Earth Day Statement
The Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition is here today to protest the drilling for natural gas in Luzerne County. We have studied the impacts of natural gas extraction by deep well drilling and hydraulic fracking in the Marcellus shale and other deposits throughout our country and recognize the inherent risks to our local environment. These risks challenge not only the quality of life for the populated Back Mountain area through disruption of our roads, air and water quality, but this activity poses an unacceptable risk to the fresh drinking water supplies of the people of the Wyoming Valley from West Pittston to West Nanticoke and all of the towns in between. The gas companies have received a permit to drill in Lehman Township, that is only 1.7 miles from the Huntsville reservoir and the county commissioners want to drill in Moon Lake Park that is less than ½ mile from the Ceasetown reservoir. Both of these fresh water dams and aquifers supply drinking water to over 80,000 people in the Valley. The majority of people in our county will not reap the financial benefits from this drilling but will be taking on all of the risks. We want to say to EnCana gas company of North America, and any other gas company seeking to exploit our area, we do not want you disturbing our communities, polluting our air and water, damaging our roads, decreasing our property values, and dividing our people. We ask you to leave. We also want to stand up against the larger issue that communities are told they have no say in what happens in their townships and local ordinances are superseded by the state. We the people, hereby declare our right to decide what types of activities we choose to allow in our communities and how to regulate them. This right to self-govern is inalienable and what American democracy is all about. If you feel that your rights to self-determination are being violated and are against allowing our beautiful county to be turned into an industrial zone littered with hazardous chemicals, our air disturbed by lung damaging fumes, and quality of life all negatively impacted by natural gas drilling, then join us in stopping this activity and asking our legislators to do the same.
Dr. Thomas Jiunta
Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition