On Thursday, Sept. 20, while Philadelphia’s Convention Center buzzes indoors with Marcellus Shale lobbyists, politicians and policymakers, a coalition of citizens’ groups alarmed by the acute and cumulative impacts of shale gas drilling will make their core message, “Stop Fracking Now,” clearly heard outside the convention hall at a rally.
Led by the Philadelphia-based nonprofit group Protecting Our Waters, Shale Gas Outrage organizers bring together sobering concerns about drilling’s negative impacts on local communities and economies: air, soil and water pollution, public safety, climate change and political corruption.
The rally speakers will include: Bill McKibben, author, president and co-founder of 350.org; Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., ecologist, author and winner of the Heinz Award; Josh Fox, director of Gasland and The Sky is Pink; Stephen Cleghorn, Ph.D., organic farmer, researcher and advocate; Stewart Acuff, lifelong labor organizer in the utility workers’ sector; Maya Van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper; Doug Shields, former Pittsburgh City Councilman; and Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch.
A press conference will be held at Arch Street Methodist Church, 55 North Broad St., at 10 a.m., followed by the rally on Arch Street between Broad and 13th Streets at Noon, with the march beginning at 2 p.m. at the Convention Center making stops at President Obama’s campaign office, PNC Bank, Chamber of Commerce and Governor Corbett’s Philadelphia office.
The Shale Gas Outrage Steering Committee states, “Shale gas development contaminates our communities, harming human health and living ecosystems. It distracts us from taking the immediate steps essential to curb climate change. Building a thriving economy requires us to create green jobs, develop sustainable energy and ensure a healthy environment. Therefore, we are committed to stopping fracking now, including maintaining and expanding each moratorium and ban already established. We are also committed to fighting for justice in place of the unacceptable and unequal burdens imposed by the shale gas industry upon vulnerable populations and future generations.”
An Interfaith Blessing of the Waters will take place at 5 p.m. at the Arch Street Methodist Church.
On Friday, Sept. 21, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia will share information at the Potential Health Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium from 9 a.m. – Noon at 19 S. 22nd St.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.