NE Pa. activists air drilling fears at 'Gas Stock'

LEHMAN, Pa. (AP) - August 22, 2010

Nine artists performed at Saturday's event at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds in front of a banner imitating the famous Woodstock logo of a dove and a guitar - but with a drilling rig instead of the guitar. Some performers played activist anthems while others offered original songs opposing gas drilling.

"Smell of death, all around. Those lousy noisy drills, the only sound. Wish they just kept that shale in the ground," sang Drew Kelly, of Scranton, in a song he wrote for the concert, "Talkin' Marcellus Shale Drillin' Blues."

The free concert was sponsored by the Northeast Pennsylvania Citizens in Action Group. Organizers said they hoped to educate citizens about the risks of natural gas drilling, which they contend will cause pollution.

"There are a lot of people who that don't even know the issue exists," organizer Roxanne Pauline of Taylor said. "This really hasn't reached the cities, because people in the cities haven't been affected by it yet."

The event apparently drew many attendees from New York state, judging by licenses on vehicles in the parking lot. But those driving did not include Don Williams, of Montgomery County, who said he and his daughters, Lisa and Lauren Williams, and two local bloggers walked more than 10 miles to the event from Wilkes-Barre's Nesbitt Park.

"I've attended several of these meetings where the gas industry people basically said, 'If you drove here and you don't support what we're doing, you're a hypocrite.' I remembered that," Williams said. "That's why I did it, being able to say I had the lowest carbon footprint here today."

Jack Ossont said he drove three hours from Himrod, N.Y., to show support and visit friends after learning of the event.

"The people here are worried," he said. "Once you see the rigs start coming, hear horror stories from Dimock and lies about the effects of drilling, it's natural."

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