Archive for November, 2011

Fight Fracking: 5 Things To Do Today

November 30, 2011

The more I learn about the shale gas boom, the more I respect the pioneer spirit of Pennsylvanians, and the more disgusted I am by the frontier mentality of the gas drilling industry. We’re a commonwealth, after all, and I equate wealth with a healthy society and a flourishing ecology. I often think of Ben Franklin’s famous quote: “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”When it comes to the cumulative environmental impacts of pollution from Fracking, I’m afriad we all live downstream. (more…)

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PA DEP Secretary Krancer’s Top 10 Comments About Fracking

November 30, 2011

Since his appointment to PA’s top environmental cop last fall, DEP Secretary Michael Krancer has had a number of public zingers on the topic of shale gas development. Lately, Krancer seems to be on a tear, as if he’s embarked on a shale gas promotion tour with both barrels loaded. Too bad he isn’t on a Fracking Reality Tour, but if he’s interested, I’m sure one can be arranged. Taking things totally out of context? Absolutely. But the #1 comment speaks for itself.

# 10…. (more…)

EPA Chief Lisa P. Jackson’s Candid Views on Fracking

November 23, 2011

In case you missed it, EPA Head Lisa P. Jackson was the featured Interview on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on November 21, 2011. She states her candid views on Fracking and the EPA’s role in regulating “the 10,000 wells.” She states how most Americans are unaware that the Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Laws are no longer protecting them. She also decries the conservative agenda to scapegoat the EPA for the country’s economic woes, and stresses the need for more science to inform extreme energy extraction practices.

Don’t Let Pennsylvania Become a Fact-Free Zone – Support the EPA!

A Tale of Two Watersheds

November 22, 2011

One would think, for all the recent public outcry, that the Delaware is the only river in Pennsylvania. So what if it’s the longest, free-flowing, un-dammed course of fresh water in North America? Who cares that a University of Delaware report concludes that the 330-mile long waterway generates $22 billion for the regional economy? There happens to be another, rather large, really important river in Pennsylvania – The Susquehanna. (more…)

DRBC Cancels Controversial Nov 21 Vote on Gas Drilling Regulations

November 18, 2011

In what is being hailed as a BIG WIN FOR THE DELAWARE RIVER WATERSHED, The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has cancelled, or postponed, its scheduled November 21st meeting in which the commission was to vote on opening the Delaware River Watershed to industrial shale gas drilling. THE MORATORIUM STANDS! It’s a victory for the nearly 74,000 people who petitioned the DRBC not to frack in the river basin. The watershed protection coalition’s news release is bounding across the internet this morning. (more…)

73,910 Signatures and Counting…

November 15, 2011

At a press conference Monday, November 14, outside the offices of The US Army Corps of Engineers in Center City Philadelphia, a group of the Delaware River’s biggest proponents announced that among them they have a record-breaking 73,910 signatures on letters and petitions to the voting members of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) urging them NOT to open the basin to industrial shale gas drilling at their upcoming meeting on November 21, 2011. (more…)

Occupy DRBC! Filmmaker Josh Fox Urges Peaceful Protest on November 21

November 10, 2011

Josh Fox, whose Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland inspired a global movement, is calling all water activists to stand up to and say NO! to Fracking in the Delaware River Basin on Monday, November 21, 2011 in Trenton, NJ. The rally begins at 8am at The Patriots Theater, 1 Memorial Drive, Trenton, NJ, where the next Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) meeting is to be held. If the commission votes to enact its new draft regulations for industrial gas drilling, the Delaware River Watershed, source of drinking water for 15.6 million people, will be immediately be open to 300 new frack wells, with many more to follow 18 months later. Fox has his detractors, even in the mainstream media, but a Gasland sequel is reportedly in the works with HBO, and there’s buzz over a possible trilogy. I’m a card-carrying fan. This Vimeo clip features Fox’s most recent call-to-action. (more…)

PA Republicans Murt & DiGirolamo Oppose Corbett’s Paltry Impact Fee, Propose 4.9% Gas Tax

November 7, 2011

UPDATE: November 13, 2011: Supporters of DiGirolamo’s amendment to the widely debated HB1950 are set to begin running a Radio Ad tomorrow.

Drilling Tax vs. Impact Fee

Reps. Gene DiGirolamo (R-18th District, Bucks) and Tom Murt (R-152nd District, Montgomery/Philadelphia) are a great example of democracy at work. Last week, as Pennsylvania Senate pro tempore, Joe Scarnati (R-25th District) deleted much of the impact fee language from his bill, SB1100, these two Republicans saw their star on the rise. DiGirolamo, who is known to advocate for seniors, and Murt, whose Child Labor Bill passed the House earlier this year, are proposing HB 1863 – a healthy, widely distributed tax on Marcellus Shale drilling. Make no mistake, the gentlemen from Southeastern PA are breaking with Republican party leadership on this issue as they valiantly attempt to fill the common sense void in Harrisburg.  (more…)

EPA Announces Congressionally-Directed Fracking Study Plan

November 4, 2011

“EPA Announces Final Study Plan to Assess Hydraulic Fracturing/Congressionally directed study will evaluate potential impacts on drinking water

Press Release Date: 11/03/2011
Contact Information: Cathy Milbourn milbourn.cathy@epa.gov 202-564-7849 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its final research plan on hydraulic fracturing. At the request of Congress, EPA is working to better understand potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. Natural gas plays a key role in our nation’s clean energy future and the Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that we continue to leverage this vital resource responsibly. (more…)

Erie PA – Fact Free Zone?

November 3, 2011

It’s here. We’re not going to run out of it. It’s clean, and it’s renewable,” said PA DEP Secretary Michael Krancer of Marcellus shale gas to a meeting of 100 Rotary Club members in Erie last week. Seriously? The PA DEP secretary called natural gas a ‘renewable‘ resource? How far will gas industry spin extend? Shale gas is not a renewable resource, by any stretch. Will this administration stop at nothing to exploit this fossil fuel as rapidly as possible? Their heedlessness is galling, especially considering public outcry, but you can read all about it in this nifty bit of coverage by Jim Martin in The Erie Times-News, DEP Secretary, in Erie, calls Marcellus Shale ‘a blessing under our feet’

Thanks for covering the meeting, Jim!

Letter to The Enforcement Secretary

November 3, 2011

Fight for Our River  –  Re-designate The Delaware!

It’s time for public officials to hear from the public. Legislation is flying through Harrisburg, and lawmakers need to be aware that a growing number of constituencies are concerned about the toxic threat posed by industrial gas drilling. Urge them – today – to value clean water over dirty fossil fuels, to protect our existing high water quality, and to ensure ongoing protections in the face of an unprecedented Shale Gas Boom.

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer has said he’s the boss who wants to hear whatever you think he doesn’t want to hear. He is a public official, after all, and perhaps the most pivotal figure aside from the governor when it comes to establishing the policies and enforcing the new regulations that may, or may not, protect my family’s drinking water. So I take this as an open invitation. You should, too. (more…)

PA Senate Passes Bill to Frack State Colleges

November 1, 2011

UPDATE [November 8, 2011]:  On Sunday, November 6, Bill Schackner reported in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that the Cal U Student Association had been quietly negotiating a mineral lease deal. Read the details in his article, Drilling on Campus: Marcellus Shale boom puts colleges at crossroads It’s the first of two parts. Here’s Part II: Corporate funding of Marcellus Shale studies at universities raises alarms by Reid R. Frazier and Olivia Garber.

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On October 26, 2011, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed SB 367, by a vote of 47-2, which will allow the State System of Higher Education to lease the mineral rights of campus land for shale gas drilling. PA State Senators Jim Ferlo [D-38th District] and Mike Folmer [R-18th District] cast the dissenting votes. [Source: PASenate.com] State universities located above the Marcellus Shale are Bloomsburg, CALU, Clarion, Edinboro, Indiana, Lock Haven, Mansfield and Slippery Rock. (more…)