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Like Fracker, Like Son

Some of you may have noticed that the debate over high-volume horizontal fracking gets a bit shill—I mean shrill—sometimes.

For example, I wrote a few blog posts (here, here and here), and one story for the print edition of Artvoice that talked a bit about Dennis Holbrook of Norse Energy. These stories provoked a number of “anonymous” responses. One commentator calling himself DontLetFactsStopYou seemed particularly touchy. Here are some samples of his work:


Buck, clearly you skipped economics 101 or you are misleading people on purpose.  A stock option merely allows Mr. Holbrook to purchase 1,000,000 shares at 2.92 NOK, and the stock is currently trading at 2.58 NOK… so if he executed that option today he would LOSE or owe the company 34,000 NOK.  So you’re right that is a lot of Norwegian Krone to lose… I’m failing to see your point of this article, those options (like the 20.10 one) may never be worth anything.

Perhaps if you did your job and actually researched Norse instead of spewing your clear political bias, you would know that Norse has been in severe financial distress and forced to lay off over 50 high paying jobs, most of which were employed here in Buffalo as a result of anti-everything types like you. 

You as a member of the media owe the public a duty of care when publishing, go back to school so someone teaches you what it means to do your homework.

Chip Northrup has been so discredited already many times over that I’m surprised he even crawled out from whatever hole he was hiding under to comment.  Do us all a favor Chip, and go back please.

Here’s another:



Buck points out that Mr. Holbrook has stock options which are worthless and would lose him money, and has a quote which could easily have been a lecture at a public relations 101 class.. Be nice to the media, support your point with facts, don’t get irritated and frustrated in the face of ignorance, having support from independent institutions looks better… where is the smoking gun Buck thinks he has? It’s really laughable.

And more:


Wow, Buck what happened to showing the whole video (your demand wasn’t it)?  You cut the entire portion where this kid was ranting and raving like a lunatic and had to be asked multiple times to restrain himself?  Do you have even a shred of ethics?  Does your editor?

Show the whole video where he was screaming into the microphone, rudely shouting over anyone attempting to comment from the panel who dared to interrupt his speech… He was then asked repeatedly to actually ask a question, then once he again started speaking over everyone during the answer and after 5 minutes of this where the panel, who everyone was there to ask “questions” to, weren’t even able to speak, he was asked to take a seat so others could ask questions which everyone applauded… a far cry from an infringement on any civil rights (MLK Jr. would be rolling in his grave if he knew how people like you would abuse this claim)

I am impressed with your underhanded tactics and video editing, having someone rant and rave and rudely make false accusations and then start filming the reaction when people get fed up with his antics… it is a great way to paint a false picture with your crew as the victim and further your agenda even if it is unethical.

Your biggest supporter here James “Chip” Northrup has already been discredited many times as a complete fraud and fabricator.  Keep up the good work attempting to misinform people, maybe Buffalo and SNY and WNY can suffer for another 50 years with people like you around spreading misinformation.

By the way, what do you use to heat your home during the winter?

Since I don’t have much respect for people who are afraid to stand by their own words, I thought I’d lighten the mood a bit by posting a comment on my own story. Sure enough, DontLetFactsStopYou had a comment on my comment. Observe:

Buck Quigley

Dear BringBackTrueJournalism and DontLetFactsStopYou,

I beg your pardon. Have we met? Your names aren’t ringing any bells.

Thanks for reading.


Thank you Buck for making BringBackTrueJournalism’s point… once again you focus on the “who” instead of the “what”. Likely so you could attempt personal attacks rather than address substance… again.

Your ignorance and arogance in an area you are so deficient and so clearly under-qualified to comment on is nauseating, which is illustrated by how you somehow think this quote you have means anything or is in any way a smoking gun… it’s just laughable how little you understand about this industry, although it doesn’t stop you (nor do the clearly contrary facts).

The Buffalo News reporter clearly noticed the lack of factual and scientific support your side had in the article on this event. You and your crew are high on disrespectful antics, but light on scientific factual support. Time to do your homework, Buck.

So I did a little homework as the commenter suggested, and I learned some interesting stuff.

I learned that DontLetFactsStopYou has h0lby5@gmail for an email address. (Click on the images for a larger view)

A google search of h0lby5 reveals the person who posted from that address owned a BMW for his first car, and wore out the wheels driving from Buffalo to Albany and back.







He likes the Buffalo Bills.











And drinking beer in Ellicottville.







After connecting a few more dots, it became clear the true identity of DontLetFactsStopYou is Ryan Holbrook, corporate counsel at Norse Energy Corp USA. He is the son of Dennis Holbrook, executive vice president of regulatory and public relations for Norse Energy USA.

I called Norse Energy on Monday morning (8/6) and asked to speak with Ryan. The receptionist said sure, and asked who was calling.

“Buck Quigley,” I said. After a lengthy pause she came back on to tell me that as fate would have it, he was on a conference call. I left him a voicemail, asking him to give me a call back.

I called back again that afternoon, but Ryan had left for the day.

I called again on Wednesday and left a message with the receptionist and on Ryan’s voicemail.

I called again today and was told that the person I would be speaking to would be Dennis Holbrook, but that he was on another line. I said “fine” and that I would hold. After several minutes, the receptionist came back on to say that Dennis would be on his phone call for some time. I told her to leave them both the message that a number of anonymous postings on the Artvoice website could be traced to Ryan’s email address, that I was preparing to write about that, and I wondered if either of them would like to comment on the situation. I left my number again, and she said she would give them the message.

That must be one long phone call Dennis is on, because it’s been hours and he still hasn’t called me back.

Now maybe there’s an explanation for all this. Maybe Ryan’s phone was stolen, and his email address appropriated by some anarchist hacker who just happened to feel like defending Dennis Holbrook and the motives of the natural gas industry. Or, maybe someone else wrote the comments while borrowing Ryan’s phone and email address. But it might also be true that a corporation council for Norse Energy—who also happens to be the son of the  executive vice president of regulatory and public relations for Norse Energy—might not have wanted his identity attached to his words.

Too bad.

I say it’s important for readers to consider the source when they’re trying to become educated on an issue. The source of comments from DontLetFactsStop you appears to be a local lawyer with a substantial interest in promoting fracking in New York State. Norse Energy, the gas drillers who employ both Dennis and Ryan Holbrook, are depending on it. Dennis owns 218,387 shares in the company.

As DontLetFactsStopYou pointed out in one of his comments: “Norse has been in severe financial distress and forced to lay off over 50 high paying jobs.” Evidently, the Holbrooks’ jobs were not among those.

  • James Northrup

    Oh boy, son of a frackin’ shill !

  • Jim_Holstun

    At Norse Energy, we still make money the old-fashioned way–
    We INHERIT it!

  • Jim_Holstun

    At Norse Energy, we still make money the old-fashioned way–
    We INHERIT it!

  • painterboy14213

    Good work, Buck.  Dennis Holbrook lies even when the lies are totally obvious. It is his profession. 
     I asked  the “Truthland” panel  if the fracking industry is so safe, why is it necessary to have the Haliburton Loopholes regarding Air, Water and Super Fund?  Holbrook, Holko and Cline claimed that they have is no exemption in the Clean Water, Clean Air and Super Fund Site Law for frackers.  They offered to put it in writing. 
    Their claim was easily refuted by the audience smart phones ie: The 2005 Clean Water Act page 102 section 322 for example.   The whole event was one lie after another.  Profits over people. What do you call people who are willing to lie, poison their neighbors for money and destroy the source of all life?Pathological, environmental criminals. When does it become attempted murder?

  • 1Brucefisher1

    Good sleuthing. How sloppy of a Member of the Bar to fail to disclose that his anonymous posts are for his client.

  • They don’t at all understand how the internet works. 

  • They don’t at all understand the internet. 

  • This is just terrifying. You get handled with kid gloves by major media outlets and an alt weekly prints some negative press and you surreptitiously launch an anonymous and propagandized diatribe to nowhere, in attempt distract, attack, and hide.

    • Distract, attack, and hide.     Lie, cheat, steal, deceive, manipulate, etc.      Yes sir, that’s what makes America the great country it is today.      Kind of makes you want to hum the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

  • This makes my hair stand on end. 

  • Charley_Tarr

    Basic Lessons on Ethics & Civility – Online Video Replay

    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    1:00 – 4:30 p.m.
    (Eastern Time)


    4.0 MCLE Credits (4.0 ethics)

  • Charley_Tarr

    From the NYSBA Website……..

    As officers of the court, all attorneys are obligated to maintain the highest ethical standards. In furtherance of this obligation, attorneys are guided by a code of conduct, the Code of Professional Responsibility, as adopted by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court. Attorneys who violate the law or fail to abide by this code of conduct are subject to discipline, which may include admonishment, reprimand, censure, suspension or loss of his or her license to practice law.

    In New York State, authority over the conduct of attorneys rests with the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court and the discipline and grievance committees (the “committees”) appointed by that court. The committees are made up of both attorneys and non-attorneys, working with a court-appointed, state financed, full-time professional staff. Each committee investigates the complaints received by it or, in some cases, refers the complaint to a county bar association for resolution. Complaints must be in writing, and if the complaint describes conduct which would be considered improper, if proved, the attorney against whom the complaint is made must respond to the complaint in writing. If the committee determines after investigation that the attorney’s conduct was improper, it can send the attorney a letter of caution, admonition or reprimand, advising him or her of the impropriety of the conduct. These letters are not made public, but are retained as part of the attorney’s record. The complainant is advised if action is taken. In cases of serious misconduct, the committee may refer the matter to court for action. If the court, after a hearing by a disciplinary panel or
    referee, decides to take disciplinary action against that attorney, the decision customarily is made public.The NYSBA grievance committees which are appointed by the Appellate
    Division of State Supreme Court operate on a regional basis.  The grievance committee for the Eighth Judicial District (which includes Erie County)  is contacted at the following address….

    438 Main Street

    Suite 800

    Buffalo, NY 14202-3212

    (716) 845-3630

    • Charley, there you go again picking on us poor lawyers.    We’re ordinary folks, just trying to make a gigabuck like the next guy.

      • Charley_Tarr

        Sometimes the shame of Greed is as repugnant as the fresh oily ochre paste of dog feces you inadvertently step in while walking through the park…..

        The choice then arrives whether you rush to wash your shoe or pause and raise a large double-finger dollop for smearing thick on the faces of your wife and children and neighbors.

        Within  the commonality of stench arrives the joy of complacency.

  • One thing to love about the Frackers is their willingless to lie, cheat, steal, deceive, manipulate,etc.     That’s why I’m so confident we can trust them to regulate themselves.    

    As the Firesign Theater would say, “The free enterprise profits system ensures a better way of life for all of us, Mudhead.”

  • James Northrup

    A masterpiece of a triple play –

    Truthyland was anything but – truthful. So they brought in a panel of shills to boost it.

    Holbrook, Sr. played dumb about the narrator’s wells and the UB Shale Shamstitute 

    Holbrook, Jr. anonymously defends Holbrook, Sr. hyperbolically – like a flaming gas hole 

    To complete the circle jerk

  • paulmorgan01

    a Fracker, a Christians, and a Conservative lied about walking into a bar …..

  • Will Moksha

    How refreshing… when 99% of all journalists seem to be working PR for industry, that there is still at least one fearless investigator out there. Thanks Buck. 

  • ColleenParis

    Mr. Quigley, why are you wasting readers’ time with this penny-ante vituperous witch-hunt?  What difference does it make who is presenting the facts?  I want to hear about the facts, the real pros and cons of fracking, not about the PEOPLE who are involved with either side.  Frankly, personal trashing of the proponents of either side of this debate serves to cheapen and distract from a very serious issue about energy. 
    The thrill of printing such a “scoop” is clearly too heady for you to resist, but please, I beg of you, focus on the issue of FRACKING.  If you provide facts about FRACKING, it is truly irrelevant who the players are, because no messenger or emotion can obscure the facts.  I really, really don’t care who provides the facts, as long as they are facts. 
    I hesitate to put my name on this comment, given the lack of respect for personal privacy you and your commenters exhibit.  Your demonstrated non-existent respect for personal privacy and your habitual penchant for assuming the worst of anyone with an opinion different from yours (as evidenced by the other topics upon which you have written) are more than troubling.  Certainly, you have caught your share of insults here, but you started the battle, so you should have expected kickback.  And by the way, that is not license to play dirty. 
    I shudder to think of what we might find if we looked into the financing of your work, the people you affiliate with, the sources of funds your company receives, or the results of other similar “research” one could do into your background.   None of us is flaw-free.  Regardless, however, that information is irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is the benefits and drawbacks of FRACKING. 
    Kindly leave the Holbrooks alone, because their role is not anywhere near the crux of this issue.  I’m sure you are capable of much more honorable work, so please spend your “research” time exposing important and relevant elements of the fracking topic.  We will all be better off for it. 
    Thank you for your kind consideration.

    • Jim_Holstun

      Dear Ms. Paris,

      When you’re dealing with poison for profit, it is always relevant who the poisoner is, and how much profit he makes. This helps you connect up to the larger issues. It’s not some concept out there that is bribing politicians to poison the poor. It is a company run by and owned by flesh and blood people. They should be called out from behind their lies and aliases, and shamed, if possible, but stopped, if not.

  • DontLetFactsStopYou


    First this is Ryan Holbrook, and I have no problem having those comments attributed to me (I did register with my actual personal email address which I didn’t need to, and where you could have emailed me at any point to ask who I was). We’ve had a busy week at work this week, and I don’t typically take calls from bloggers who’s sole desire is to attack people without listening at all to any facts that he or she doesn’t like, as you did when you were extremely rude to my father.

    Had I readily identified myself to you in the first place, you would have discounted what I said because of my name and affiliation, without addressing the substance of my comments, like you are again attempting to do here and often do with others. I stand by what I wrote, and I have yet to see a reasoned response to any of it from you.

    I’m happy to discuss the facts and issues associated with this industry with anyone who will listen, but unfortunately there are some people out there who simply won’t even consider the possibility that we as an industry desire to provide a valued and needed product, which we can all benefit from, responsibly and safely. Thankfully, Governor Cuomo, among others, has seen through the smoke and mirrors of the anti-movement and sees the facts as they truly are.

    You attacked my father, whom I have a lot of respect for, and whom I will continue to defend, because he puts himself out there, knowing people like you will attack him, in the hope that the few people with even mildly open minds will hear his message and the sincerity in which he conveys it, and consider the possiblity that there is more to this story and industry than you and the conspiracy theorists attempt to portray.

    Anyone who desires to have an open discussion on any of this, feel free to email me at the email address Buck posted. It may take me some time, but I’ll respond.

  • Bob_Rosen

    It’s not enough that Mr. Holbrook got caught with his pants down. Now he wants us to believe he took them down deliberately! So that “the substance” of his comments would not be “discounted… because of my name and affiliation.” LOL.

    Shame on you, Mr. Holbrook. It’s bad enough that you hid your nasty personal attacks under a pseudonym. And even worse that you behaved like a coward when Mr. Quigley attempted to contact you. 

    And worst of all that you are now trying to justify what you did as a legitimate expression of your personal views and are now pretending you only want an “open discussion” of the issues.  

    When are you going to realize that the cover-up just gets you deeper into the hole you’ve dug?

  • Charley_Tarr

    Thank you Bob for an excellent summation.  As correspondence is being prepared for appropriate Bar committees to include personal exchange with Mr. Syracuse, Mr. James Jr. and Mr. Schraver an examination of  the prior conduct of Norse in the Town of Lebanon will provide excellent corollary……

    Mark Grisanti my friend, this might be an excellent time to wash your shoe