I signed on to the very good letter from the event We Choose a Better Path, Governor Wolf, Harrisburg, 4/13 against fracking that calls out climate change and pollution and the need to move to renewable energy. The text of the letter is below. You can sign it yourself at: bit.ly/WolfLetterIndividual.
Remember that the Green Party has nominated Paul Glover for Governor! His campaign includes a ban on fracking.
Full Text of the Letter
Climate changed. Our best hope now is to rein in global warming. According to every reputable climate scientist, the way to do that is to transition from the fossil fuels of our past to clean, renewable, sustainable forms of energy as quickly as possible.
Although Pennsylvania’s contribution to climate change isn’t limited to shale gas development, it is arguably the leading contributor. Methane and ethane emissions are major contributors to climate change.
Our climate isn’t the only thing adversely affected by our continued reliance on fossil fuels, however. In Pennsylvania, our communities and natural resources have been profoundly harmed by fossil fuel extraction for centuries. In fact, it was state representative Franklin Kury’s memory of the tragic legacy of the coal industry that inspired him to propose an environmental rights amendment to the state’s constitution that received strong bipartisan support and became Article 1, Section 27.
For more than a dozen years, Pennsylvanians have organized, petitioned, testified, commented, bird-dogged, lobbied, sued, protested, been arrested, and even jailed in an effort to get our state government to stop shale gas development and take decisive action on climate change. Since the beginning of the shale gas boom, pipelines have allowed the impacts to metastasize from the shale fields to communities across the state that are being damaged by processing plants, cracker plants, waste treatment facilities, water withdrawal operations, natural gas power plants, export facilities, and the pipelines themselves.
Our efforts have been ignored, dismissed, criticized, side-stepped, and trivialized by our state government at times. At other times, our government has spied on us, pushed legislation to criminalize us, and characterized us as eco-terrorists.
We’re not criminals or eco-terrorists. We’re citizens. And we’re on the right side of the most important issue of our time.
Your constituents know that the fracking that has robbed Pennsylvanians of their health, safety, and natural resources is on one end of every pipeline and pollution and exacerbated climate change are on the other. In between are the pipeline companies’ bullying tactics, eminent domain used for corporate gain, fouled water, scarred landscapes, permanent easements, leaks, blowdowns, and explosions.
You have failed us spectacularly, Governor Wolf. You campaigned on a severance tax that would institutionalize fracking. New York banned fracking shortly after you were elected. You called the decision “unfortunate”. You have said over and over that you thought fracking could be done safely without evidence to support your claim. You lead a state that can’t pass a budget, yet you supported giving the largest tax break in the state’s history, $1.65 billion, to Royal Dutch Shell to entice it to put its polluting cracker plant in Beaver County and dropped a record-breaking $8.9 million fine against Range Resources. You issued a report saying Western Pennsylvania can support four more cracker plants. You teamed up with the governors of Ohio and West Virginia on a cooperation agreement to promote shale-related manufacturing in the region. A series of texts shows that your office injected politics into the permitting of the Mariner East 2 pipeline and a staffer married to an industry lobbyist pressured the DEP to disinvite anti-fracking activist Scott Cannon from your Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force. You commissioned the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force with the goal of building public acceptance of the industry. You moved $24 million from an alternative energy program to fund grants for more natural gas pipelines. You have supported turning Philadelphia into a gas hub. You have refused to join the U.S. Climate Alliance created by Democratic governors, even though you lead the largest state with a Democratic governor yet to join. You have never visited an impacted community to talk to frontline community members and see the damage firsthand.
Governor Wolf, we choose a better path. We choose a path to a government that is responsive to its people. We choose a path to elected officials who put the interests of the people they represent before those of the shale gas industry. We choose a path to elected officials who are climate leaders moving Pennsylvania toward a clean energy future.”