PRESTON – An unhappy, alien-eyed face and the word “Yuck” written underneath in capital letters – all painted in green – appeared sometime last week on county Road 19 before the gated entrance to a landowner’s gas well in Preston.
Preston Highway Superintendent Charles Stein said he first spotted the picture on the blacktop last Thursday night, but wasn’t sure what the letters were. When told, he said he had “no clue what that’s all about.”
The well’s owner, who wished to remain anonymous, had no comment.
Green Party member Mike Bernhard of Coventry said he was unaware of the image and didn’t know who painted it. Bernhard is president of CDOGs (Chenango, Delaware, Otsego Group), an organization that is calling for a ban on stone-gas drilling in New York State.
CDOGs are part of a growing consortium of environmental protection groups as well as politicians in Pennsylvania and New York who believe that, unlike traditional gas drilling in porous rocks, the gas sought in the abundant Marcellus Shale formation is trapped too tightly within various types of stone layers to be extracted safely. The Marcellus spans the Appalachian River Basin from the town in upstate New York down through Pennsylvania and west to West Virginia and Ohio.