Anti-Fracking Group Pressures Pennsylvania Governor Candidates For Moratorium Commitments
From filmmakers to grassroots advocates, excitement is bubbling for primary election day in Pennsylvania.
That's because a campaign called Pa. Voters Against Fracking just might force the fracking moratorium they have wanted for so long in a state where business is booming, but people of all ages are suffering from the toxic effects. The campaign, which was launched and announced Wednesday by Food & Water Watch Fund, the political arm of Food & Water Watch, was designed to place pressure on Democratic gubernatorial candidates to publicly declare that they will institute a moratorium on new fracking operations if elected.
“The movement against fracking is strong, and we intend to show that strength as primary election day approaches,” said Sam Bernhardt, senior Pennsylvania organizer for Food & Water Watch Fund. “For the first time, a political operation will now be able to harness the energy of the huge grassroots anti-fracking movement and channel it directly into swinging what will surely be a wide-open race with a very tight margin of victory.
"Let me be clear: we are putting those candidates who stand in support of fracking on notice.”
The group is also calling for a "Pledge to Halt Fracking," which would require the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to insist on the state Department of Environmental Protection to stop issuing drilling permits until the practice is scientifically declared to be safe. Anybody who has been paying attention knows that won't happen.
The group secured its first pledge signee—Brad Koplinski, a Harrisburg city councilman and candidate for lieutenant governor.
"The only sensible position on fracking in Pennsylvania is an immediate moratorium,” said Josh Fox, the award-winning filmmaker of Gasland and Gasland Part II. "I have investigated the harms of drilling and fracking in Pennsylvania for five years and the results are conclusive: everywhere this industry goes, it destroys the environment and the integrity of the community and makes life very difficult and dangerous for people. Add to this the very dire need to stop drilling for fossil fuels because of climate change and you get a very simple answer: continued drilling and fracking is irresponsible and damaging to this and future generations. It must be stopped and the shift to renewable energy must be made as fast as possible, it's a no-brainer."
Last June, the state Democratic Committee voted 115 to 81 in support of a fracking moratorium. Additionally, a Muhlenberg College poll showed that 58 percent of residents supported a moratorium.
“We’re thrilled that Brad Koplinski is listening to what Pennsylvanians are telling him," said Karen Feridun of Berks Gas Truth, who led the charge to pass the Democratic committee resolution. "His decision to sign the pledge is smart policy and smart politics.”
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE
By James O'Hare
There are 20 million people in the world facing famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen. In developed nations, too, people go hungry. Venezuela, for instance, is enduring food insecurity on a national level as a result of economic crisis and political corruption. In the U.S., the land of supposed excess, 12.7 percent of households were food insecure in 2015, meaning they didn't know where their next meal would come from.
Artists are taking the climate crisis into frame and the results are emotional, beautiful and stirring.
So you've seen the best climate change cartoons and shared them with your friends. You've showed your family the infographics on climate change and health, infographics on how the grid works and infographics about clean, renewable energy. You've even forwarded these official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration graphs that explain the 10 clear indicators of climate change to your colleagues at the office.
As the Trump administration moves full speed ahead on boosting the oil and fossil fuel industry, opposition to increased pipeline construction is cropping up in different communities around the country.
By Simon Evans
Last Saturday, two dead whales washed up on the coast of Suffolk, in eastern England, and a third was spotted floating at sea.
What happened next illustrates how news can spread and evolve into misinformation, when reported by journalists rushing to publish before confirming basic facts or sourcing their own quotes.
By Monica Amarelo and Paul Pestano
Sun safety is a crucial part of any outdoor activity for kids, and sunscreen can help protect children's skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Kids often get sunburned when they're outside unprotected for longer than expected. Parents need to plan ahead and keep sun protection handy in their cars or bags.
By Joe McCarthy
A lot of people take part in community clean-up efforts—spending a Saturday morning picking up litter in a park, mowing an overgrown field or painting a fence.
A coalition of conservation groups and others announced Thursday that a historic number of comments and petitions of support have been submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior in support of Bears Ears National Monument. Despite the entirely inadequate 15-day comment period ending on May 26, more than 685,000 comments in support of Bears Ears National Monument have been collected.