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Great news in New York; Obama needs heat; LOVE today

February 13, 2013

Granted, that’s an odd headline. But with the shale country news coming faster, and more mixed, than ever before, we are mixing it up in this post.

No More Toxic Secrets: “Corbett LOVES Fracking” Action Today

“LOVE today” means: cold rain or snow, come what may, we are still on for the “Corbett LOVES Fracking” action, today at LOVE Park in Philadelphia from 4:30 to 5 pm. Protecting Our Waters, Food and Water Watch and Delaware Riverkeeper Network join together on the one-year anniversary of the signing of Act 13, urging that it be overturned. We oppose its stripping of municipal rights, its gag order on physicians, its lack of protection for Pennsylvanians living in shale country and downstream.  We call for a moratorium instead. We also demand that impact fees already gathered not be hijacked, but be used to provide clean replacement water for 30 families in Butler County; Max Chisolm and many more in Bradford County; Tammy Manning and many more in Susquehanna County, and everywhere impacted people live.

Speakers include Dr. Walter Tsou, Reverend Jesse Brown, and Delaware Riverkeeper’s Tracy Carluccio.

Water is life. Read all about the action — the what, where, why, and deep background — here: Breaking News and Toxic Secrets: Groups Oppose Act 13 on the 13th.

State of the Union

“Obama needs heat” means that President Obama’s actions must start living up to his rhetoric, and it’s going to take a mega-ton of heat to make that happen. That heat has to come from all of us — or we’re going to get hotter and hotter on a planet filling up with greenhouse gas emissions coupled with hot air.

Protecting Our Waters Campaign Coordinator Eric Peters, while not the least bit surprised by Obama’s tack, wrote this:

The State of the Union was a major disappointment. Lofty rhetoric on climate change interspersed with calls for more oil and gas drilling? Obama’s promise to cut through red tape (regulations) and speed up new oil and gas permits is an absolute slap in the face to the impacted residents of shale country, Appalachian coalfields, and beyond.
Moments after the State of the Union address ended the Marcellus Shale Coalition released this congratulatory statement.
If President Obama is serious about tackling climate change he can start by stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline. All out on Feb 17 in DC because ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!

Major Victory in New York: Public Health Matters

“Great news in New York” means: We did it! The combined forces of scores of New York organizations and sectors, especially the stepped up efforts of health professionals and a growing youth movement, New York Youth Against Fracking — have led NY Health Commission er Shah to further delay any lifting of the New York moratorium, in order to study health impacts.  
Read all about it in the New York Times: Cuomo delays decision on gas drilling as health study continues.
Magic didn’t make this victory happen. Truth, courage, and extremely hard work made it happen. All the Pennsylvania shale country residents speaking out must be proud, although devastated that New York officials are studying health impacts while Pennsylvania’s Department of Health doesn’t even track gas drilling-related health complaints.  To change that now:
Call the number below and ask two questions. One: what is the ONE phone number that ALL Pennsylvania residents who are experiencing gas drilling-related health impacts now or on the past few years, should call to make sure DOH records those impacts and documents them thoroughly?  Two: when will the PA Department of Health do a Health Impacts Assessment on the life-cycle impacts from high-volume shale gas drilling?
Most health impacts won’t show up for years and decades. Fracking impacts will last for centuries. Urge DOH to call for a moratorium and to conduct a Health Impact Assesment.
Call the Secretary of the PA Department of Health (717) 787-6436
Because a victory in New York is awesome. But what are we in the rest of shale country, chopped liver?
  1. Patrick Walker permalink
    February 13, 2013 1:32 pm

    Please post this, an e-mail sent to Bill Mckibben and MANY activists supporting the Forward on Climate Rally.

    Hi again, y’all

    In wake of his SOTU address, I think the evidence is stronger than ever that Barack Obama, our Hypocrite-in-Chief, our Uncle Tom for the 1%, is ready to approve the XL pipeline. With his typical smarmy sliminess, he said the prettiest of words on climate change, while simultaneously praising his “all of the above” energy policy (for which Democrats–yeah, THOSE two-faced slimeballs–used to savage Sarah Palin, just as they wanted Bush investigated for the types of Constitutional and international law violations Obama routinely does with nary a whimper of protest now). He also touted our uptick in domestic oil production and fracking. Do his two brain hemispheres, the one that lauds urgent action on climate change and the other that promotes everything to render it catastrophic, simply NEVER communicate? I think the far less charitable assumptions implied above are in order.

    Knowing the mainstream liberal press would be far too gaga over SOTU, I checked out Counterpunch for a dose of reality. What I found first there was not an article on the SOTU address, but one about the Sierra Club’s reversal of its traditional position against civil disobedience, that was FAR scarier. Its author seemed to think–and I have NO good reason to doubt him–that Sierra Club President Michael Brune’s decision to get arrested at the Forward on Climate rally is a signal for preparedness, based on knowing that APPROVAL OF THE XL PIPELINE IS A DONE DEAL! Given that long-time Democratic Party activist (and often paid operative) Marc Stier answered my angry claim that Obama would approve the pipeline NOT by denying it, but by saying the pipeline wasn’t so bad, simply corroborates this belief.

    That is why, despite my firm belief in its nobleness and necessity, I will NOT attend the Forward on Climate rally. With the financial stresses my family is undergoing–including my unemployment and the potential loss of our tenant–my attending would simply be imprudent expense GIVEN THAT THE RALLY IS HOPELESS FOR STOPPING XL. In fact, everything is hopeless but finding ourselves a political arm, and you can count me out of all further activism until someone takes up the suggestion I made for a True-Blue Democrat revolt movement–or something political as good or better at inflicting political pain on non-progressive, anti-environmental Democrats.

    To drive home this lesson, let me finish this e-mail–probably my LAST activist one–on the purpose of rallies and protests. Rallies and protests are USEFUL BUT ESSENTIALLY symbolic–unless they contain a HEAVY component of civil disobedience. Essentially, their purpose is threefold: (1) To spread a message, (2) To show there are plenty of people–the basis for LARGE rallies–willing to inflict political pain over that message, and (3) In the absence of means for inflicting political pain, to show there are lots of committed people willing to commit civil disobedience and otherwise make authorities’ lives a living hell for sake of that message.

    Now, the civil disobedience already done and planned–and even the highly cautious Sierra Club’s signalled willingness to commit such disobedience–simply confirms my point: that option (2) is out, SINCE WE HAVE NO VEHICLE FOR INFLICTING PURELY POLITICAL PAIN. This simply confirms Glenn Greenwald’s point that there’s NO OUTLET FOR PUBLIC OUTRAGE. My suggestion of a True-Blue Democrat movement–a far nobler version of the Tea Party–is intended to restore us such an outlet.

    I end with a WARNING: The powers-that-be have SUCCEEDED in their pro-pipeline propaganda. Besides a poll taken in PA heavily supporting the pipeline, I have the personal evidence of the SHOCKED reaction of the members of the local UU Church–a politically LIBERAL church!–when I asked that they light a candle AGAINST approval of the XL pipeline. So consider this: when you launch your civil disobedience against the ACTUAL XL pipeline, the government will brand you terrorists–WITH MAJORITY APPROVAL! So I’d strongly suggest that you want some highly placed progressive voices LOUDLY proclaiming that you’re MORAL HEROES, NOT TERRORISTS. And those voices won’t appear until there’s a strong groudswell of support–a movement–backing them.

    Until you wake up to reality and get on board with such a movement, COUNT ME OUT.



  2. Bob Schmetzer permalink
    February 14, 2013 12:49 am

    We must get stronger fast before all is lost. Phone calls daily about fracking issues to policy makers will make them crazy enough to pull their chickenshit heads out of the sand. Make this more popular than oxycodine in Rush Limbaugh’s livingroom. If you think this is too much to do, then call up the families who have had to live with a water buffalo for 3 years or worse yet call the folks with kids trying to run their homes out of donated bottled water in Butler County. Don’t sit there smiling, You are next!

  3. permalink
    February 18, 2013 9:44 pm

    How do you expect the DOH to do a health impact assessment if there is a gag order

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