73,910 Voices Against Fracking in the Delaware River Basin: Photos, Press Release
For Immediate Release November 15, 2011
BROAD COALITION DELIVERS OVER 73,000 LETTERS, PETITIONS TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVE ON DRBC, DEMANDING “NO” VOTE AGAINST FRACKING ON NOV. 21
GROUPS OPPOSE LIFTING MORATORIUM ON HIGH-VOLUME SLICKWATER HYDRAULIC FRACTURING (FRACKING) IN THE HUGE WATERSHED
Coalition held press conferences, delivered letters in all four Delaware River Basin states (PA, NY, NJ, DE) on Monday, Nov. 14th
Photo credits Mark Schmerling * Many more high-res photos avail on request
Philadelphia — On Monday the Army Corps of Engineers was surprised when a coalition delivered 73,910 letters and petitions urging “Don’t Drill the Delaware” and held a press conference in the lobby of their Philadelphia office. A broad set of constituencies including labor, students, faith-based leaders, physicians and public health advocates, businesses, environmental groups, and sportspeople demanded collectively that Colonel Larsen vote to maintain the fracking moratorium in the huge Delaware River Basin on November 21st. Colonel Larsen is President Obama’s representative on the Commission which will decide on November 21st whether or not to open the Delaware River Basin to fracking. The group urged President Obama, his Army Corps of Engineers representative, and all four voting governors to protect the people, health, water, air, natural resources and economies of the Delaware River watershed. Press conferences took place yesterday in all four watershed states of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.
“I’m a nurse; this is what I do all day,” Patty Eakin told the crowd gathered at the Wanamaker Building, where the Army Corps of Engineers is housed in Philadelphia. “Human health is my primary concern.” Eakin spoke for labor in her capacity as President of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. Eakin is also a signatory to the attached Physicians / Health Professionals letter, which was also delivered to the Army Corps of Engineers today.
“When we cannot respect natural limits, abundance disappears,” said Rabbi Arthur Waskow, drawing on Judeo-Christian tradition to make an emphatic ecological point.
“Just last week the EPA reported that benzene at fifty times the safe limit is contaminating drinking water from fracking in Pavillion, Wyoming, along with other toxic and hazardous contaminants, notably 2-butoxyethanol, a deadly carcinogen,” said Iris Marie Bloom, Director of Protecting Our Waters. “This same week, the CDC released a report on drinking water in Pennsylvania contaminated by methane, hexane, arsenic, bromide and other substances toxic to human health, including radioactive materials in one drinking water well, after the Marcellus Shale gas drilling blowout in Bradford County…. The science is in. Childhood asthma rates have escalated to one in four in heavy drilling areas of Texas, and we don’t want that here. The human lung has 25 times more surface interaction with the atmosphere than the surface of our skin, and children are especially susceptible to inhaled contaminants because they breathe more rapidly…. We must prevent drilling here in the Delaware River Basin and extend the moratorium statewide to protect our people.”
“Leaders from many faiths are joining forces to call for a continued moratorium on gas drilling along the Delaware River watershed to protect our fresh water supplies and public health. Our children and grandchildren do not need natural gas to survive, but they do need clean water to drink. The members of the DRBC have the opportunity to act ethically and courageously and stand up for what’s right. We must change the paradigm of extracting natural resources without attention to the long-term consequences,” said Rabbi Melissa Klein, a Reconstructionist rabbi living in Philadelphia and the mother of a young child.