Energy. Environment. Economy.

Ain’t Gonna Frack On Maggie’s Farm No More

courtesy of

Organic pig farmer Maggie Henry stands in front of a giant pig blocking the entrance to her neighbor's property. A well is flaring in the distance.

About half a dozen anti-drilling activists locked down to a paper mache pig on Sunday, blocking the entrance to a well site operated by Shell. Maggie Henry, an organic pig farmer whose farm is next door to the Marcellus Shale drill site, says she’s worried how the operation may impact her livestock and organic certification.

“People buy my food because they know that it is literally the purest that you can get,” says Henry in a press release issued by the Henry says her pigs aren’t caged, but roam freely. The Lawrence County farmer says she goes so far as to avoid feeding her pigs genetically modified soy beans. “This threatens my air, my water, my farm, my livelihood,” says Henry.

The well had been flaring for several weeks.

The pig protest ended peacefully, after activists negotiated with state troopers on the scene. So no arrests were made. Shell Western E&P operates 26 wells in Lawrence County, none of which have been hit with violations. But a Shell operated well in Tioga County this summer caused a 30 foot geyser of water and methane to erupt after coming in contact with an old abandoned well. For more on the threat of abandoned wells to fracking operations, view our series Perilous Pathways.

Shell responded to the protest by acknowledging the farmer’s concerns and providing a hotline number to call.

The owner of the property, Tom Kephart, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Marcellus Shale was a “blessing” for the region.

“I have no animosity toward the protesters, but they’re infringing on my rights,” said Mr. Kephart, who grows crops on the 150-acre site where the drill is set up.

Houston-based Shell operates about 760 active Marcellus Shale gas wells in the state. The most recent data from DEP shows 211 violations, with no fines assessed.


  • Maggie Henry

    Where did my comment go?

  • TheProspector

    Ain’t Gonna Frack On Maggie’s Farm No More. . . Or apparently on her neighbor’s farm either since Maggie never had any fracking on her property and wants to control her neighbor. Let’s hope her neighbor complains about the smell of her hogs.

    • Maggie Henry

      My pigs don’t smell…apparently you didn’t read the part about my animals being raised on pasture. They add to the soil!

    • Maggie Henry

      My only desire is to control the air and water my family and my livestock have to use and to preserve the business I have busted my bottom building. If that means preventing my neighbor and the multinational corporation he had decided to crawl in bed with from ruining my life, then so be it. They have no right to poison the community!

  • Maggie Henry

    This time I will take an image of the my post and save it so when it gets deleted
    again I will have proof I posted it and a copy to repost

    Infringing on Tom Kepharts rights? Really? Would that be his right to get rich or what? What about the peoples rights? You know, the ones in the constitution… something about the right to clean air, water? I know his right to get rich far supercedes the rights of the community! They get poisoned just because he owns land? Really?

    Bessemer is home to an historic oil and gas field, literally thousands of old abandon oil and gas wells from the first pillage of PA. Check out the map at this link::

    There are old abandon 4 wells directly on the Kephart well pad. They are wells 784-787 on the map. I have 20 of these on my farm as well and not a one is listed on the DEP map of old wells.
    Shell has impacted many peoples water in Tioga County, as well as being responsible for the blow out at the Butters Well that flodded the ralston Hunting Club. Just google Gee or Richardson and you will come up with their stories. Drilling in historic gas fields should not be permitted!

    • Randall

      I imagine you’ve never flown on an airplane, Maggie. Sometimes they crash. Or ridden in car….too dangerous. Since this is not utopia, occasionally accidents happen. When they do, in this country we take fair and prompt action to correct them, and do everything we can to avoid a repeat. Nobody will ever drill on your farm, don’t worry. And I guarantee you Shell will find every abandoned well there is and either plug them up appropriately, as they should have been, or they won’t drill near them. Problem solved, so save you melodramatics and go split yourself some firewood, cause I’m sure you don’t use any natural gas or heating oil, and it’s cold outside.

      • paulroden

        Randell, I don’t think that Shell the DEP or any other drilling company knows where all of the abandoned oil and gas wells all are. There already have been “methane geysers” that have occured. You can see it yourself right here on the We don’t need anymore methane or CO2 released into the atmosphere. Methane is worse than CO2 in its impact on climate change. We don’t need this gas for our energy needs. There is no safe and economical way to treat or store the wastes. We have the technology to meet our energy needs for the whole planet with existing technology without fossil fuel or nuclear power. Please read the Nov 2009 Scientific American article by Jacobson and Dilucchi or their two excellent articles in the March 2011 Energy Policy Magazine. We can convert the whole planet to renewable energy by 2030 with existing technology without fossil fuel or nuclear power. Germany has adopted a similar plan and will obtain 80% of their energy from renewable sources by 2022 and shut down all of their nuclear power plants. They already obtain 40% of their energy from renewable sources. Their Parliament Building in Berlin is powered 100% by a combination of solar, wind, passive solar, wind and biomass fueled diesel generators fueled by canola(rape seed) oil. In contrast our Capital Building in Washington, powered, heated, cooled and illuminated by coal. The German economy is booming and their use of energy is declining. I was visiting there in July of 2012. They are not “starving and freezing in the dark.” How did the German people, the German Chancellor and the German Parliament, the Bundestag from right to left, Green to Conservative unite behind this energy and our President and the Congress do not? How did the German politicians stand up to the lobbyists from the fossil, nuclear and centralized electric utilities and our politicians do not? How did the Germans “develop the political will” that Jacobson and Delucchi talk about in their 2009 Scientific American article and the American politicians and public do not?

  • Rosie55

    This is something we all need to look into, though I hate the idea of suing my neighbor.
    Sue Your Neighbor,b=facebook

  • Maggie Henry
  • Truth!

    So I guess Maggie doesn’t drive a car, heat her home, use lights in her house? Energy isn’t magic, and extraction is an industrial process. There isn’t any proof to back up claims made about fracking. It happens a mile below the surface. In terms of air quality, a proper flaring activity isn’t any worse than auto exhaust. There really is no risk, just complaints by people who hate the big bad oil companies.

  • Maggie Henry
  • the thinker

    we dont need a body to prove something may be wrong…the money makers of cigarettes still try to sell that shadow of doubt of illnesses and I beg your pardon but auto exhaust aint no breath of fresh air either so dont be jackasses and down play any potential harm to the air or water….Im not against fracking, I also dont think any one should put any body else in harms way so you can make a dollar. If things were as right as some claim then persons like myself and Maggie would have absolutely no problem. Just because some people have become desensitized to auto exhaust and chemicals in their water doesnt mean others have to fold like a cheap lawn chair. better safe than sorry…mabe you like children with three arms and legs…wise up

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