Pennsylvania Moratorium: Groups Deliver Over 100,000 Signatures to Gov. Corbett Demanding a Halt on Fracking
Over thirteen groups delivered over 100,000 petitions for a statewide moratorium on shale gas development — fracking and all its infrastructure, from compressor stations to waste pits — to Governor Corbett in Harrisburg yesterday. The first press report, “Boxes of petitions delivered to Corbett call for moratorium on natural gas drilling,” by Pennlive.com reporter Jan Murphy, includes a 23-second video from the April 30th press conference and highlights former fracking industry worker Mac Sawyer’s remarks:
Talking about lesions the size of pancakes on his former co-worker’s side, Rick “Mac” Sawyer stood in the Capitol Rotunda making a case for state leaders to listen to more than 100,000 people’s calls for putting the brakes on drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania.
The former drilling rig worker said he too is sick. Neither he nor his friend [Randy Moyer] has insurance and neither knows exactly what is wrong with them… Sawyer blames the ailments he and his friend suffer on a lack of proper training and protection provided when it came to the risks associated with handling water used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process used to extract natural gas from Marcellus shale.
While Governor Corbett’s staff members leap into “counterspin” mode, praising the industry, claiming it is highly regulated and avoiding mention of the 4,363 known violations of Pennsylvania law the industry has committed in the past few years, Mac Sawyer and all the organizations calling for a fracking halt yesterday got our point across. Pennlive continues:
Sawyer said, “They call us the canary in the coal mine. Well, the canary’s sick. I was a pro-gas guy like you wouldn’t believe until I saw the truth. What they are doing is criminal.”
He and others spoke of streams being polluted, farmland being destroyed, animals and people getting sick…
Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Allegheny County, said he plans to introduce legislation to bring a halt to fracking until a thorough study of its environmental effects is done. He called on his House and Senate colleagues to join him in supporting the measure.
Adam Garber, PennEnvironment’s field director… said, “If this track record of pollution, destruction and environmental violations is what we’re seeing in fracking’s ‘infancy’ stage, the people of Pennsylvania don’t want to see maturity.”
Pipelines, compressor stations, flaring, flowback waste pits, radioactive drill cuttings and other toxic aspects of shale gas development each took a hit at the historic April 30th press conference in the Capitol Rotunda.
“With 18 new pipelines planned to crisscross Pennsylvania this year, we will all soon live in the drilling region,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth. “These pipelines, with air polluting compressor stations every 40-100 miles, will bring the same risks that wells bring to communities in the Marcellus region and they’re just as poorly regulated. We are not willing to forsake any part of this state for fracking.”