VESTAL, N.Y. (AP) — Big energy companies have been trying for five years to tap the riches of the Marcellus Shale in southern New York. They promise thousands of jobs, economic salvation and an abundant, clean-burning source of fuel.

But for all its political and financial clout, the industry hasn't been able to get its foot in the door. One reason: Folks like Sue Rapp and Vera Scroggins are in the way.

The anti-fracking movement has inspired a legion of true believers who have made it their mission to stop gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus region beneath New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Some have been shunned by former friends, while opponents accuse them of distorting the truth. But many of those opponents acknowledge that the critics have been effective.