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June 5, 2013

What: Call Your PA State Senator (use 866-583-2908 to count the calls)

When: Today, June 5th 2013 — All Day

Demand: Ask Your Senator to Co-sponsor Senator Ferlo’s Moratorium on Shale Gas Extraction

Who: Protecting Our Waters joins with Berks Gas Truth, Credo, Clean Water Action, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Environmental Action, Food and Water Watch, Green Party of Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley Gas Truth, Marcellus Protest, Mountain Watershed Association,, PennEnvironment, Pennsylvanians for Clean Water and Air, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks Association, RDA, Shale Justice Coalition, and other organizations. This statewide call-in day follows our delivery of 100,000 petitions for a fracking moratorium on April 30th, 2013.

How: Call 866-583-2908  to make sure your call is counted and tracked! When you call this number, your information is not added to any organization’s list, but you’ll hear a short message about the moratorium and the call will be directed to your senator.

If you prefer, call your PA State Senator directly — They should be on your speed-dial by now! Don’t know that number? Look it up here using “Find Your Pennsylvania Legislator.”

Grow the Action: Hang Up on Fracking Facebook Event Page here. — please Like and Join this page to let the world know you are “attending this event”! You can share this blog post link as well to provide in-depth support.

Talking Points: Seven Reasons to Demand a Moratorium on Shale Gas Development Today

1. Shale gas drilling and fracking operations contaminate drinking water.  Even PA DEP has confirmed 161 cases in which a family, farm or business had their drinking water polluted by Marcellus Shale gas drilling, while hundreds of others in Pennsylvania — and over a thousand nationwide — say their water changed dramatically for the worse after fracking operations began nearby. PA DEP test methods are controversial, disorganized, and have enabled PA DEP to claim the gas industry is innocent in hundreds of cases, instead of digging deeper into the question of migratory pathways.

When a natural gas pipeline exploded in San Bruno, CA in 2010 it sent a wall of fire 1000 feet high. Photo: ABC

2. Fracking isn’t safe. Four compressor stations have exploded and burned in Pennsylvania alone since November 2011, when a midnight explosion rocked Bedford County and dozens of families were evacuated when a compressor station explosion lit up the night sky. Accidents in nearby states, most recently New Jersey, have also killed and injured workers and residents. Fracking trucks kill — not only with accidents, but by delivering radioactive drill cuttings, which set off radioactivity alarms at PA landfills over 1,000 times last year.

3. Shale gas operations creates extreme air pollution. Compressor stations spew foul fumes which hurt the health of nearby residents, whether in Dish, Texas or in Pennsylvania, as Pam Judy explains here. And the just-published Estimates of Regional Air Quality Damages from Natural Gas Extraction in Pennsylvania (Jan.-Mar 2013) shows that shale gas is wildly under-regulated and that damage is settling in for the long term in PA right now:

…in counties where [shale gas] activities are concentrated, NOx emissions from all shale gas activities were 20–40 times higher than allowable for a single minor source, despite the fact that individual new gas industry facilities generally fall below the major source threshold for NOx. Most emissions are related to ongoing activities, i.e., gas production and compression, which can be expected to persist beyond initial development…

4. Human and animal health is being badly hurt by shale gas drilling. The demand for a Health Impact Assessment is a critical component of Senator Ferlo’s Pennsylvania moratorium bill!

5. Fracking escalates climate change. Methane, the primary gas in natural gas, leaks throughout the life cycle of shale gas drilling, straight into our atmosphere. And methane is 105 times more potent than CO2 in the twenty year time frame. We cannot afford to pretend this is a “future” issue because climate change is here right now!

6. Protect workers. Shale gas extraction, processing, waste, and distribution hurts and kills workers. While both residents and workers are being sickened by the full life-cycle of shale gas drilling, the rate of injuries and fracking fatalities for workers is completely unacceptable. Labor is joining the fray — AFSCME Council 57 in California has joined the statewide California coalition of environmental, consumer, business, labor, faith, health, agriculture, and environmental justice organizations calling for a ban on fracking, and in PA the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division calls for a ban, while the nurses’ union, PASNAP, has worked for a moratorium for years. But the pleas coming from organized labor — national AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers union, and the United Mine Workers — to stop the fracking fatalities have so far fallen on deaf ears. PA farmer Carol French of  Bradford County reports that at the nine well pads surrounding her, four workers died. Oil and gas workers already have a high death rate; with unconventional drilling, workers’ lives are needlessly risked.


Call your PA Senator using 866-583-2908 — or look up your legislator to call directly — right now!


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