Monday, April 25, 2011

The Calvin Tillman Show

Coming soon to a fire hall, museum, legion hall, university or television set near you: The Calvin Tillman Show. For those new to the drilling debate, Calvin Tillman is, or rather was, mayor of the small town of DISH, Texas which sits smack in the middle of the Barnett Shale deposit. Mr. Tillman has made a cottage industry of touring the country, including the Marcellus Shale region, and accusing gas drilling companies of poisoning the good citizens of the USA wherever they drill. His evidence? Well, er, let’s not bother with evidence. It’s the accusations that matter! And the children! His children! Other people’s children! Headaches, nose bleeds, asthma…the list goes on. Problem is, there’s never any evidence that ties drilling activities in the DISH region with said ailments, even though a number of environmental tests have been performed.

Mr. Tillman and fellow Texan Tim Ruggiero, a landowner who claims he too was adversely affected by gas drilling, founded an organization in 2010 called The organization’s stated aim according to their website: “ is a non-profit organization that will collect environmental data, and provide environmental testing to lower income families and neighborhoods that are effected by natural gas exploration.”

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