PRESS INFORMATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 19, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726, betterpathpa@gmail.com

 

Coalition Applauds Chester County DA’s Decision to Investigate Mariner East Pipeline Project

Pointed Statement from D.A. Correctly Cites Failure of Regulators and Governor Wolf

 

 

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan did not mince words when making the announcement that his office has launched an criminal investigation into the Mariner East Pipeline project.

 

Hogan stated, “In the last two years, we have seen these pipelines rip through the heart of Chester County. We have seen sinkholes created by the pipeline drilling, contaminated well water, and some subtle and not-so-subtle bullying of Chester County citizens by big corporate interests. We expected the state regulators and the governor to step in and assure the safety of Pennsylvanians. They have not. So now the Chester County District Attorney’s Office will demand that every aspect of these pipelines be conducted safely, or we will bring into play all of the tools of the criminal justice system.”

 

“The Better Path Coalition applauds District Attorney Tom Hogan for his decision to investigate Mariner East and his candor in citing our state regulators and Governor Tom Wolf for their failure to do their jobs. It is past time for Governor Wolf to shut these pipelines down once and for all. The Governor has ignored the evidence, just as he has done by his insistence that he can make fracking safe when the preponderance of the science and the impacts occurring on the ground contradict him. Governor Wolf needs to stop his magical thinking and deal with reality,” said Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – DECEMBER 4, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726, betterpathpa@gmail.com

 

Coalition Says Auditor General Should Start Examination of State’s Response to Climate Change with Close Look at DEP’S Climate Change Advisory Committee

Coalition Finds Shale-Friendly Bias on Advisory Committee

 

Harrisburg, PA – The Better Path Coalition applauds Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s decision to examine the state’s response to climate change. His announcement yesterday comes a day before the Department of Environmental Protection’s Climate Change Advisory Board’s meeting to discuss the state’s Climate Action Plan. The Coalition calls on the Auditor General to begin by looking at the Board, its members’ ties to the shale gas industry, and resulting impacts on its Climate Action Plan.

 

Two members of the 20-member board are listed as private citizens. They are Patrick Henderson, currently the head of Government Relations for the Marcellus Shale Coalition who served previously as Governor Tom Corbett’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Energy Advisor and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and James Felmlee, Past President of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs who was appointed to the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission by Corbett.

 

One of the leaders of the Board is Dennis Davin, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. When Governor Wolf announced that the controversial Royal Dutch Shell ethane cracker plant would be built, he said, ‘Since first taking office, I have worked in close collaboration with my Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, local officials in Western Pennsylvania, and Royal Dutch Shell to make the proposed plant a reality,’

 

Other members include:

CONSOL Energy, Pittsburgh-based coal and natural gas company

 

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, whose website discusses the Pennsylvania Partnership to Promote Natural Gas Vehicles (P3NGV), a “US Department of Energy funded initiative managed by DVRPC to provide objective information to fleet managers in southeastern Pennsylvania on the benefits of using CNG as a fuel”.

 

Representative Marty Causer (R-McKean) who sponsored HB 2154, the bill that received a lot of attention this year because it aimed to relax the rules for conventional drillers by increasing the amount of brine that could be used on roadways before having to report it to regulators, relaxing standards to prevent water contamination, and allowing wells leaking methane to remain uncapped.

 

“The climate action plan is as weak on climate action as the board responsible for reviewing it is strong on ties to the fossil fuel industry. It’s not surprising that the plan does not include a single mention of the words ethane or petrochemical or any provisions that indicate any real effort to transition away from methane,” said Karen Feridun, co-founder of the Better Path Coalition. “The Auditor General must examine the devastating consequences of our government’s ties to the fossil fuel industry and there’s no better place to start than with the Climate Change Advisory Board. He should ask why communities impacted by shale gas development and grassroots organizations that focus on fossil fuels and climate are not represented at all. There’s currently an opening on the board. I don’t remember the Better Path Coalition or any of our members getting an invitation.”

 

 

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 10, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726, betterpathpa@gmail.com

 

Coalition to Wolf: Don’t Frack PA Tourism

Thousands of Advocates and Individuals Call on Wolf to Protect $40 Billion Industry from Impacts of Shale Gas Development

 

 

Today, the Better Path Coalition presented Governor Tom Wolf with a letter and companion petitions decrying the policies that allow the shale gas development to damage Pennsylvania's tourism industry. Outdoor enthusiasts attracted to PA's wild areas and beautiful countryside are especially affected.

 

“For ten years I have watched the shale industry's campaign of economic misinformation. The letter to the Governor compares the damage they cause to their meager contributions,” said Jon Bogle, founding member of RDA, a coalition member organization, and author of the letter.

 

Using government statistics, the letter points out that the shale industry provides only a very small fraction of the jobs and taxes that tourism delivers. Governor Wolf has chosen to support a short lived, environmentally damaging industry rather than one that is sustainable, generates greater economic development, pays much more taxes and conserves a superior quality of life. The letter asks Wolf and his administration to reverse course for the sake of Pennsylvania’s sustainable economic future

 

The delivery comes a week after the Labor Day holiday, the traditional end of the summer tourism season. On July 4th, coalition members petitioned visitors at Chester County’s Marsh Creek State Park, a tourist destination that is threatened by the Mariner East pipelines.

 

More than 2500 individuals have signed the petition along with 30 organizations that have signed the letter.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 28, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726, betterpathpa@gmail.com

 

Advocates to DEP: We Won’t Be Silenced on Environmental Justice

Groups Outraged by DEP Reversal on Public Comment Process at Environmental Justice Advisory Board Meeting

 

 

The Better Path Coalition released a letter to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell today demanding a more robust process to encourage public participation in the review of the agency’s draft Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy.

 

The letter came after the coalition was informed at the last minute that the DEP’s Office of Environmental Justice would not accept comments by phone during today’s meeting of the Environmental Justice Advisory Board.

 

The coalition is calling on the agency to revise its list of ‘trigger permits’ to include those for drilling and other shale gas projects. The DEP currently identifies permits that will trigger an environmental justice process, but omits the vast majority of those related to shale gas development. That omission was a common concern raised at the nine listening sessions the agency held at the beginning of the policy review process. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently reported that the DEP had ‘granted permits to more than 500 oil and gas operations in environmental justice communities by 2015, none of which triggered enhanced review.”

 

Representatives of the Better Path Coalition were prepared to challenge the omission of shale gas development during today’s meeting of the Environmental Justice Advisory Board. On Friday came news that there would be no public hearings on the proposed revisions to the Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy. As the coalition understands it, today’s meeting will be the only opportunity to make verbal comments, something we find unacceptable.

 

“How can the DEP conduct a public participation process on, of all things, an enhanced Environmental Justice public participation process and conduct it this unacceptably?” commented Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth, a founding member of the Better Path Coalition. “Many Pennsylvanians don’t have regular access to computers to even learn that a policy review is currently underway, much less submit comments through an online portal. If the agency is genuinely interested in engaging the public in matters that have profoundly negative impacts on their lives, it should make it as easy as possible to allow people to comment, not make it difficult to impossible. Alerting people in an after hours email that they cannot comment via phone the following afternoon is quite the opposite of making it easy. The DEP should set up public hearings across the state to make sure that all who want to be heard are heard.”

 

"An Environmental Justice policy that omits communities dealing with the health impacts of the unconventional gas development industry is unacceptable. Denying people the opportunity to comment via phone is also not acceptable,” said Tammy Murphy, Medical Advocacy Director for Physicians for Social Responsibility - Pennsylvania. “It is time for Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to face the health impacts of the unconventional gas development industry. The research shows clear correlations to detrimental health impacts and proximity to unconventional gas development industry. Silencing these impacted communities by omitting the majority of the industries activities is unacceptable and all aspects of the industry should be included in any automatic trigger alert. Human health needs to be prioritized above all potential financial gain.”

 

Pennsylvania’s ‘new’ environmental justice policy makes only modest and ineffectual changes to the woefully inadequate existing policy,” said Alison Grass, Deputy Research Director at Food & Water Watch.  “It makes participation, outreach and inclusion for environmental justice communities optional instead of mandatory. An optional environmental justice policy gives the DEP a green light to redline socially and economically disadvantaged communities facing toxic new neighbors. For example, Food & Water Watch found that there was virtually no evidence that the DEP had done sufficient outreach to communities in designated environmental justice areas for five new gas-fired power plants that have been proposed or built over the past five years. Moreover, the proposed policy fails to address other critical weaknesses of DEP’s narrowly designed policy. The area of concern is far too small (half a mile compared to EPA’s 3-mile consideration), the income threshold is far too high and other economic considerations should also be considered. Finally, given the widespread environmental problems with fracking in Pennsylvania, it is essential that all proposed oil and gas drilling permits be covered under trigger permits that have more stringent environmental justice reviews. The DEP should annually publish a report on the impact that the entire natural gas industry and infrastructure — from wellhead to power plant to export terminal — has on communities of color and lower-income and economically stressed communities."

 

“The PA DEP has a long track record of reckless endangerment by freely issuing permits for gas industry projects that pollute our air, poison our water, and seize our land against our will. The fact that the DEP prevents its own Office of Environmental Justice from considering the impacts of fracking and pipelines on low-income and minority communities pushes this farce to new heights of absurdity. No wonder local resistance to the gas industry is growing larger, louder, and bolder as the DEP trades our children’s future for corporate profits,” commented coalition member Lancaster Against Pipelines.

 

"Environmental burdens are being carried disproportionately by communities where oil and gas operations are occurring, proven by the concentration of fracking in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, now second greatest producer of natural gas in the nation, the thousands of water complaints lodged by residents and at least 318 DEP-certified cases of ruined private water supplies caused by oil and gas. As the Commonwealth faces extraordinary and, in some cases, devastating changes to its landscape and water resources due to the largest drilling campaign in its history, the public health and welfare of the communities in the path of the industry should be recognized as needing the extra attention under DEP's environmental justice policy that the harm warrants", said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -  JUNE 28, 2018

 

Contact:         Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726

 

FERC Commissioner Powelson Takes a Spin in the Revolving Door after Less than a Year

 

 

Harrisburg, PA –

 

Statement by Better Path Coalition’s Tim Spiese

 

Late this afternoon, Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Robert Powelson announced in a tweet that he will resign his position in August.  As the former chair of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission who refused to recuse himself after publicly endorsing the controversial Mariner East pipeline project, his track record is well-known to Pennsylvanians and his departure is welcomed.

 

Shortly before receiving Senate approval to join FERC, Powelson famously told the audience at an industry conference that pipeline protesters were engaged in a “jihad”. His comment did not present a barrier to his bipartisan approval by the Senate to serve on the commission.

 

He will leave the Commission a year after joining it. In his short-lived role as a member of the 5 member panel tasked with reviewing interstate natural gas pipeline projects, he has voted in favor of every one of the nearly 30 pipelines he reviewed. It was during one of those approvals, a Dominion expansion project proposed in New York, that Powelson and his two Republican colleagues announced that the Commission will not consider the climate impacts of the pipelines they approve. This, despite an earlier federal court ruling that said the Commission must take into account greenhouse gas emissions and despite the fact that the Commission is supposed to be in the middle of a public comment period on a self-imposed policy review announced earlier this year.

 

Pipeline opponents and advocates for climate action are cheering his departure, not simply because of his actions but because it leaves a split panel of two Democrats and two Republicans and, thus, the possibility that FERC’s reckless approval of natural gas pipelines could be slowed or even stopped.

 

Powelson will become the President and CEO of the National Association of Water Companies, an industry lobbying group that once defended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Some of NAWC’s members are members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, so Powelson becomes the latest regulator to take a spin in the revolving door between government and the shale gas industry.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -  JUNE 21, 2018

 

Contact:         Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726

 

PA SENATE’S UNANIMOUS VOTE IN FAVOR OF APPALACHIAN MULTI-STATE ETHANE STORAGE HUB DEMONSTRATES INDIFFERENCE, IGNORANCE, GREED

 

Harrisburg, PA –

 

Statement by Better Path Coalition’s Karen Feridun

 

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania State Senate voted 49-0 to condemn Pennsylvanians, Ohioans, and West Virginians to more fracking, more pipelines, and more infrastructure and condemn everyone to an increasingly unlivable planet.

 

S.R. 375 is a resolution calling on Congress to support the development of an ethane storage hub in what is being referred to these days as the Shale Crescent. Earlier this year, Governors Wolf, Kasich, and Justice renewed an alliance originally formed in 2015 called the Tri-State Shale Coalition. A year earlier, Wolf issued a report he’d commissioned that said that Western Pennsylvania could support four cracker plants in addition to the one proposed for Beaver County by Royal Dutch Shell. The company received a record $1.65 billion in tax breaks to build its plant there. Cracker plants ‘crack’ open ethane molecules to extract the ethylene within that is used to make single-use plastics. Yesterday’s move by the Senate is another giant step backwards for a state that seems determined to ignore the impacts of fracking and climate change on health, safety, environment, economics, and, ultimately, our ability to survive.

 

Ethane has ushered in a new chapter in Pennsylvania’s shale gas boom, one based on petrochemicals.  Ethane impacts climate in three ways. It is a greenhouse gas. It contributes to the formation of smog, the third biggest contributor to warming after carbon dioxide and methane. It extends methane’s life in its very potent form in the atmosphere by gobbling up the hydroxides methane needs to convert to the far less potent, but longer-lived carbon dioxide.

 

Ethane is the natural gas liquid (NGL) being moved to Marcus Hook for export to cracker plants in Scotland and Norway via the Mariner East 1 pipeline. It is the NGL that is proposed to flow through the troubled Mariner East 2 and 2X pipelines, the Falcon pipeline, and others. Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners’ Mariner East pipelines have made headlines for more than a year thanks to leaks, drilling mud spills that have contaminated private water supplies and an aquifer, and sinkholes that have damaged nearby homes. Nevertheless, every Senator representing communities impacted by Mariner East, including Senator Andy Dinniman who has voiced opposition to Mariner East 2 and 2X, voted in favor of the resolution.

 

If history of shale gas development is our guide, then the Senate vote is just the latest expression of our state government’s indifference toward Pennsylvanians, its ignorance of science, and its unabashed greed.

 

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -  JUNE 14, 2018

Contact:         Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726

 

COALITION SAYS PUC MARINER EAST DECISION IGNORES 

'CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER'

 

Uwchlan Township, PA –

 

Statement by Better Path Coalition’s Rebecca Britton

 

The Public Utility Commissioners’ ruling today lacked critical thinking and rigor in their decision making process.  Governor Wolf should rethink those appointments.

 

While the construction of Mariner 2 and 2x is dangerous to our water and local ecology there is "clear and present danger" to residents by allowing the transmission of colorless, odorless, heavier then air combustibles through high consequence areas with troublesome geology.  It is unfortunate that Governor Wolf and his agencies prioritized corporate profits over the health, welfare, and safety of Pennsylvanians.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 9, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726, betterpathpa@gmail.com

Biologist, Writer, Activist Sandra Steingraber Urges Pipeline, Fracking Opponents to Stay Focused on Big Picture

Steingraber Speaks at PA Premier of UNFRACTURED Documentary that Follows her Journey into Activism

 

West Chester, PA - Sandra Steingraber, renowned biologist, mother, and author of Living Downstream and Raising Elijah, urged the audience to keep up the good fight against pipelines, like the Mariner East 2, and fracking at the Pennsylvania premier of the award-winning documentary UNFRACTURED on Saturday evening in West Chester. The Uwchlan Safety Coalition and the Better Path Coalition co-hosted the screening of producer-director Chanda Chevannes’ film that follows Steingraber’s journey into activism.

 

Said Steingraber, “I know—and the people all gathered here today know—that the work we must do to ban fracking is bigger than any one of our individual tragedies. Because we are fighting for everyone’s sons and daughters and husbands and families. Because we are fighting for life itself!”

 

Steingraber edited Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment published earlier this year. She credits Carson with her decision to become a science writer. She was once described as a “poet with a knife” by Sojourner magazine. Steingraber has been named a Woman of the Year by Ms. Magazine, a Person of the Year by Treehugger, and one of 25 “Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” by the Utne Reader. She is the recipient of the biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award and the Jenifer Altman Foundation’s Altman Award for “the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer.” Steingraber received a Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund and the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles.

 

The Uwchlan Safety Coalition is a community group actively engaged in the fight to stop the Mariner East Pipeline. The Better Path Coalition is a statewide coalition of frontline community members and grassroots organizers fighting for a clean, renewable energy future and a responsive government that puts Pennsylvanians’ best interests over those of the fossil fuel industry.

 

Earlier on Saturday, Steingraber was among the speakers at the No Mariner East! Statewide Rally for Community Safety organized by Food &Water Watch.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 9, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Better Path Coalition, 610-678-7726, betterpathpa@gmail.com

Mark Ruffalo and Fracking-Harmed Residents Demand Help from Gov. Wolf with New Health Impacts Campaign

 

Groups rallying at 5pm outside Gov. Wolf’s Philly fundraiser and asking fundraiser attendees to ask him when he will help residents harmed by fracking

 

Philadelphia - Dozens of organizations, affected residents, and actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo launched “Pennsylvania Fracking Health Impacts,” a new campaign asking Governor Wolf: when will you help families harmed by fracking? The campaign -- www.pafrackinghealth.org -- features 35 short video appeals directed at Gov. Wolf by Pennsylvanians, a compilation of the public health impacts and science he has ignored, a coordinated social media initiative that will keep ramping up, and rallies outside the governor’s events like the one Wednesday evening.

 

The campaign makes clear that drilling and fracking and its infrastructure are causing widespread harm in Pennsylvania. Four years ago, Gov. Wolf pledged to help harmed residents, but since then he has done nothing. Pennsylvanians in the videos on the campaign website appeal to Gov. Wolf: “We need your help.”

 

Actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo, who has long been standing with Pennsylvanians harmed by drilling and fracking, said, “After Governor Wolf's election, I was hopeful that he would listen to the stories of his constituents who have been harmed by fracking and help them, and listen to the hundreds and hundreds of scientific studies that demonstrate harm. Unfortunately, he has done nothing to help the many families who have been harmed by fracking. Now I am joining with the Pennsylvanians who are launching this public health impacts campaign to help shine a light on this unjust tragedy and ask when will Governor Wolf act?”

 

"On his Inauguration Day, Governor Wolf promised Madison, an 11 year old from Butler County, that he would visit people in front line communities in the shalefields. He has not done that. If our government is going to be responsive to the needs of Pennsylvanians, government officials need to listen to those who have been impacted," said Michael Bagdes-Canning of Planning Group Marcellus Outreach Butler and Co-Founder of the Better Path Coalition.

 

While Governor Wolf has failed to meet with impacted residents in areas of Pennsylvania that have drilling and fracking, elected officials from both New York and Maryland have traveled to Pennsylvania to both meet with residents and see drilling and fracking operations first-hand. It was because of these visits and the scientific studies that demonstrate the harms that drilling and fracking have on public health that both New York and Maryland banned fracking.

 

The campaign points to the overwhelming scientific evidence of harm from over 1,000 studies, including health impacts, air pollution, water contamination, accidents and explosions, and infrastructure impacts.

 

"Much of the national research on fracking and health is based on data collected in Pennsylvania which sadly shows associations between fracking and asthma, migraine headaches, and significantly low birthweight babies and premature births. These children could suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives," said Walter Tsou, MD, Executive Director of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility, past president of the American Public Health Association and former health commissioner of Philadelphia.

 

"Since taking office, Governor Wolf has done everything he can to enable the shale gas industry and expand the natural gas and petrochemical markets. A massive build-out of shale gas infrastructure under Wolf has brought fracking's harms to communities across the state. As the damage spreads, more and more Pennsylvanians are refusing to be treated by their governor as the externalities in the business plan of an industry that dictates energy policy in this state. We're here to tell Governor Wolf to stop ignoring the toll fracking is taking on the health and safety of his constituents," said Karen Feridun, Co-Founder, Better Path Coalition and Founder of Berks Gas Truth.

 

“Governor Wolf has had his head in the sand when it comes to the impact of fracking on Pennsylvania’s communities,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “Fracking and associated infrastructure like pipelines is turning large swathes of the state into a sacrifice zone so that fossil fuel corporations can profit from exports. It’s time the Governor took his constituents as seriously as he takes the oil and gas lobby.”

 

Julia Walsh, Campaign Director of Frack Action, said, “When will Governor Wolf take a fracking tour like hundreds of elected officials from all over the country and the world have done, including New York and Maryland which banned fracking? When will Governor Wolf help sick residents? When will he listen to the doctors and scientists and over a thousand studies that demonstrate terrible harm from drilling and fracking? The Pennsylvania Fracking Health Impacts campaign calls on Governor Wolf to finally keep his promise and help the many residents who have been harmed, and stop fracking.”

 

Tim Spiese, Board President, Lancaster Against Pipelines and Co-Founder of the Better Path Coalition, said, “The science on the health effects of non-conventional gas drilling in Pennsylvania is clear and overwhelming. Governor Wolf‘s support of natural gas drilling and new pipelines in this state as well as his desire to create dependency on natural gas through a severance tax stands in stark contrast to the fact that Pennsylvanian’s drinking water has been and is being contaminated and people are being made sick. This is an egregious violation of Article 1, Section 27 in our state constitution that asserts the right to clean air and clean water for all.”

 

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PRESS HITS:

StateImpact NPR: Wolf’s fracking-health record hammered by new industry opposition group

WSKG (same story): New Industry Opposition Group Hammers PA Governor’s Fracking-Health Record

KYW: Public health advocates call on Wolf to help those harmed by fracking 

5/24 PoliticsPA Playbook: roundup

Washington Examiner: roundup

Common Dreams: Mark Ruffalo and Fracking-Harmed Residents Demand Help from Gov. Wolf with New Health Impacts Campaign 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - MAY 2, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726, berksgastruth@gmail.com

              Diane Sipe, Marcellus Outreach Butler, 724-272-4539, sipediane5@gmail.com

              Laura Dagley, Pennsylvania Physicians for Social Responsibility, 540-556-0132, laura@psrphila.org


 

Coalition Letter to Wolf Tops 1,000 Signers

65 Organizations & More Than 950 Individuals Tell Wolf, “We Choose a Better Path”

 

Harrisburg, PA - More than 1,000 individuals and organizations have signed the letter the Better Path Coalition delivered to Governor Tom Wolf after a rally in Harrisburg on April 13th. The letter has received more than 300 additional signatures since it was delivered, prompting the coalition to resubmit the letter to Wolf today.

 

The resubmission comes just days after the governor announced his latest attempt to get a severance tax on natural gas drilling, this time in the form of a bill that trades environmental protections for a tax. The permit review process would be shortened, the Water Encroachment and Obstruction permitting process would be “streamlined” and shortened, the term of a drilling permit would be extended from 1 to 3 years, drillers would be able to submit only one application for multiple wells on the same well pad, and drilling could occur as far as 50 feet from where a well was permitted. It also comes days after the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved a bill that would roll back environmental protections required of conventional drillers and makes yet another attempt at removing local control over gas drilling operations. For these reasons and so many more, signers of the coalition’s letter choose a better path to a responsive government that puts the best interests of Pennsylvanians over those of the oil and gas industry.

 

Their sentiments mirror those of a majority of Pennsylvanians’, according to fresh polling from Franklin & Marshall College. The poll released at the end of March found that 69% of Pennsylvanians think the state government should prioritize renewable energy over coal and gas. Public opinion on fracking has soured, according to the poll that found that 55% of Pennsylvanians now think that the environmental risks of fracking outweigh economic benefits.

 

For many at the rally, the risks of fracking have become realities that have impacted not only their environment, but their health, safety, quality of life, and property value.

 

“Fracking has ruined my life, destroyed everything my husband and I worked our entire adult lives to build," said Maggie Henry, Beyond Extreme Energy and an organic farmer. "The 88+ earthquakes have done real physical damage to our home and property. Why are corporations permitted to do this to people?”

 

The proliferation of natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines has caused the impacts felt by Maggie and her family to spread to communities hundreds of miles from the nearest well.

 

“All this trauma to our environment and our communities so that a company can turn a profit off of Marcellus Shale fracking and another can make plastics. This is not a good path for Pennsylvania. Residents are standing up and are choosing a better path,“ said P.K. Ditty, Upper Uwchlan Residents for Safety, whose organization has been fighting to stop the Mariner East hazardous liquids pipelines.

 

“Pipeline infrastructure build-out is unwelcome in a world where fossil fuels are facing fast extinction,” said Arianne Elinich, Bucks County CCAP. “For the sake of the health and welfare of residents across Pennsylvania, our elected officials have an obligation to actively encourage reasonable energy alternatives. Renewable and sustainable energy alternatives that will create more jobs and greater energy independence than natural gas ever will. The time to transition is now.” Arianne and her organization have been fighting the PennEast and Adelphia Gateway natural gas pipelines.

 

“Pennsylvania is subject to harms to health from natural gas extraction, processing, transport, waste storage, and combustion, according to published research and articles referenced in a new report, entitled, The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, 5th Edition. This report compiles and summarizes an avalanche of recent studies with significant reference to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where we are experiencing all aspects of harms to health as the Compendium reveals because the government allows the unconventional gas development industry to operate across the majority of the state,” said Laura Dagley, Medical Advocacy Coordinator, Pennsylvania Physicians for Social Responsibility, who will deliver the The Compendium to Governor Wolf.

 

"We are demanding that Governor Wolf declare Oil & Gas Drilling Epidemic a statewide Disaster Emergency,"  said Craig Stevens, Founder, Patriots From The Oil & Gas Shales and 6th Generation Landowner in Silver Lake Township, PA.  "On January 10th 2018 the Governor declared the Opioid Crisis a Heath Emergency while ignoring the past 14 years of Harm done by Gas Drilling and Fracking, It is time to Recognize and End our Fossil Fuel Addiction! 'We Can Evade Reality, But We Cannot Evade The Consequences Of Evading Reality' - Ayn Rand!"

 

As the impacts of fracking are deepening in areas of the state where they’ve been occurring for years and spreading to parts of the state that are now dealing with polluting pipelines, power plants, processing facilities, injections wells, export facilities, and petrochemical plants, fracking is having a powerful impact on climate change.

 

“When it comes to climate change and the environment Governor Wolf is indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Natural gas is not a bridge fuel. We see no bridge. Governor Wolf has no plans for a bridge,” said Tim Spiese, Board President, Lancaster Against Pipelines.

 

"Climate change is not a religion that you choose to “believe” in.  The science is irrefutable. Our planet is warming, and Pennsylvania’s whole-hearted embrace of fracked gas is not in alignment with the direction we must go.  According to a Franklin and Marshall College poll conducted in March of this year, 62% of Pennsylvania citizens believe that climate change is already causing problems. They are right. It’s time to choose a better path, one that leads Pennsylvania to the prosperous, sustainable economy and healthy communities that are possible only in a clean energy future," said Barbara Jarmoska, Responsible Drilling Alliance.

 

“Pennsylvania doesn’t just have a fracking problem or a climate change problem; we have a democracy problem. We don’t accept it and we’re going to change it. Our system of government cannot remain broken if it is to take the climate action necessary to preserve a livable planet for future generations. The degree to which our coalition has grown in just a matter of weeks tells us that Pennsylvanians are more forward-thinking than their elected officials and regulators,” said Karen Feridun, Founder, Berks Gas Truth.

 

“We, the people of this Commonwealth, are here to claim what belongs to us and all those that follow us: clean air and pure water, the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of our environment. We and our government should be investing in the infrastructure of life and health not disease and death. We and our government should be investing in the infrastructure of resilience, not mass extinction. We and our government should be investing in the people not the powerful. We choose a better path and if our "leaders" won't lead, they need to get out of the way,” said Michael Bagdes-Canning, Planning Group Member, Marcellus Outreach Butler.

 

"Our actions and words emanate from the depths of the human spirit, the place within us that knows we can only be healthy if the land itself is healthy," said Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Green Justice Philly.

 

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PRESS HIT:

Allied News: Coalition Letter to Wolf Tops 1,000 Signers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - APRIL 13, 2018

Contact: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726, berksgastruth@gmail.com

               Diane Sipe, Marcellus Outreach Butler, 724-272-4539, sipediane5@gmail.com

               Laura Dagley, Pennsylvania Physicians for Social Responsibility, 540-556-0132, laura@psrphila.org

 

 

Hundreds of Fracking’s Frontline and Grassroots to Wolf: “We Choose a Better Path!”

More than 700 Pennsylvanians and organizations sign letter delivered to Wolf

 

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvanians from across the state converged in the capitol rotunda today to declare that they are choosing a better path, one that leads to a responsive government that prioritizes the best interests of the people over those of the natural gas industry and that leads to a clean, renewable energy future.

 

More than 700 individuals and organizations made their declaration in a letter that was delivered to Governor Wolf after the rally.

 

Their sentiments mirror those of a majority of Pennsylvanians’, according to fresh polling from Franklin & Marshall College. The poll released at the end of March found that 69% of Pennsylvanians think the state government should prioritize renewable energy over coal and gas. Public opinion on fracking has soured, according to the poll that found that 55% of Pennsylvanians now think that the environmental risks of fracking outweigh economic benefits.

 

For many at the rally, the risks of fracking have become realities that have impacted not only their environment, but their health, safety, quality of life, and property value.

 

“Fracking has ruined my life, destroyed everything my husband and I worked our entire adult lives to build," said Maggie Henry, Beyond Extreme Energy and an organic farmer. "The 88+ earthquakes have done real physical damage to our home and property. Why are corporations permitted to do this to people?”

 

The proliferation of natural gas and hazardous liquids pipelines has caused the impacts felt by Maggie and her family to spread to communities hundreds of miles from the nearest well.

 

“All this trauma to our environment and our communities so that a company can turn a profit off of Marcellus Shale fracking and another can make plastics. This is not a good path for Pennsylvania. Residents are standing up and are choosing a better path,“ said P.K. Ditty, Upper Uwchlan Residents for Safety, whose organization has been fighting to stop the Mariner East hazardous liquids pipelines.

 

“Pipeline infrastructure build-out is unwelcome in a world where fossil fuels are facing fast extinction,” said Arianne Elinich, Bucks County CCAP. “For the sake of the health and welfare of residents across Pennsylvania, our elected officials have an obligation to actively encourage reasonable energy alternatives. Renewable and sustainable energy alternatives that will create more jobs and greater energy independence than natural gas ever will. The time to transition is now.” Arianne and her organization have been fighting the PennEast and Adelphia Gateway natural gas pipelines.

 

“Pennsylvania is subject to harms to health from natural gas extraction, processing, transport, waste storage, and combustion, according to published research and articles referenced in a new report, entitled, The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, 5th Edition. This report compiles and summarizes an avalanche of recent studies with significant reference to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where we are experiencing all aspects of harms to health as the Compendium reveals because the government allows the unconventional gas development industry to operate across the majority of the state,” said Laura Dagley, Medical Advocacy Coordinator, Pennsylvania Physicians for Social Responsibility, who will deliver the The Compendium to Governor Wolf.

 

"We are demanding that Governor Wolf declare Oil & Gas Drilling Epidemic a statewide Disaster Emergency,"  said Craig Stevens, Founder, Patriots From The Oil & Gas Shales and 6th Generation Landowner in Silver Lake Township, PA.  "On January 10th 2018 the Governor declared the Opioid Crisis a Heath Emergency while ignoring the past 14 years of Harm done by Gas Drilling and Fracking, It is time to Recognize and End our Fossil Fuel Addiction! 'We Can Evade Reality, But We Cannot Evade The Consequences Of Evading Reality' - Ayn Rand!"

 

As the impacts of fracking are deepening in areas of the state where they’ve been occurring for years and spreading to parts of the state that are now dealing with polluting pipelines, power plants, processing facilities, injections wells, export facilities, and petrochemical plants, fracking is having a powerful impact on climate change.

 

“When it comes to climate change and the environment Governor Wolf is indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Natural gas is not a bridge fuel. We see no bridge. Governor Wolf has no plans for a bridge,” said Tim Spiese, Board President, Lancaster Against Pipelines.

 

"Climate change is not a religion that you choose to “believe” in.  The science is irrefutable. Our planet is warming, and Pennsylvania’s whole-hearted embrace of fracked gas is not in alignment with the direction we must go.  According to a Franklin and Marshall College poll conducted in March of this year, 62% of Pennsylvania citizens believe that climate change is already causing problems. They are right. It’s time to choose a better path, one that leads Pennsylvania to the prosperous, sustainable economy and healthy communities that are possible only in a clean energy future," said Barbara Jarmoska, Responsible Drilling Alliance.

“Pennsylvania doesn’t just have a fracking problem or a climate change problem; we have a democracy problem. We don’t accept it and we’re going to change it. Our system of government cannot remain broken if it is to take the climate action necessary to preserve a livable planet for future generations. For the frontline community members and grassroots organizers who planned today’s rally, this action is just the beginning -- the beginning of the end of fracked gas in Pennsylvania,” said Karen Feridun, Founder, Berks Gas Truth.

 

“We, the people of this Commonwealth, are here to claim what belongs to us and all those that follow us: clean air and pure water, the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of our environment. We and our government should be investing in the infrastructure of life and health not disease and death. We and our government should be investing in the infrastructure of resilience, not mass extinction. We and our government should be investing in the people not the powerful. We choose a better path and if our "leaders" won't lead, they need to get out of the way,” said Michael Bagdes-Canning, Planning Group Member, Marcellus Outreach Butler.

 

"Our actions and words emanate from the depths of the human spirit, the place within us that knows we can only be healthy if the land itself is healthy," said Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Green Justice Philly.

 

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PRESS HITS:

Rally Demands End to Natural Gas Fracking in Pennsylvania, WGAL TV

Livestream of the Rally on Real Progressives by Joy Marie Mann

Anti-Fracking Actvists Calling for Banning Natural Gas Drilling, ABC 27 (picked up by WTRF in West Virginia, as well)

Pennsylvanians Choose a Better Path, Governor Wolf, Daily Kos

Hundreds Protest Pennsylvania Governor on Fracking, Popular Resistance

Media Advisory: For Planning Purposes

Event Date: Friday, April 13, 2018

Contacts: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726, berksgastruth@gmail.com

                Diane Sipe, Marcellus Outreach Butler, 724-272-4539, sipediane5@gmail.com

                Laura Dagley, Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia, 540-556-0132, laura@psrphila.org


 

Friday: Pennsylvanians from Fracking’s Frontlines and Grassroots Rally to Declare, “We Choose a Better Path, Governor Wolf!”

 

 

Harrisburg, PA –Frontline community members and grassroots organizers have banded together to launch a campaign that kicks off with a historic rally at noon on Friday, April 13th  called “We Choose a Better Path, Governor Wolf.” The rally and campaign come in response to the Wolf administration’s expansion of the market for fracked gas despite the well-documented harms fracking, pipelines and related infrastructure have done, the more than 1200 peer-reviewed studies that confirm myriad adverse impacts, and the urgent need for climate action.

 

Hundreds of Pennsylvanians and dozens of organizations have already signed a letter that the coalition will deliver to Governor Wolf after the rally. Laura Dagley of Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia will deliver a copy of the newly-released 5th edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking co-authored by the organization.

 

The concerns at the heart of the new campaign mirror those expressed by Pennsylvanians in recent polling done by Franklin & Marshall. The results show that 69% of Pennsylvanians want to see the government doing more to address climate change by developing energy policies that prioritize renewables over coal and gas. More than half believe that the environmental risks of fracking outweigh potential benefits.

 

 

 

 

WHEN:        Friday, April 13, 2018, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 

WHERE:     Main Rotunda, State Capitol Building, Harrisburg

 

WHO:          Speakers

Tim Spiese, Lancaster Against Pipelines

Craig Stevens, Patriots from the Marcellus

P.K. Ditty, Upper Uwchlan Residents for Safety

Arianne Elinich, Bucks County Concerned Citizens Against the Pipelines

Maggie Henry, Beyond Extreme Energy

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Green Justice Philly

Laura Dagley, Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia

Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth

Michael Bagdes-Canning, Marcellus Outreach Butler

Representatives of other organizations will be available to the press, as well.

 

VISUALS:    25’ lengths of Lancaster Against Pipeline’s quilt will flank the grand staircase. A banner bearing the List of the Harmed, a poster on Governor Wolf’s track record on fracking, and a colorful array of posters and banners held by participating individuals and organizations are among the visuals that will be on display.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Search #wechooseabetterpath for live updates during the rally.

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Questions? Contact us at betterpathpa@gmail.com    

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