Drilling Duel: PA Enviro Leader Versus Diane Rehm | StateImpact Pennsylvania

Drilling Duel: PA Enviro Leader Versus Diane Rehm

WAMU.org / WAMU

Hanger was a guest on Rehm's June 28th programorg / WAMU


On Tuesday, former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger appeared on The Diane Rehm Show to talk about natural gas drilling. He didn’t seem to enjoy the experience.
(Rehm’s program is produced by WAMU, and distributed by NPR.)
Hanger was there to rebut the New York Times’ latest natural gas articles, which question whether shale drilling’s economic benefits have been overinflated. Times Reporter Ian Urbina and Cornell professor Seamus McGraw, author of a new book on the Marcellus Shale, were the other guests.
Hanger apparently felt railroaded by the interview. Yesterday, he blogged about what he called the show’s “clear imbalance,” toward anti-drilling viewpoints. Hanger wrote he felt like he didn’t have “an equal opportunity” to make his argument, though he said he’d be happy to return to the program in the future.

You can judge for yourself – here’s the transcript.
Hanger then followed up with a more confrontational post, four hours later:

I am told that Diane Rehm has 150 acres in Harford, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania and has told others that she was a near lone hold out in refusing to lease her land for drilling.
To be clear, I would defend the right of any private land owner to lease their land or not to lease their land.  Gas drilling is industrial activity and it cannot be done with zero impacts.  Some landowners have joined Ms. Rehm in not leasing their property, while the vast majority have signed leases.
But the favoritism that Ms. Rehm shows toward the NYT Reporter and the Cornell professor who wants to ban shale gas and the hostility she cannot conceal for those who disagree with that view now makes a lot of sense.

Rehm said she has disclosed the fact her family owns Pennsylvania land “on just about every other program” she’s done on gas drilling. “I thought it would be boring to mention it again, which is why I didn’t on that particular program,” she said in a phone interview. “It didn’t really occur to me to have to say it again.” She chalked up what Hanger labeled as “hostility” to the dynamics of managing four guests at once. “Hanger happened to be on the phone, and everybody wants to say something. And unfortunately when you’re on the phone and trying to get in on all the questions you’d like to get in on, it’s not possible.”
Rehm has been approached about leasing her land, and she’s rejected the offers. “I recognize that those dairy farmers who live around me are doing that because they need the income,” she said.  “My father-in-law bought that piece of property in 1947. We’ve had it in family for over 50 years. It’s just a lovely little piece of property. I’d never think of leasing it for oil or gas or anything else. And….that’s our choice, and that’s their choice.”

As for whether her property influences her approach to hosting shows about Marcellus Shale drilling, Rehm said, “It surely doesn’t reflect a bias on my part on how to conduct a radio interview. All these points of view have to be represented.”

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