BLOG: Who's Zoomin' Who When the Oil, Gas Politics Gets Very Personal?

BLOG: Who's Zoomin' Who When the Oil, Gas Politics Gets Very Personal?
Angry anti-frackers take their frustration to FERC commission member's home.

With apologies to the Queen of Soul, this song title popped into my head while reading about the DC bureaucrat who’s being stalked by a gang of “anti-fracking” protestors.

Deon Daugherty
Deon Daugherty, Senior Editor, Rigzone
Senior Editor, Rigzone

To hear it from Bloomberg, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) member Tony Clark can’t feed his kid in peace because certain environmentalists are griping that they’ve been “FERC’d” by the commission’s rules. When members of Public Citizen rang his doorbell during dinner, Clark’s 9-year-old son asked, essentially, ‘What’s up with the people on our lawn, Dad?’

To most readers of the U.S. Constitution, it’s clear that free speech is one of the nation’s most precious commodities – or at the very least, it was at one time. And as a card-carrying member of the “pest,” it’s one of my personal favorite liberties. But there are other parameters that should be observed in a civilized society.

Let’s put aside for a moment the fact these folks are actively harassing Clark on the street – quite literally plastering his face on “wanted” style posters throughout the tony Washington DC suburb where he lives – and what rights may or may not be violated with that approach to protest. Rather, focus instead on a single question:

At what point does the political become so personal that it’s OK to hang out at someone’s home as a means of intimidation?

We can begin with the property line. Ironically, it’s the commission’s decisions on eminent domain – the re-appropriation of private land for public use – that have driven Public Citizen to Clark’s doorstep. 

Even public officials should get a break at home. Their kids and pets likely didn’t do anything to raise such ire. Frankly, if someone took such offense to my work that they showed up at my house to berate me, I would probably follow the well-hewn practice of grouchy old people all over the world.

Grab a cane, brandish it wildly and holler, ‘Get off my lawn!’

An award-winning journalist, Deon has reported on energy, business and politics for almost 20 years. Email Deon at


Click on the button below to add a comment.
Post a Comment
Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.


Our Privacy Pledge

More from this Author
Deon Daugherty
Senior Editor | Rigzone
 -  Deal Of The Month: ConocoPhillips Cuts... (Apr 28)
 -  Op-Ed: Big Trouble in North Korea, Ven... (Apr 27)
 -  BLOG: Dream On, OPEC - The US Will Nev... (Apr 27)
 -  US E&Ps Can Turn A Profit On $50 to $6... (Apr 26)
 -  Unsung Gulf of Mexico Tracks New Crude... (Apr 25)

Most Popular Articles

From the Career Center
Jobs that may interest you
Project Manager
Expertise: Commercial Management|Project Management|Site Engineer
Location: LA
Product Manager
Expertise: Business Development|Executive
Location: Houston, TX
Project Manager
Expertise: Project Management
Location: Atlanta, GA
search for more jobs

Brent Crude Oil : $51.68/BBL 0.27%
Light Crude Oil : $49.25/BBL 0.74%
Natural Gas : $3.24/MMBtu 3.18%
Updated in last 24 hours