Press Release: “Corbett LOVEs Fracking”
On one year anniversary of Act 13 signing, advocates call for a moratorium on fracking in the state of Pennsylvania:
Groups Use Philly’s LOVE Sculpture to Send PA Gov. Corbett a Valentine’s Day Card reading “Corbett LOVEs Fracking”
Philadelphia, PA– Over forty advocates, medical professionals, and concerned Philadelphians came together yesterday on Feb. 13th, the one-year anniversary of Governor Corbett’s signing Act 13 into law, to oppose Act 13, and to call for a moratorium on fracking in Pennsylvania. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, activists created a monument to Governor Corbett’s special relationship with the gas industry, bracketing the famous LOVE sculpture with the words “Corbett” on one side, and “Fracking” on the other, spelling out “Corbett LOVEs Fracking.”
The process of shale gas drilling using high-volume slickwater horizontal hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking,” has turned parts of Pennsylvania into toxic industrial zones, rife with water contamination, air pollution, fights over compressor stations and pipelines, and divided communities.
The groups, including Protecting Our Waters, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Food and Water Watch, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, say that Governor Corbett has facilitated the destruction by putting the interests of the fracking industry before the well-being of Pennsylvanians. Central to his pro-fracking agenda has been the draconian Act 13, which stripped municipalities of local zoning authority and placed a gag order on physicians, barring them from disclosing “proprietary” (secret) fracking chemicals to the public. Advocates called for an overturning of Act 13, for “no more toxic secrets,” and for a moratorium on fracking in Pennsylvania.
“Governor Corbett accepted $1.8 million from the gas industry during his last campaign, and he has paid his friends in fracking back handily, opening state lands to fracking, signing Act 13 and arranging for a $1.65 billion tax credit for Shell to build a polluting ethane cracker facility,” said Sam Bernhardt, Pennsylvania Organizer for Food & Water Watch. “Governor Corbett is supposed to work for Pennsylvanians, but he has clearly let his feelings for the fracking industry get the best of him. Our Valentine’s Day message to the Governor today shows where his priorities lie.”
“The fracking industry loves Pennsylvania governors. Industry lobbyists paid former Gov. Tom Ridge 900,000 to do PR. Gov. Corbett has been bankrolled by fracking industry executives, especially his good friend Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake Energy, ever since 2004. And we just learned that Gov. Rendell also sold out to these corporate kings, betraying suffering people with badly impacted water in order to protect Range Resources,” commented Iris Marie Bloom, director of Protecting Our Waters. “Act 13 shows how much our governor and legislature love the industry back. The result has been black water and sick people. We need to overturn Act 13, abolish the gag order and non-disclosure clauses, and take back our state from these corrupt officials. We’ve had enough of these toxic secrets. For that matter, we’re done with being fracked.”
“When Governor Corbett signed Act 13 into law a year go today, those of us who were appalled at the takeover by industry of municipal rights took action and sued the State to overturn the unconstitutional law that forced drilling into every backyard and playground. As we all await the Supreme Court’s decision, more evidence is mounting every day that the state is blinded by drilling and cannot be trusted to look out for us – violations of permits by drillers continue, farmers are suffering new losses, water wells are not being protected as they should- all with Gov. Corbett watching, letting the drillers call the shots. Act 13 exposed the level of control drillers have in Pennsylvania, we must get it back,” said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
“Calling health-harming ingredients “proprietary” is a ploy perfected by the tobacco industry and carried on by the fracking industry,” said Reverend Jesse Brown, a health advocate who has worked for decades to protect communities from giant tobacco corporations which also use deadly “proprietary” ingredients. “Requiring physicians to keep so called “proprietary” chemicals secret where health threats are concerned violates their oath; this gag order must be abolished.”
“Act 13 includes a physician ‘gag clause’ written by the gas industry which restricts appropriate patient care and is impractical. It prevents publication in medical journals and sharing vital information that could advance medical knowledge,” said Dr. Walter Tsou, of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
“Nurses oppose fracking. We have adopted a resolution for a moratorium on fracking in Pennsylvania until modifications in technology ensure the toxic chemicals are not leaking into our water supply and our soil,” said Mary Adamson, a registered nurse and member of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Health Professionals (PASNAP). “Join me in holding Governor Corbett and our legislators accountable to place the health of the people in Pennsylvania above the Profits of the big oil barons.“
Background: “Breaking News and Toxic Secrets: Groups Oppose Act 13 on the 13th” reveals how Act 13 originated with ALEC, the “corporate bill mill,” and examines the way “impact fee” money from Act 13 is being “hijacked” away from families who have lost their clean safe drinking water as a result of drilling and fracking sending black gunk, methane, and other substances spewing into their water.
About High-Volume Hydraulic Fracking, also called “Shale Gas Drilling” and “Unconventional Drilling”:
High volume hydraulic fracturing, combined with horizontal drilling, involves pumping an average of 4.7 million gallons of water, chemicals and sand (per well, per frack) a mile and more underground to extract natural gas (mostly methane) from shale bedrock. Multiple studies show how inherently dangerous it is. Less than 10% of the total number of wells planned for PA have been fracked so far; most of the damage is yet to be done.
Fracking Accelerates Climate Change
Methane is 105 times more potent in warming power than CO2, according to NASA scientist Drew Shindell and climate scientist Bob Howarth, and engineer Anthony Ingraffea, of Cornell University. With methane leaking at the astonishing rate of 9% from tanks, pits, valves, pipelines and processing facilities, scientists argue that even with “best practices” and even with future stringent regulations (not existing yet), fracking still accelerates climate change.
Governor Corbett received at least $1.8 million from the gas industry during his last campaign. He then pushed successfully for a $1.65 billion tax credit for Shell to build a polluting ethane cracker facility. He also signed Act 13, which places a gag order on physicians and takes away municipal zoning authority over gas drilling, waste pits and waste handling, compressor stations, and other aspects of fracking.