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Activists Send Valentine to Corbett; Denounce Act 13 and Fracking

February 14, 2013

Activists oppose “Dark Ages” Act 13, call for an end to Governor Corbett’s special relationship with the fracking industry:

February 13 2013

Activists send Governor Corbett a valentine opposing Act 13’s pre-emption clause and gag order on physicians, pressing for a moratorium, and calling for an end to the Governor’s special relationship with the fracking industry. From left: Gerry Kaufman, Protecting Our Waters. Dr. Walter Tsou, Physicians for Human Rights. Sylvia Metzler, Protecting Our Waters. Photo: Jesse Brown. Philadelphia, Feb 13 2013

Protecting Our Waters, Food and Water Watch, and Delaware Riverkeeper Network joined with over forty supporters at Philadelphia’s famous LOVE Park on February 13th, the one-year anniversary of Corbett signing Act 13 into law. The groups made fun of, and expressed outrage at, Governor Corbett’s continued attempt — sticking taxpayers with a bill of over half a million dollars in legal fees — to appeal the Commonwealth Court’s decision that Act 13’s municipal pre-emption clause is “unconstitutional and unenforceable.”  All legislators who voted for Act 13, particularly Philadelphia Senator Anthony Williams, who broke ranks with fellow Democrats and voted for the Act, received their fair share of heat.

Corbett’s attempt to re-establish Act 13’s clause which strips municipalities of their right to zone, regulate, pass moratoria or ban gas drilling in order to protect their residents from health and economic impacts caused by the heavily industrial, toxic life-cycle impacts of fracking earned him a message. In the following photo, “Corbett LOVEs Fracking,” is clearly spelled out:

Corbett LOVEs Fracking; activists REJECT Act 13. Photo: Jesse Brown.

Corbett LOVEs Fracking; activists REJECT Act 13. Photo: Jesse Brown. Philadelphia, Feb 13 2013

“The fracking industry loves Pennsylvania governors. Industry lobbyists paid former PA Governor Tom Ridge $900,000 to do public relations. Governor Corbett has been bankrolled by fracking industry executives, especially his good friend Aubrey McClendon formerly of Chesapeake Energy, ever since 2004.  And we just learned that Governor Rendell also intervened on behalf of the fracking industry, betraying suffering people with badly impacted water in order to protect Range Resources,” commented Iris Marie Bloom, director of Protecting Our Waters.

“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.

“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.

Dr. Walter Tsou denounces the physician gag order in Act 13. Photo: Jesse Brown

Dr. Walter Tsou, Physicians for Social Responsibility, denounces the physician gag order in Act 13. Photo: Jesse Brown. Philadelphia, Feb 13 2013

An intensive care nurse from Temple Hospital, Mary Adamson, also speaking on behalf of PASNAP — Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals — joined in denouncing the gag order on health professionals, who are prevented from sharing “proprietary” chemicals in fracking fluid and fracking flowback, in medical journals or with the general public for the purpose of protecting public health:

Mary Adamson, a registered nurse with PASNAP, speaks out against the silencing of health professionals by Act 13. On left, Iris Marie Bloom. On right, Sam Bernhardt. Photo: Jesse Brown. Philadelphia, Feb 13 2013

Mary Adamson, a registered nurse with PASNAP, speaks out against the silencing of health professionals by Act 13. On left, Iris Marie Bloom. On right, Sam Bernhardt. Photo: Jesse Brown. Philadelphia, Feb 13 2013

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of Delaware Riverkeeper Network, has led the legal charge against Act 13’s municipal pre-emption clause. Philadelphia is one of 89 municipalities which passed Resolutions opposing the stripping of their rights and supporting the Commonwealth Court decision.  “Act 13 exposed the level of control drillers have in Pennsylvania, we must get it back,” said Carluccio.

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director of Delaware Riverkeeper Network, stands to the left of the crowd (black hat) firing up the continued fight against Governor Corbett’s appeal of the Commonwealth Court declaration that the pre-emption clause is “unconstitutional and unenforceable”. Photo: Jesse Brown. Philadelphia, Feb 13 2013

View complete photo album here.

View the press reslease here.

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