An Open Letter to Mayor Michael Nutter:
April 27, 2011
Hon. Michael A. Nutter
Mayor of Philadelphia
215 City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107 686-2181
Dear Mayor Nutter:
We are writing in regards to the potential NEGATIVE ECONOMIC IMPACTS of Natural Gas drilling in the Delaware River Watershed Region on businesses operating “downstream” in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I hope you will join the growing number of concerned citizens who are alarmed by this serious threat to the water supply of over 15.6 million people and numerous regional industries.
The idea that Natural Gas will be a unilateral boon to our state economy is mostly a perception, and it remains largely unchallenged. Loss of tax revenue from businesses and industries who would be adversely affected by water and air pollution amounts to a very large sum. And, certainly, cleaning up after a major industrial gas accident could drain much of our state’s fiscal resources in one fell swoop.
Just like humans do, many types of businesses need a reliable source of fresh, unpolluted water. It’s a vital element in their supply chain. They include: Agriculture, Healthcare, Food & Beverages, Breweries, Recreation: Waterfront Attractions & Outdoor, Restaurants, Scientific Research, Tourism & Hotels, and many more. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” also uses massive volumes of water (4.5 – 6 million gallons of fresh water per gas well). With global water shortages a reality, Philadelphia residents and business owners are lucky to have the Special Protection Waters of the Delaware River. The Natural Gas Boom in Pennsylvania poses a serious threat to our municipal Fresh Water Security. We simply cannot let the profit motives of a single industry jeopardize the wellbeing and profitability of so many.
Of course, jobs are vital right now, however, history demonstrates how cities with abundant clean fresh water thrive while those with polluted or diminished supplies decline. So do we want jobs in filthy, dangerous natural gas extraction services? Or groovy green ones? Raising the knowledge base will raise the tax base, too. Philadelphia Is the birthplace of American Independence, and we think, if we play our cards right, it has the potential to be the Seat of our National Independence from Fossil Fuel, too.
Please consider supporting the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (FRAC Act) of 2011 (HR 1084) in the House and the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2011 (S. 587) in the Senate to remove the Safe Drinking Water Act exemption granted in 2005; also, the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effects Act (BREATHE Act, H.R. 1204). Every voice matters at this critical time for our river, and your support would be particularly welcome!