Wednesday, May 9, 2012

American Dream American Nightmare

"We can put light where there's darkness, and hope
where there's despondency in this country.
And part of it is working together as a nation
to encourage folks to own their own home." 
- President George W. Bush, Oct. 15, 2002
While the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Energy-in-Depth and similar allies of the Natural Gas Corporations cherry pick through reports and tout how well the economy is doing because of gas drilling or how many jobs are being created because of the gas drilling industry, families waking up to a different reality.

It's not necessary to have a property with frack contaminated water, nor for the property to have been exposed to a blowout or leak - just having a gas well on the property or nearby is enough to be denied their American and turn it into an American Nightmare.

The Smiths live across the street from the new gas well. They applied for a new mortgage on their $230,000 home and hobby farm, and Quicken Loans congratulated them on their conditional approval.

"They said all the paperwork will be done by the end of the week and we'll be able to close," Brian Smith said. "Somewhere in there, they called us and said, 'Your loan got denied.'
 "While Quicken Loans makes every effort to help its clients reach their homeownership goals, like every lender, we are ultimately bound by very specific underwriting guidelines. In some cases conditions exist, such as gas wells and other structures in nearby lots, that can significantly degrade a property's value. In these cases, we are unable to extend financing due to the unknown future marketability of the property."
Two other national lenders also turned down Brian Smith's application.    How many others have been similarly denied either to refinance or to purchase a new home?

As this story gains traction, expect Kathryn Klaber, Executive Director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and others to hunker down into damage control mode.   There will be several "press releases" and blog postings and ads to pooh-pooh this.  

The question we all need to ask is simple "How much would you pay to live next door to this?"

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