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Tour de Frack Increases Public Awareness of Fracking from PA to D.C.
Three Butler County, Pa. residents will stage a 400-mile, 14-day bike ride beginning July 14 from Butler County to Washington, D.C. to highlight the problems surrounding natural gas drilling near their homes. The effort is designed to be a change in perspective and a vehicle to pull the national focus towards human tales of fracking while uniting the voices of those who have lived and seen its true dangers.
Jason Bell, Michael Bagdes-Canning and Jill Perry are organizing the Tour de F.R.A.C.K. (Freedom Ride for Awareness and Community Knowledge). The riders will follow the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Towpath, holding awareness events along the way in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.
“This is not really about the ride. We are planning concerts, increasing public awareness, encouraging activism, collecting testimony, circulating a petition and, finally, meeting with our elected officials all from a bike seat," said Bagdes-Canning. "The outdoor heritage of Butler is being fractured by the gas industry and is a harbinger of what's to come in the shale fields of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia if people don't stand up," he said.
“It is endangering our health, our rights and the long-term sustainability of our major economies," said Bell. “We believe that once people see the human cost of this industry, they will wake up and deal with it in a meaningful way.”
The riders will depart from Diamond Square in Butler on July 14 and arrive to the nation's largest-ever anti-fracking rally on the National Mall on July 28. On July 30 the group will deliver a petition and a storybook of personal accounts to Congress, the White House and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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