“Williams Energy has always believed that gas development must be balanced with the needs and concerns of local communities,” said Williams Energy spokesman Curly McLain, standing beside the ethereal form of thirteenth-century Susquehannock chief Makes-Much-Wampum. “We are pleased that we have been able to address the concerns of the ghosts of Martic Township’s Native American community in a constructive manner.”
Sources close to the negotiation say the main breakthrough came when Makes-Much-Wampum, communicating via Ouija board, agreed to provide Williams Energy with a list of Indian burial sites whose fallen warriors have already crossed the Bridge of the She-Bear to the Happy Hunting Grounds, and therefore would be unaffected by pipeline construction disturbing their final resting place. Williams Energy then agreed to clear the final route of the pipeline with the Council of Elder Braves via seance and provide monthly offerings of corn to the Susquehanna, Pequea, and Conestoga River Maidens on a rotating basis. In exchange, the souls of the local Indians agreed not to drive the pipeline engineers to near-suicidal madness, demand the blood of the firstborn of any Williams Energy executives, or give the Williams back-office staff any really nasty paper cuts.
While the energy industry was quick to tout the agreement as a model of business-community relations, not all pipeline opponents were impressed. “It’s a shame to see these well-respected community leaders sell out so quickly,” said Melissa Chatterbox, chairwoman of Martic S.P.I.R.I.T. (Stop Putting Industrial Routes In our Township). “Don’t they have any respect for nature?”