“’We heard Range Resources say it sites its shale gas wells away from large homes where wealthy people live and who might have the money to fight such drilling and fracking operations,’ said Patrick Grenter, an attorney and Center for Coalfield Justice executive director, who attended the lawyers’ forum,” the Post-Gazette reported. “A handful of attorneys in the audience confirmed that account,” and added that the Range Resources official had prefaced his remarks by saying “To be frank”.
The comments were made by Terry Bossert, Range Resources’s vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs, during a presentation at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Environmental Law Forum on April 7. In 2004, Range Resources was the first company to drill in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale – but it has racked up a string of environmental violations so severe that state regulators slapped it with a record-breaking $4.15 million fine in 2014, followed the next year by an $8.9 million fine over a different incident.
The company has also repeatedly been sued by landowners – and not just in Pennsylvania, but also in their home state of Texas. It made international headlines when a gag order – part of a $750,000 settlement agreement between the company and a family over a contaminated 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, PA – barred two children from speaking about fracking for life (a ban that the company later repudiated, after the settlement terms were unsealed and made public).
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