The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Protestors Arrested Halting Fracking Operations in Pennsylvania State Forest
In the pre-dawn hours, activists with Marcellus Shale EarthFirst!, Pennsylvania residents and students took action to halt Anadarko's fracking operation in the Tiadaghton State Forest. Protestors blocked the only access road to a wellpad by locking themselves to barrels of concrete, preventing workers from entering the site. At this time the police have placed at least two people in handcuffs and one person has been cut out of the blockade. The activists are demanding an immediate halt to all plans for new drilling on Pennsyvlania's public lands.
“The public lands of Pennsylvania belong to all Pennsylvanians,” said Michael Badges-Canning, retired school teacher from Butler County who attended the protest. “It is my obligation as a resident of the Commonwealth and a grandparent to protect our wild heritage, our pristine waters and the natural beauty for my grandchildren, Dougie and Lochlin.”
Gov. Corbett (R-PA) has recently issued an executive order to open Pennsylvania’s remaining public lands for fracking. This includes state forests that have been off limits to gas companies since 2010, when then Gov. Rendell declared a moratorium on any new leases. The moratorium came in the wake of a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) study that concluded no remaining state owned lands were suitable for oil and gas development without significant surface disruptions. Gov. Corbett’s current move to lift the multi-year ban ignores the negative effects that new leases will have on Pennsylvania’s most ecologically sensitive forests, including those where species are at risk.
Anadarko’s proposed development of the Clarence Moore tract, part of the Loyalsock Forest, has become the center of the grassroots campaign to defend Pennsylvania’s remaining wild places. Local residents packed DCNR hearings in protest of Anadarko’s plans, leading to the ousting of former DCNR secretary Richard Allan. According to PA Department of Environmental Protection’s Oil and Gas Compliance Report, Anadarko has been cited with nearly 250 violations over the last five years, ranking the company in the top three percent of violators statewide.
“As a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, I feel a moral responsibility to protect my home from the malicious onslaught of an industry with a track record of environmental degradation and human rights violations,” said Danielle Dietterick with Marcellus Shale Earth First!. “Our Governor's complicity has proven he is an industry pawn who can ignore the words of our state constitution and the desires of those who he is supposed to represent.”
Residents of Pennsylvania have shown that they will not give up their wild places without a fight. In July 2012, nearly 100 activists with Marcellus Shale EarthFirst! Forced a 70-foot-tall EQT fracking drill rig to suspend operations for 12 hours in the Moshannon State Forest. Last fall, students from around the country rallied with Allegeny County residents in Pittsburgh to oppose County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s plan to open up county parks to fracking. Marcellus Shale EarthFirst! has vowed to prevent any new shale gas development in the Loyalsock State Forest.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.