose this particular form of accusation. But it does not stick because intentions DO matter. Yours are to profiteer off the RAPE of our water and air. Mine are to thwart intentions indefensible on their face. You resort to straw arguments–that I propose an immediate cessation of the use of fossil fuels–because you know that any accurate representation of my arguments leaves you in the dust. Yours are the “arguments” the addict offers to himself, you know, the smarmy rationalizations for continuing a bad habit as if it were a really good idea.

    Let me end this with a challenge: Want to take me on in a public forum? Come to my talk tomorrow night at Bloomsburg University, 5PM, Schweiker Room, Andruss Library: The Corporatization of American Democracy, Genocidal Profiteering, and Slickwater Hydraulic Fracturing: The Extortion of “The Good American.”

    I promise to use you and MDS Energy as an example.

    But if you want to address me, you’ll have to use my proper name: Dr. Lee.

    • You are as much of a profiteer as I am Dr. Lee. An inconvenient truth no doubt, but a truth nonetheless. The comfortable, modern life that you enjoy every day is all predicated on the use of fossil fuels. According to you, “our world” is unavoidably built by fossil fuels:

      “there is no way to avoid the fact that everything in our world is made out of either fossil sources or corn–and for all practical purposes corn in also made out of petroleum”

      You choose to live in “our world”. That is a conscious decision on your part. There is a world that you could choose to live in that is completely free of fossil fuels. You are choosing to support the supposed “rape” of the air and land.

      You choose to live a comfy life. You choose to support the fossil fuel industry. You choose to condone “rape”.

      The CHOICES that we make say so much more than our words.

  8. You’re right, Mr. Knapp, I could commit suicide. That is the only way out of the world the profiteers have left to us. But I prefer to live– and fight.

    Thanks for that advice…but no thanks.

    See you Tomorrow!!

    • That’s wildly inaccurate. You could easily choose to live a life devoid of fossil fuels. It just wouldn’t be an easy life. Though I think its interesting that you’d rather kill yourself than live a life without fossil fuels.

      On that note, I guess it would be proper for me to say “you’re welcome!”


  9. You’ve just no idea, do you Mr. Knapp, of how fossil fuels, and what it takes to make utility of them, permeates every aspect of life, do you? Do you just not know that fossil fuels have in point of flat fact penetrated your very genetic structure? Do you just not recognize that the very fibers of your BODY are permeated by fossil fuels, plastics, and their byproducts? No, Mr. Knapp, the ONLY way to escape interaction with fossil fuels is to commit suicide. And as I made clear, I’d rather fight for a life compromised by fossil fuels and other forms of extraction than sell my soul for a material wealth wrought literally out of the suffering present and future of others. Your willful ignorance about these facts is no excuse for the life YOU have chosen. You can hide behind the money you may make, Mr. Knapp, but the FACTS are that there’s blood on it. The facts are that while neither of us escape the implications of fossil fuels, only you are engaged in self-deception, only you are willing to lie to insure your profit margins.

    Not coming this evening? Too bad; your loss.

    • The life I have chosen makes possible the life YOU have chosen. You can try to philosophize a way around it, but the fact remains. You ignore your alternative options, and buy what we’re selling every day of the week. That’s the bottom line. Good luck justifying that. The modern life you live and love is such a blessing, and it’s all because of fossil fuels.
      Why not admit that we’re not the devil, and work WITH us to make sure this blessing is properly extracted, rather than embracing an unreasonable, extremist position that is going to continue to fall on deaf ears?

  10. http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6iyriwucd4ba2f5&llr=ese8e9iab

    If anyone is interested come to the Fracked Gas Pipeline Tours – See Impacts First-Hand (use the URL above to register)

    Sunday October 28, 2012 OR Monday October 29, 2012 from 10:00 AM to Noon,

    Join concerned citizens for a fracked gas pipeline tour being offered two days – October 28th or 29th – to witness first hand the long-term damage of Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s 300 line project. TGP is now proposing to continue this damage with its proposed Northeast Upgrade Project (NEUP) that could begin this fall and winter and impact the Delaware Basin and the Delaware River. The NEUP is proposed to cut across the Delaware River into High Point State Park and into New Jersey lands – other loops are planned for Bradford Co and the Monksville Reservoir in New Jersey. Fifty percent of this project is proposed to cut through public lands. Countless steep slopes, wetlands, old-growth forests, and special protection streams are at risk if this pipeline loop is allowed to move forward. Come out with us and bring neighbors and community leaders to witness this harmful fracked gas infrastructure project and learn about other pipeline projects that could cut through the Delaware Basin if the drillers and pipeline companies continue to expand dirty Marcellus shale gas drilling.

    These tours are being organized by Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Twin and Walker Creeks Watershed Conservancy, Pennsylvania Sierra Club, New Jersey Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, 350 NJ, and other concerned groups in the region. Come out Sunday or Monday to join us on the tour.

    Dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes. More details will be shared for those who register as the date gets closer.

  11. Work with you to make sure this blessing of natural gas is properly extracted? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Mr. Knapp, truly, I would rather be dead.

    Falling on deaf ears? Hardly. You KNOW that’s false–or you wouldn’t be here.

    Mr. Knapp, you are deeply morally compromised, and you know it. That you work THIS hard to make sure you have company in your debauchery is becoming a hard thing to watch…

    You have your money.

    I have my conscience.

    I have the far and away better thing.

    • Posting on your blog from time to time isn’t really hard work, Dr. Lee. Making sure you have a reliable stream of energy to power the lifestyle you enjoy, including the computer youre posting from. that’s the hard work.

      “Raging Chicken Press, Made Possible by Fossil Fuels”

      The pictures you take, the rallies you attend, the flyers you print, the emails you send…. All made possible by fossil fuels.

      The pillow you’ll lay your guiltless head on tonight is made of fossil fuels.

  12. The cancer in your Pancreas. lungs, liver, stomach, and brain.

    The Asthma suffered by your children.

    The neurological damage to your brain.

    The Silicosis.

    The three time the national average for truck accidents.

    The oil field worker accidents.

    The cardiovascular and liver damage.

    The DEATH.

    All brought to us by fossil fuels.

    Keep your money, Mr. Knapp.

    Only the fool would think it of value.

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