PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When you think of grandmothers in rocking chairs, you probably don’t think of them sitting in the rain, singing and rocking as a way of protesting.
“It’s mostly about the children,” said Laurel Colonello of Butler County, “the proximity of the well so close to the school…”
With anti-fracking signs in hand and singing modified Christmas songs to encourage the end of fracking, a group of grandparents hopes someone will listen to their concerns about the gas and oil drilling methods happening in Middlesex Township. They say the fracking by Rex Energy is too close to the Mars Area School District, where their grandchildren are learning.
“We are grandparents, and we are very, very concerned about our grandchildren and the children in this school district,” said Ping Pirrung, as she sat in a rocking chair positioned at the entrance of the Geyer Well Pad. “It’s just not acceptable at all.”
After numerous hearings and an injunction, Rex Energy has permits to continue drilling. The site is being developed off Route 228, near the Mars Area School District campus. A deal that would have allowed Rex to lease property from the district was rejected.
“This area is gorgeous,” added Ping. “It’s very rural and by coming in with all these wells, you’re just destroying it.”
Rex Energy spokesman Patrick Creighton released a statement. It reads in part, “As a local company, Rex has no higher priority than the safety of our employees and the communities we operate. At this specific site, Rex has provided regular operational updates to the Mars Area School Board … We will continue to meet or exceed all local, state and federal regulations.”