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Testify This Week: Hearings on Philadelphia as a Shale Energy Hub

November 11, 2014
City Councilman Curtis Jones advocates for a fracking moratorium in the Delaware River Basin, at Shale Gas Outrage: September 7, 2011. Photo: Mark Schmerling

City Councilman Curtis Jones advocates for a fracking moratorium in the Delaware River Basin, at Shale Gas Outrage: September 7, 2011. Photo: Mark Schmerling

You can help shape history by testifying at two hearings this week on Philadelphia’s future either as a fossil fuel-pushing addict or as a city undertaking a green, viable, sustainable energy transition. To make that transition possible, first we have to keep the addiction from expanding exponentially.

Below: how to testify at the hearings this Thursday and Friday, how to comment in writing, and how you can help stop the oil bomb trains this Saturday.

Given the urgency of climate change and the voices full of pain from fracking’s front lines — from Pennsylvania’s shale gas sacrifice zones to the Bakken Shale oilfields — please raise your voice this week!

What: Philadelphia City Council Hearings on Philadelphia’s Energy Future

When: Thursday November 13th, 2 – 5 PM and
            Friday November 14th, 10 AM – 2 PM
Where: .Philadelphia City Hall, Room 400. City Hall is at Broad and Market; enter at NE corner.
              (GPS: use 1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107)
Bring: Photo ID to make sure you get in!
How to Testify: Sign up ahead! Call: 215-686-3407 and tell them which day (or both) you want to testify. Do so ASAP. Whomever answers the phone there will take your name, organization if you represent one, and your phone number.  You can also sign up by contacting or (215) 906-5628. If possible, print out Talking Points for yourself before you come.
Can’t come? Submit Written Testimony to Council In Advance to:
More details on written testimony: The Philadelphia City Council website says: “Members of the public wishing to submit written testimony may do so by using the email address Energy.Hub@Phila.Gov or by calling 215-686-3407.” Therefore we suggest you use that email as well as John Christmas’ email.
Why: City Council’s “Committee of the Whole” will conduct public hearings to explore opportunities to further establish the City of Philadelphia as a shale energy hub. To grasp the enormity of proposed expansion of Philadelphia’s commitment to fossil fuels:
                                                                                                                                                                                     Background reading: 1. Philadelphia + a Pipeline (or Two) = America’s Next Energy Hub” — Philadelphia Magazine
2. City Council’s description of what these hearings will address: Recommendations on Philadelphia Gas Works
3. Talking Points about these hearings from Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
4. Because expanded fracked gas infrastructure in the Philadelphia area means PIPELINES, please read descriptions of just a few of the 631 pipeline explosions, fires, leaks and spills per year here on Wikipedia. Come prepared to testify: Pipelines = death.

Summary in plain language:

By “energy hub,” Council means the opposite of sustainability. The fracking industry wants Council to commit to greatly increased involvement in, dependence upon, pollution and climate damage from, gas and oil transportation, processing, export and use throughout the Philadelphia region. For example, quadrupled NGL exports from Sunoco’s proposed Mariner East II pipeline would increase climate damage and could also lead to air and water pollution from increased chemical and plastics production in our region.
                                                                                                                                                                                      This is exactly the wrong direction for Philly, where we should be concentrating on diverse “green city” initiatives including solar hot water heaters, insulation, energy efficiency, solar PVC, geothermal, wind, local organic sustainable food production, deep energy retrofits and more. Council is interested in:
  •        * enabling one or more giant fracked gas pipelines directly from the “sacrifice zones” of Pennsylvania shalefields to Philadelphia, threatening our waterways and our safety. There are already an average of 631 pipeline incidents/ year, many of them lethal; all of them polluting and horrendously expensive. PHMSA estimates the damage from pipeline explosions, fires and spills in the U.S. since 1994 at over $6 billion: 6,105,741,318.00
  •        * expanding LNG production in Port Richmond, a terribly dangerous idea involving trucking explosive LNG through city streets and highways. Increased LNG involvement also would help increase the price of natural gas overall
  •        * expanding markets for fracked gas (aka shale gas, aka natural gas) by committing to “natural gas vehicles” — building infrastructure for CNG, compressed natural gas
  •        * allowing the refinery, Philadelphia Energy Suicide, (PES — Philadelphia Energy Solutions) to continue its daily “oil bomb” trains full of explosive, climate-destroying Bakken Shale oil, instead of stopping doing everything possible to protect Philly neighborhoods

Sign On: Keep PGW Public

Note: if you are linked to an organization and your organization has not yet signed on to the Keep PGW Public campaign letter, you can still sign up here and we urge you to do so.

This Saturday November 15th:

Canvas Door to Door to Support Resolution to Stop Oil Bomb Trains using unsafe rail cars
On Saturday from 11:00 AM -3:00 PM, the Fossil Fuels Transportation Working Group, of which Protecting Our Waters is a member, will be canvassing in City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s District (2nd District). These neighborhoods are in the evacuation zone for the oil bomb trains. We will circulate a petition urging City Council to adopt a resolution banning the use of unsafe rail cars for Bakken Shale oil, urging residents to call Councilman Johnson. Interested in joining us? Please call Ann Dixon at 215-301-3206 or email her:  

In closing: Climate Matters

As IPCC scientists run out of language to use — “extreme, severe, irreversible,” to warn us about catastrophic climate change, it’s hard for folks to get their heads around.
                                                                                                                                                                                But here is something concrete. In Philadelphia, flood events could increase from 19 a year to 200 a year over the next 30 years, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists — reported here in October by CBS. Is this what we want?
                                                                                                                                                                                As we put it on an earlier POW blog post: PGW Sale is Dead. So Green Up, Philly!
                                                                                                                                                                                As over 200 activists who got arrested in the past few weeks know… shale sacrifice zones are unacceptable and we have to address climate change now:  Over 200 Cumulative Arrests Including Beyond Extreme Energy Blockade
                                                                                                                                                                                History is made by those who show up. Thanks for all you do.
"Health Over Profit": Philadelphia has been on its feet against the shale gas profiteers since this River to River March in 2010. Photo: Jesse Brown

“Health Over Profit”: Philadelphia has been on its feet against the shale gas profiteers since this River to River March in 2010. Photo: Jesse Brown


One Comment
  1. November 11, 2014 7:10 pm

    thanks for all the good information.

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