Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but apparently it says a lot more when it’s a photo of frackers fracking. In Pennsylvania recently, the battle to control the images used to depict the national debate over shale gas drilling has officially heated up.

In February, 2013 PA House Bill 683 was proposed by nine Pennsylvania lawmakers – Reps. Gary Haluska [D-73rd], Carl Metzgar [R-69th], Stephen Barrar [R-160th], M. K. Keller [R-86th], Dick Hess [R-78th], Dan Moul [R-91st], Mike Fleck [R-81st], C. Adam Harris [R-82nd] and Tom Murt [R-152nd]. Steve Todd was among the first to report it in his February 26 post, PA State House Judiciary Committee: NO on HB683. This bill would prohibit people from photographing oil and gas operations because they are occurring on agricultural lands. By fracking farmland, gas drillers would gain new impunity under a piece of anti-whitsle blower legislation, commonly known as an “Ag-gag.”

Yes, you’re reading it correctly. PA HB683 would make it illegal to photograph images of gas drilling operations – the good, the bad, the mundane and the incendiary.

And in case you’re wondering, Pennsylvania has about 63,163 farms. That’s roughly 7.8 million agricultural acres out of the total 29.5 million acres in Pennsylvania, which ranks 20th in the U.S. for agricultural production.

HB683 makes it illegal to photograph a farm, a cow, a horse, sheep, goats, pigs, haystacks, tractors, chickens, corn fields, pumpkin patches, vegetables, fruits, and natural gas wells. Fracktivists have been filming frack sites, FROM PUBLIC ROADS, their videos are invaluable in documenting fracking’s destruction of PA.”                          ~ MarcellusProtest.org

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Credit: Marcellus Protest 

The bill is currently in committee, but environmentalists are keeping an eye on it. HB 683 is exactly the sort of legislation the PA GOP tucks into other bills and passes late at night.

Unsurprisingly, HB 683 has its roots (tentacles?) in similar ALEC-sponsored legislation proposed in other states. Dory Hippauf relates its absurdity in Arresting Monet – AG-GAG Pennsylvania House Bill 683, Blog.ShaleShockMedia.org:

HB683 is modeled after ‘proposed legislation’ written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wish lists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations.

PLEASE SIGN ON to the PETITION To Say NO to HB 683 HERE.

And if you have more time, please CONTACT YOUR PA STATE REP.

Meme’s The Word  

Obviously, there’s no point in beating around the bush when it comes to protecting our ecology from the ravages of industrial shale gas production, not when Exxon can afford to spend a cool $2 million on its New York state fracking campaign alone.

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via Damascus Citizens for Sustainability – PhotoStream

A recent report by the global risk management firm, Control Risks, entitled: “The Global Anti-Fracking Movement: What It Wants, How It Operates, and What’s Next” draws the conclusion that the burgeoning anti-shale gas movement constitutes a “Highly effective campaign,” one which is “Incredibly well organized.

Katrina Rabeler details reaction to this report in Yes! via Truth Out: “In other words, the report advises oil and gas companies to give anti-fracking activists much of what they’re asking for or risk having the process banned altogether. In doing so, [author] Wood concedes that opponents of fracking are often right. The gas industry has ‘repeatedly been caught off guard by the sophistication, speed, and influence of anti-fracking activists.’ ”

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I know, right? Fractivists are always making brilliant anti-gas ads for free, in their spare time. Only they call `em “memes” and, heck, with truth for a client they practically write themselves.

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Recently, a no-fly zone was created above the Little Rock, Arkansas suburb where the bitumen oil pipeline ruptured. I’m sure there are safety concerns, but people do need to see what’s happening. Freedom means being able to snap a photo and post it online with no fear of retribution.

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It’s not slander, it’s sunshine. Otherwise known as free speech. And we really need to protect it, too.

Like & Share Alike - Desk Chair Democracy  

The more views and likes a meme gets, the more it appears on timelines and twitter feeds, so please “like”, “share” and “retweet.” You’re actually taking a key virtual action. Here are few of my favorites to get you going…

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Credit: Unknown

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Credit: Food & Water Watch

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Another Fracking Problem Series by New Yorkers Against Fracking

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Another Fracking Problem Series by New Yorkers Against Fracking

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Another Fracking Problem Series by New Yorkers Against Fracking

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Credit: Wendy Lynn Lee  via Notes From Frackland – Meme Project

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Credit: Protecting Our Waters

~

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Credit:  #BanFracking

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Credit: Catskill Citizens For Safe Energy

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Credit: ShaleJustice.wordpress.com

~

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Credit: Nathan Sooy, Clean Water Action

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8 Responses to “Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity”

  1. steventodd Says:

    Thanks for the shout out. I also give a side-by-side comparison of Web text of ALEC model bill Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, Appendix A, page 21 and HB683. Thanks to the http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/wp-content/Images/alec_animal_ecological_terrorism_bill.pdf for posting the ALEC model.

  2. Dory Hippauf Says:

    Arresting Monet – AG-GAG Pennsylvania House Bill 683 http://blog.shaleshockmedia.org/2013/03/07/arresting-monet-ag-gag-pennsylvania-house-bill-683/

  3. wlee7 Says:

    Might as well get the bail fund set up for me now.

    w

  4. Gaz de schiste – 8 avril 2013 « Comité de Citoyens Responsables de Bécancour Says:

    [...] -Pennsylvanie, les autorités veulent interdire les prises de photos des activités gazières: http://keeptapwatersafe.org/2013/04/07/ways-and-memes-pa-lawmakers-seek-to-ban-photography-of-gas-dr… [...]

  5. Links 12/4/2013: Previews of Linux 3.9 | Techrights Says:

    [...] Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity [...]

  6. steventodd Says:

    Update on HB683 petition. There are currently over 810 signers.

    Representative Gary Haluska is the Prime Sponsor, and the sole Democratic sponsor of HB683. I stopped into Rep Haluska’s office on April 9. I was told he was in session, so I handed the 58 pages of PA signatures to Marylin at his front desk, with the following message on the cover page, which also had the petition:

    Honorable Representative Haluska: The following are the PA signers of our petition which appears here:

    http://signon.org/sign/no-on-hb683?mailing_id=11221&source=s.icn.em.cr&%3Br_by=141298&r_by=1153765.

    It has 785 signatures to date. The petition will be presented to the Judiciary Committee, should it hear HB683, and then again to the full PA House membership, and finally to the full General Assembly, if it comes to vote. Please remove your name from sponsorship, as you are the sole Democrat sponsor. Thank you for your consideration,

    Steve Todd, PE, LEED AP (full contact info followed on Rep Haluska’s copy).

  7. D. A. Hartley Says:

    Reblogged this on Friend Nature and commented:
    Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity
    A picture may be worth a thousand words, but apparently it says a lot more when it’s a photo of frackers fracking. In Pennsylvania recently, the battle to control the images used to depict the national debate over shale gas drilling has officially heated up.

  8. PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity - damascus citizens for sustainability Says:

    […] July 17, 2013 PA HB683 would make it illegal to photograph images of gas drilling operations […]

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