Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Resident Resistance Builds in Response to the Natural Gas Gold Rush

Posted by: Noël Jones

So by now you've heard that the Community Environmental Legal Defense fund has helped residents in Nockamixon, Licking Township and Pittsburgh to fight corporate power on a constitutional basis to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas or "fracking" from their communities. Easton City Council recently passed a unanimous resolution in support of Pittsburgh's decision. Now Philadelphia is considering a similar ban, adding to the collective resident resistance to potential drinking water contamination from the gold rush of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale before EPA cumulative impact studies have been completed. Below is an update from the Delaware Riverkeeper on the latest call to action:

Let New PA Governor Tom Corbett Know Where You Stand on Fracking!
Hundreds of activists including members of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network showed up in the freezing rain to Governor Corbett's inauguration this past Tuesday in Harrisburg to send a clear message to the Governor that they want their water and community health to be put first before the corporate profits of the gas drillers.
In his inauguration speech, the Govenor promised to "lead with clear minds, full hearts and eyes set towards new generations for PA to find true and sustaining greatness...that allows for future generations to dream with incredible hope." Let him know you heard his speech and he can begin achieving this goal NOW by declaring a statewide moratorium on fracking in the Commonwealth. 

Call PA Governor Tom Corbett and urge him to declare a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Commonwealth until exemptions to the gas industry are closed to protect public health and the EPA study on hydraulic fracturing has been completed and put through the public process. Call 717-787-2500 between 9am and 5pm to make your voice heard.  

For more information and other ways to get involved visit www.delawareriverkeeper.org


realist said...

I'm waiting for the natural gas industry to use the fracking bans as an excuse to raise prices. I converted my furnace to natural gas from oil a few years ago; I've saved money, don't have to worry about running out of oil, the quality of heat is better, and my chimney doesn't get dirty.
people are going to have to get used to the idea that you can't always have your cake and eat it too.
there is always a compromise, and if you want to stay warm in the winter, there will have to be some sacrifices.
electric heat comes from coal fired power plants or nuclear plants.
oil heat comes from dirty oil.
gas heat comes from gas fracked out of the ground.

choose your poison.

noel jones said...

electricity also comes from hydro, solar, wind and bio-fuels, which we need to be putting more money and energy behind developing.

"choose your poison" is pretty apt suggestion at this point, considering the waste water (in millions of gallons per well) from the fracking process contains carcinogens, neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors.

oil and coal are big polluters too, but with fracking for natural gas, you might as well say, "choose your cancer."

are you really ok drinking water that might cause you and others you care about to risk dying a long slow painful death? or are you just so financially secure that you're ok spending hundreds of dollars each month on bottled water to ration in your home as other residents have had to do all over this country in states where fracking has taken place, and don't care if other can't afford it and could get very sick? and even if you are ok with that, doesn't it worry you that your property value would be destroyed if that were to happen? or are you 100% positive you want to stay in your current house forever, rationing your water so that you can enjoy slightly cheaper natural gas heat, and therefore don't need to care about your property value?

that's not realism, it's denial. and denial is the most dangerous thing of all in a situation like this. we don't want to believe that it's really happening. we don't want to believe that big gas companies would really pursue getting richer with a process that will make people seriously ill, or that our government would allow it to happen because it is in bed with the industry. the only thing as dangerous as denial on this topic is wishful thinking. many of our representatives and senators want to believe that charging the gas companies a severance tax will save us from painful budget cuts, rather than cutting spending, so even they exercise denial about the health risks in this gold rush.

why on earth should we be going forward with drilling tens of thousands of new wells in the Delaware watershed--which provides drinking water to 15 million of us in four states--before the EPA has even completed their cumulative impact study?

that is what the residents protesting fracking are asking for--a moratorium (like NY has passed) until we have proof that the process can be safely executed, with safety regulations to be followed.

why on earth would you object to waiting until the study is done? is the small amount of money you save on heat worth destroying the drinking water in your home? and are you really saving money at all if your property value is destroyed? are you ok with potentially getting very sick, or having to purchase bottled water to drink, cook, clean and bathe with? are you ok with the possibility of being able to set your tap on fire, like the residents of Dimock, just 2 hours north of us?

natural gas is not "clean energy." it's process and waste is dirtier than oil and coal and far more dangerous to our health and our way of life.

tunsie said...

when it comes to biofuel or clean energy.the price goes UP.when gasoline was high ww started to use corn foe alcohol based fuel.then the price of gas went down.the oil companies raise and lower thier prices to squash the competition.....I love u noel...tunsie

realist said...

every available energy source is dirty. they blow the tops off mountains in WV to get to it! oil is dirty, natural gas is dirty.
bio fuels? pie in the sky at this point. corn based ethanol is incredibly wasteful and only survives because of govt subsidies. solar? the technology doesn't exist to provide enough energy.
wind? not windy enough, and you run up against rich environmentalists.
hydro? that's so 19th century. have you no idea how damaging dams are?

don't misunderstand me, I agree that fracking is dangerous, but the gas has to come from somewhere. they need to find a better way to extract it.
everyone always has the NIMBY attitude, but reality is reality; everyone NEEDS fuel and it's not always easy to get.

as for property values, PLEASE. I live in the WW, my house isn't worth shit already.

noel jones said...


all energy production has to be dirty and the already-established solar panels and wind turbines and hydro-electric plants are no good?

first of all, ethanol is not the only biofuel out there--there are algae fuels being developed and there is already technology developed to turn garbage from landfills into fuel--which would serve two purposes at once.

as for solar not producing "enough energy" this is a common argument against green energy, and what is meant by it is that technology hasn't been developed YET that will convert solar energy sufficient enough to propel cars and airplanes, which take massive amounts of fuel (although there are development teams working on solar cars and planes now, ones that would be constantly recharging themselves, and a solar single-person airplane has been invented already--it's very slow, but all inventions start somewhere). but even with more development needed, solar already DOES produce enough electricity to run lights, and solar coil systems produce hot water, so that alone would cut down fuel expenses greatly for families if more development in the market made these systems more readily available.

"not windy enough?" i guess you mean not windy enough HERE, although i doubt that, considering there are plenty of places in the northeast and the mid-atlantic that have wind turbines. and even so, wind power is stored and transferred/sold between grids. the point is that all of these clean technologies will have to work in conjunction TOGETHER to succeed, along with other developments that cut down on our need for fossil fuels--like passenger ral and other mass transit systemsi--as opposed to millions of people commuting by car to work every day.

as for heat, there are also corn stoves and wood pellet stoves that have been developed already. it is a fallacy that our only choices for heat are oil, coal electricity or natural gas. it's just that we haven't put enough money and development behind them as a nation to create a market where these new methods are readily available. it will also take quite a paradigm shift in the way people think about heating options, and that is perhaps the greatest obstacle.

i'm sorry you feel that way about your home. i live in the West Ward too, and i love my house and have many neighbors who love their homes too. i checked on Zillo.com recently and actually housing prices in the WW are not dropping as drastically as many other parts of the country.

regardless, i still can't get past the idea that cheaper gas is worth getting cancer or buying bottled water to ration in one's home for the rest of one's life.

tunsie said...

U see... U see...My NOEL is not just sooooooooooooooooooooooo beautiful but she is also very SMART too.....and shes got it going on.....yeah baby.nobodys gonna mess with her...I yuv U noel

noel jones said...

tunsie--what are you smoking?

tunsie said...

I was smoking a cohiba......but I have in my posession a cuban....while everybody knows I love U.I cant tell U how I came into that cigar,some thing have to be secret....I yuv u noel

noel jones said...


Philly just passed a unanimous resolution against natural gas drilling before health impact studies are completed!

Councilman Jones is immediately sending a letter, today, to the Delaware River Basin Commission. He asks that the entire report "be made part of the record of public comment" on DRBC's proposed gas drilling regulations. That includes the entire set of Recommendations, beginning with #1, which states:

"1. There must be no drilling, or projects related to gas drilling (including exploratory wells and water withdrawals), permitted in the Delaware River watershed until both the EPA hydraulic fracturing risks study and the cumulative impact studies specific to the Delaware River Basin are completed, assessed, and publicly debated."