Spread a Little Love: Philly’s Anti-Phracking Movement Is Building

I started this blog a year ago, freaked over Fracking and the hydrological catastrophe coming to Pennsylvania. I was determined to reach one thousand people with the message that industrial shale gas drilling will forever destroy beautiful, economically struggling regions of rural PA. I wanted them to know that the unchecked, under-regulated shale gas industry is already polluting the water we drink and the air we breathe.

Mostly, I wanted people to Take Action to protect the imperiled Delaware and Schuylkill River watersheds.

One hundred-fifty posts later, there are many more blogs and websites designed to promote the truth about Marcellus shale drilling, and to expose the failures and, some might say, corruption of the Corbett administration. There have been moments when we’ve all focused on the same news, and I’ve questioned KeepTap’s relevancy. Once or twice, I feared the echo-chamber effect. I’ve since come to realize that sometimes, when a cause is this vital, we need a chorus.

Today, it’s obvious that “Unconventional Gas Drilling” takes a too great a toll on our Environment and Public Health. Yet, bad lawmakers continue to dismiss good science, and people’s lives are being ruined. Judging from my site stats, visitors find blogs like this in their search for objective information about our water supply. Clean water is one of those few, purely non-partisan issues, something on which we can all agree. I surpassed my original goal months ago, and it seems to me the chorus is growing louder, calling attention to the moral outrages of our state leadership.

In and around Philadelphia, interest in Delaware River watershed protection is finally coming to the fore. Once thought of as something happening ‘over there’ in the Western counties, Fracking has arrived in the social and political lexicon. It’s become cause celebre, as Moms in minivans want their own “No Frack” magnets, and kids fill up the church halls with music and the anti-fracking message. Everyday in the Delaware Valley, people are recognizing the increasing threat hydraulic fracturing poses to the water supply of 15.6 million, and they want to know what they can do to Protect Our Waters.

Water Is Life
Around the globe, people are mobilizing against toxic threats to their precious water supplies, educating their opinions and fighting for their Environmental Human Rights. The uniquely insidious pollution from hydraulic fracturing has rapidly become an issue in England, Ireland, France, Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Wales.

Pennsylvania – with its surfeit of fraccidents, blowouts, explosions and spills – has become the sorry poster child for the Fracking frenzy, a place where the environmental impacts of accelerated industrial gas development are rapidly accumulating. Concern over water withdrawals, pollution from drilling, cement seal failures, unregulated toxic air emissions and inadequate waste water disposal practices, has never been more pronounced. As the list of Pennsylvanians’ whose lives have been destroyed by sickness or the sudden loss of clean, potable water only gets longer, we all have a duty to fight for our right to clean air and water. This right is guaranteed to us in our State Constitution. It’s a basic human right, and it’s being trampled in a most Machiavellian way.

Spring Into Action! Four Ways to Fight Fracking Today…

I.  Where’s the “Enforcement Secretary”?
Ten families in Butler County, PA have had their water fouled since Rex Energy began “unconventional drilling” nearby. Either directly or indirectly, Rex likely caused the problem, and probably directly, as the company was already sited for faulty well casings by PA DEP inspectors. But the state let Rex off the hook anyway. DEP did take some water samples, then later said the lab screwed up the test results, and left it at that. There’s been no further DEP testing, and Rex Energy is no longer required to provide replacement water to these Connoquenessing Township families.

So where’s EPA? Tell Lisa Jackson: EPA Must Take Action!

Sign on to this Citizen Speak email created by the Philadelphia-based environmental group Protecting Our Waters.

Make a donation to help families without water.

2.  Save The Delaware, Seriously

Contribute to one (or all) of these worthy environmental groups. Each is working hard everyday to keep “Unconventional Gas Drilling” out of the Delaware River Watershed:

Protecting Our Waters (Evolve Foundation)
The Delaware Riverkeepers
Clean Water Action PA
PennEnvironment
Sierra Club
Frack Action

Food & Water Watch PA

3.  Act Global, Think Local: Write Your Legislators
Thanks to the freshly inked Gas Impact Fee Legislation, Act 13, “municipalities can no longer adequately protect homes or businesses, and possibly even schools or parks, from nearby drilling activity that could damage a community’s quality of life and property values.” The part that truly sucks for Southeastern PA: “The law limits municipal authority over the industry’s “downstream” compressor stations and pipelines that bring the gas to consumers.” Read more from The Associated Press.

Tell Your Local Legislators how you feel about being stripped of your local zoning rights and protections.

4.  Wake Your Village, or Town, or Neighborhood…
Talk up this important issue! Don’t start a panic, but do let people know you have concerns about Watershed Protection. Write an email to all your friends, or “Share” a link you really like on Facebook. People are actively looking for quality information. You may inspire others to take action without even knowing it.

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2 Responses to “Spread a Little Love: Philly’s Anti-Phracking Movement Is Building”

  1. Julie A. Edgar Says:

    here is what i sent to many legislators; feel free to copy – paste- edit and use for your own purposes.
    ***********************************************************
    BRICKBATS to you for voting Act 13 into law.

    You have turned all PA citizens into mere serfs living in GASLAND, Fracksylvania! Shame on you! You have allowed all residential areas to be turned into toxic, heavy industrial zones! You have gagged doctors with non-disclosure agreements which are clearly unethical, and allowed gas companies to withhold from health professionals treating exposed people, information they are privy to related to exposures to toxins released by the fracturing of the shale. Even though the drillers didn’t add them to the fracking fluid, they sure do bear responsibility for fracturing the shale and releasing those heavy metals, radioactive elements, etc.!!! And if they know what someone has been exposed to that was released by the shale, even though they didn’t put it in there themselves, they DON’T have to tell any health professional, even if it would assist in the treatment of the patient!! THIS IS CRIMINAL!!!! And let me tell you, the ga$ companies themselves should be bearing ALL COSTS for pre-drilling baseline water testing! But instead, this is being subtracted from the impact fee, which is supposed to remediate impacts. The drillers should have to pay for the testing so that we may be able to hold them accountable for when they ruin people’s water! Do you know what is going on in Butler County?!?!?!

    http://protectingourwaters.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/rex-energy-removes-families-clean-water-group-confronts-rex-energy-today/

    Also, all phases of gas extraction and dissemination can go on just about anywhere the industry pleases– well pads, noxious/obnoxious well-flaring, compressor stations, poisonous open-air frack ponds, pipelines….why did you think it was OK to turn our residences, woods, game lands, and state parks into sites for toxic heavy industry?!?!? With this activity, ACCIDENTS, SPILLS, LEAKS, BLOWOUTS, AND EXPLOSIONS will be the new normal. Did you know that ALL well-casings fail on a long enough time scale? Don’t you think that anyone will want to live in Penn’s Woods in 100 or even 50 years, when the pipes are all compromised and all the cement has failed? Did you know that this will leave the earth’s natural infrastructure for cleaning, storing, and dispensing water to ALL LIFE permanently damaged, forever??

    Did you know that the gas industry has 27 items on a “wish list” for this bill, and that they got 23 of them??? Did you know that many safety recommendations made by even Tom Corporate Corbett’s industry-stacked Kangaroo Kommission otherwise known as the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission were NOT even incorporated into the law that YOU voted for?!?!?

    Did you know that you gave the drillers a privileged status above all other industries to continue to receive permits even if they are in violation at other sites?

    Did you know that all purported setback “requirements” are a total sham? Waivers are routinely granted by Kriminal I mean Secretary Krancer (20 yr vet of BIG OIL and GA$ whose wife’s and father-in-law’s contributions to Corbett’s campaign BOUGHT him that job!!). Setbacks ALSO do NOT apply to small but ecologically sensitive intermittent streams and small wetlands!!

    Did you know that there are no record-keeping requirements to establish a “cradle-to-grave” tracking of how RADIOACTIVE toxic waste flowback fluids are being disposed of?

    Did you know that if ONLY Bradford County fails to pass the impacts fee, that it will deny PA of HALF of the proposed impact fee gains for the entire state?? Local county commissioners and township supervisors are BOUGHT and paid-off. i have seen local officials who have signed leases and have a conflicts of interest who have routinely voted shamelessly to approving gas company activities, when the majority of the local citizens were NOT in favor. Shale gas drilling is tearing communities apart, shredding the fabric of the social compact. Now it’s every man for himself, even if it poisons his neighbor’s water! CRIMINAL!

    And as for stripping municipalities of any zoning, banning, or regulatory rights…all i have to say is, “If you don’t have democracy WHERE YOU LIVE, YOU DON’T HAVE DEMOCRACY!!!” You voted for a fascist law!

    And now the PUC has unprecedented rights to invalidate local zoning?!?! This is nuts.

    Totally inadequate bonding requirements ensure that PA tax payers will be left holding the bag after the boom-bust cycle of drilling has ruined our wells and surface waters, decimated our sustainable economic sectors of farming, tourism, recreation, certified sustainable forestry, wine- and beer-making, and forced our organic farmers to lose certification from contamination from this industry; and after the drillers have consumed all of our public waters, turned them into poison SUBTRACTED FOREVER from the hydrological cycle and left in the deep shale, or poison which has no proper disposal once returned to the surface (un-returnable to potable water, no safe place to dispose of radioactive water!!), after they have fractured the shale under our feet, caused earthquakes, fractured our communities, and polluted our water, air, and food shed with carcinogens, neurotoxins, mutagens, and endocrine disruptors, and made off with the privatized corporate profits, the citizens of Penn’s Woods will be forced to deal with the aftermath in PERPETUITY, when PA is no longer inhabitable. NICE JOB!!!!!!! NOT!!!!!!

    This law totally ignores horrific air impacts which poison and sicken people and animals, and contaminate the hydrological cycle and food shed as well.

    Passing this legislation sold out the citizenry and the COMMONS of PA (which belong to its citizens in CLEAN FORM, to support health and life and also for the pure esthetic values it provides), in perpetuity. And just because the governor is happy with you, have no doubt, YOUR VOTE is morally tantamount to the most vile criminal act of violation against the citizens of Penn’s Woods, and voters understand what happened, and we will hold you accountable. May the Conscious Universe have mercy on your black soul.

    JOBS?!?!??!!? Jobs killing people and animals, you mean, jobs ruining our natural resources which SUSTAIN ALL LIFE, IN PERPETUITY, is THAT what you mean?!?!? How about jobs in renewable energy so that LIFE can flourish into the future? OH WOE to your blind and bought servants of the corporations, for you have abandoned We the People and your oaths of office to protect and serve your constituents. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on you.

  2. Liz Rosenbaum Says:

    Thanks for that great letter, Julie. I’m putting together a new list of blogs, the “chorus” of anti–fracking voices like yours. If you have a moment, please send links you like! inkless800@aol.com, or post them in a comment here.

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