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Philadelphia Sept. 16th: Three Actions

September 11, 2015

Come join the incoming tide of resisting fracking and all types of extreme energy extraction; promoting renewables, energy efficiency and climate justice; and building community! On Wednesday, September 16th, three extraordinary actions combine to show the shale gas and oil profiteers, converging that day at “Shale Insight” to promote a massive petrochemical hub in Philly, that they can’t take our communities, rural or urban, one drill bit farther into their destructive vortex.

Protecting Our Waters supports all three actions. Everyone who participates is standing up and shouldering, in Pope Francis’ words, the “grave responsibilities” we have to nature, to the poor, and to future generations. Please join us:

  1. From 7 AM until about 9:30 or 10 AM: Morning Action to Confront the Shale Industry’s Lies. Converge at Friends Center in Philadelphia, at the corner of 15th and Cherry Streets. All details below. Organized by EDGE; contact
  1. 1:15 PM: Join Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT)’s Green Jobs Puzzle Action. Meet at 30th Street Station on the Market Street side. Demand that PECO change the energy justice equation in Philadelphia in a way that reduces climate change, provides jobs, and benefits low income communities and communities of color. All details hereThis is a creative nonviolent direct action. ContactChris Baker Evens
  1. 5:30 pm – 7:30 + pm: Climate, Jobs and Justice: Our Moral Response to the Pope’s Urgent Message. This forum and vigil begins at Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, and proceeds to Love Park at 7:30 pm. All details below. Contact: Susan Saxe, who is speaking for Green Justice Philly:

“The shale boom hits Nutter’s Philadelphia” from



Climate, Jobs and Justice is a forum and vigil in preparation for the Pope’s visit and in response to his call for action on climate change.  Protecting Our Waters is joining with many other organizations to help promote this event. Susan Saxe, speaking for Green Justice Philly, will focus on stopping the fracking petrochemical hub here with its oil trains, proposed new NGL and gas and oil pipelines, and on stopping the expansion of PES, the oil refinery POW calls “Philadelphia Energy Suicide.”

Other speakers include:

  • Clifton Bennett, Veterans for Clean Air, Sierra Club.
  • John Braxton, Co-President Emeritus of AFL Local 2026, Faculty and Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia
  • Sgt. Gerald Brown — Sierra Club Veterans for Clean Air volunteer
  • Rev. Alison Cornish — Executive Director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (MC for the vigil)
  • Anthony Giancatarino — Center for Social Inclusion
  • Rabbi Julie Greenberg (MC for the forum)
  • Jen Hombach — 350 Philly
  • Gary Lytle — Sierra Club-Beyond Coal Philadelphia

Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia

5:30 pm Gathering, Refreshments and Forum at the Friends Center

7:30 pm Short procession to Love Park with vigil, speeches and prayer

Participate: Calls to action by faith leaders, activists, healthcare providers and labor leaders, along with some big, beautiful art! Co-sponsored by 350 Philly; GreenJustice Philly, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and light- Philadelphia Chapter; Physicians for Social Responsibility – Phildelphia; Shalom Center, Sierra Club Southeast PA Beyond Coal Campaign; Clean Water Action.  Please RSVP by visiting:



“Banners and Bishops: Morning Action September 16th  7 am to Counter Shale Industry Lies”

While the spotlight shines on the Pope’s upcoming Philly visit, another event is keeping a lower profile. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (aka “The Frackers”) is back for a conference to discuss ways to turn Philly into a fracked fossil fuel hub, while maintaining a stranglehold on rural sacrifice zones. Families suffering health and environmental harms in the shalefields, and fracking companies operating in the red, tell us that fracking holds no promising future for Pennsylvania or elsewhere.

We’ll use our creativity to get the attention of our Representatives and show them that we won’t permit them to sacrifice our health and degrade our cities, towns, farms, and forests for the profit of a few.

Don your bishop hats and white gowns to honor the Pope’s encyclical message, and channel your holy light to illuminate the gas industry’s lies. We can all heed Pope Francis’ call to protect our only home.

When:  Wednesday September 16th, 2015. Meet at 7 am at the Friends Center to get briefed on the action. We will then don our bishop hats and walk over to the Convention Center to greet conference attendees as they enter the conference for the first session (which is about building Philly out as a fracking dirty energy hub). Stay until 9:30am or 10am.

Where:  The Friend’s Center on the NW corner of 15th St. and Cherry St. (1501 Cherry St.)  Philadelphia, PA 19102

Action Visuals:  Banners, Bishops, and Books (the Pope’s encyclical) to remind Philly politicians, public and the gas industry that we have a duty to protect our only home.

What to Bring: Wear white or bring a white gown. If you bring a sign make it in the form of a bishop hat or something that fits the theme.

Background:  The MSC is hosting their annual conference, ‘Shale Insight,’ in Philly this year. They will be selling the idea of Philly as a northeast hub for fracked gas, shale oil, and fracked NGLS — natural gas liquids. They will also be talking about how to use government and university relationships to avoid regulation and oversight.

The MSC spends many millions $$$$$ on public relations campaigns to make fracking look good, regulation and oversight look bad, and to assuage the public from speaking out against fracking. (Oh, and they hire politicians’ family members to curry political favor).

We know that fracking harms: human and animal health, air, water, soil, farms, local democracy, and the public purse. Right now is a critical time to counter PR that misinforms the public about the damages caused by fracking. PA Governor Wolf promised regulation and oversight for unconventional gas drilling, yet

Pennsylvania remains the least regulated and least taxed state that permits fracking in the US. Gov. Wolf’s DEP has issued 1,304 new drilling permits since he took office.

Now Gov. Wolf is negotiating with Republicans to potentially sacrifice our health, future pensions, and state income from liquor stores for a tax on an industry that is in financial trouble due to costly operations and an over abundance and low price of gas. Fracking is not, and cannot be, done safely in Pennsylvania, in North Dakota, or anywhere. We need to halt fracking now.

Unlike the shale industry, we don’ts buy off politicians and their family members. We don’t have the wallet to hire expensive PR and legal firms. However, we do have our bodies, voices, spirits and creativity. We have successfully protected large swaths of PA, other states and countries from fracking. We can stop the build out of fracked fossil fuel infrastructure and prevent more devastation if we speak up and act out.

Morning Action Organized by EDGE: Encouraging the Development of a Green Economy

Protecting Our Waters organized Shale Gas Outrage, Blessing of the Waters, Freedom from Fracking Conferences and the Water Drive, with three press conferences, in Philly in 2011, 2012 and 2013. We helped build the urban-rural coalition, no easy task, across the Marcellus/Utica Shale region and beyond. Our commitment to solidarity with shalefields residents and to winning important fights against new fracking infrastructure continues and deepens. Each time they convene here, we protest the shale gas and oil industry conference, successfully raising awareness about the impacts of fracking, exposing industry lies, and showing leaders that we expect them to work for public good, not private profit.  We look forward to seeing you at all three actions on Sept. 16th, 2015!


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