How the Amish are getting fracked

In The New Republic, Molly Redden writes about how energy companies are exploiting the fact that the Amish religion and culture rely on a strict interpretation of the Christian bible to prohibit the use of the courts in settling disputes. No lawsuits.
Home to the largest Amish community in the world, Eastern Ohio sits squarely on top of the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations, which contain billions in oil and gas recoverable through advances in hydraulic fracturing technology, or fracking. From the portions of the Utica Shale play that underlie Ohio alone, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has estimated that companies may be able to extract up to 15.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon has estimated the value of the Utica’s resources at $500 billion.

More here. An excellent investigative long-read.


  1. I hope undercover cop Harrison Ford punches those energy company executives right in the face.

    1. I’m hoping rogue environmentalist Stephen Seagal turns up and kicks these scum suckers in the head.

      1. I think that the fracking would cause less damage than the wonderful Sledge Hammer.

        Thanks for the reminder. I’ve now found a bunch of episodes on youtube, so that’s my evening safely sewn up.

  2. Sometimes I really wonder about some folks. I guess these guys come from the same part of the bell curve as malware producers and patent trolls. No doubt they will win some sort of prize for business acumen. 

  3. I found this searching for Battlestar Galactica/Pennsylvania Dutch mashup porn. Very disappointed.

    1. whenever i read about “fracking” or “fracked”, i get a VERY different mental image. i find it upsetting that a perfectly good word has been co-opted by the media for a more mundane use.

      1. It reminds me of Judge Dredd and these guys need a fracking ricochet round in the board room.

    1.  They shall hereafter work by activating the fracking machines! All they must do is push… a button. *rimshot*

  4. This area was also home to an EPA disaster/coverup about 30 years ago.  The Cleveland free weekly Scene Magazine did a great investigation about this and the resulting cancer spike.  Ohio’s own Erin Brokovich. 
    My family is from this area (though not Amish, just white working class folks).

  5. Couldn’t they “outsource” the lawsuits to non-Amish, the way Orthodox Jews sometimes hire goyim to do stuff on the Sabbath?

    1.  Or much like the Amish who do own cars often hire “English” drivers?

      The problem is likely to be that anyone they “outsource” to being the suit will not have legal standing to file it.

      1. My understanding is that, due to wheat restrictions on Passover, some observant Jews will sell their grain containing items (whiskey, etc.) to a trusted non-Jew with the understanding that it will be sold back when Passover is over. 

        There is no obvious reason (to me) why the Amish can’t do the same with their land for the duration of a trial.

        1.  That seems like a really good solution, especially since they can sever the mineral rights, and just sell those and keep the rest of their land. Maybe some honest broker can act as proxy on these gas deals.

  6. what if god command them to sue?

    couldn’t we just hire james earl jones to do some god voiceovers commanding them to sue and hide wireless speakers in the trees around various homes and transmit the recordings to them? significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic…er i mean miracles.  :-)

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