Organized Crime

November 16, 2010

it is time for the state to act to protect the health and the rights of the citizens of Pennsylvania rather than looking out for big business and their bottom lines.

Doug Shields who represents the 5th Council District in the City of Pittsburgh

image: Adbusters


Good job GDAC, Good job Tom

October 19, 2010

Tom Jiunta at Lehman Meeting (Times Leader)

Tom Jiunta and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition have been working tirelessly to advance a petition in support of an ordinance which would protect the water supply of Lehman Township. Tonight they presented the ordinance which is similar to one recently passed by the the Licking Township (Pennsylvania) Board of Supervisors. The Lehman ordinance was  drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund Defense Fund.

The proposal presented to the Lehman Township Board of Supervisors, would make it unlawful:

“for any corporation to import water into Lehman for use in the extraction of subsurface natural gas or to deposit waste water, “produced” water, “frack” water, brine or other materials, chemicals or by-products of natural gas extraction into the land, air or waters within Lehman Township.”

per the CELDF website.

Here is the early online edition from the Times Leader: Lehman supers hold off vote on anti-drill law

This initiative is about citizen’s rights and the heart of a democratic society.  We share the air and the water.  Collectively, we have a constitutional right to clean air and water.   Any sane society would insure that.   No individual, or corporation has the authority to usurp these basic human rights.

Although advised otherwise, the Supervisors insisted on keeping the venue at the Lehman Township Building instead of larger venues in the immediate area.  Consequently some citizens left because they could hear nothing from the entrance hall.  That is, they were not allowed to participate in the process due to venue constriction.  It is an age old strategy of those who want to impede the democratic process rather than support it.  The Supervisors’ obstructionist behavior is not a surprise given the reality that two of them were found to be ethically compromised by  the state ethics commission.

(And thank you to the Community Environmental Legal Defense  Defense Fund for your statewide efforts to bring power back to the people.)

The supervisors refused to take action on the proposal, citing a fear of law suits and a lack of authority,the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition and the CELDF will continue to put this issue forward. See the Citizen’s Voice coverage here: Lehman Twp. supervisors take no action on drilling ordinance


“natural” gas is NOT “clean energy”

October 15, 2010

From the Safe Water Movement’s petition to support a total ban on gas drilling in low-permeable deposits in New York State:

1. With a failure rate of between 2 to 8 percent, horizontal drilling and hydrofracking pose an unacceptable risk to our drinking water and the quality of groundwater, aquifers, lakes and streams.

13.Recent preliminary assessments reveal that “natural” gas is not “clean energy” but rather just another polluting, non-renewable fossil fuel contributing to global warming”

Links about dirty gas:

The Dirty Truth Behind Clean Natural Gas (from the National Wildlife Federation)

Gas is dirty energy and may be dirtier than coal ( regarding Australia)

The Dirty Truth Behind Hydrofracking (from Environmental Graffiti )

The Dirty Truth Behind The New Natural Gas ( from Kentucky Rural Water Association) ( a comprehensive overview )

The Dirty Secret of Shale Gas (from Motley Fool)

Public Health Impacts of Oil & Gas ( from No Dirty Energy )
(Take the PLEDGE)

Cornell’s Howarth Warns EPA… (good links )


The Champagne State

September 10, 2010


Hello, this is Pennsylvania DEP Secretary John Hanger inviting you to vacation here in Pennsylvania.  There are so many things to do in the Champagne State: Take an intoxicating and romantic trip down the bubbly Susquehanna. Milk a dead cow! Come visit one of our many new and exciting theme parks such as Cabot Patch or EnCana Land!

Remember, liberty began and ended right here in Penn’s Woods.  See you soon!


Gas Stock I – Defiance

August 24, 2010

Gas Stock was an act of defiance. It signals that despite the odds, the politicos, the Westmoreland Club, the silence of the Sierra Club, the co-opting of Penn State, the compromising of Penn Future, the dearth of lawyer support, the PUC, the lobbyists, the campaign contributions, the advertisements, the unemployment, the bankrupt governments (desperate to close their budgets), the SRBC, the DEP, the Oil and Gas Act, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and on and on … the movement will not give up.

Clean air and clean water are our constitutional right:

The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. -Article I of the Pennsylvania State Constitution, Sec. 27

Beyond that, we owe it to our children and grandchildren.

And to those of you who follow the Bible: remember, you are called upon to be stewards of God’s creation. Don’t let covetousness cloud your decisions – do the right thing. (God created a garden, not an industrial zone)


Gas Stock I – the trek

August 22, 2010


Photo courtesy of Mark Cour

It was a day well spent.  A day in the sun among old and new friends.  Gas Stock was a gathering which spanned generations, politics, communities, and states.  It was a  campfire around which we joined as one.  Thank  you to NEPA Citizens in Action!

I was part of a small group which hiked from the Susquehanna in Wilkes-Barre to the Fair Grounds in Lehman.  Here is what the Times Leader reported about our trek:

Don Williams, of Montgomery County, set out from Wilkes-Barre’s Nesbitt Park at 6:30 a.m. and walked more than 10 miles to the fairgrounds together with his daughters, Lisa and Lauren Williams, and two local bloggers, Mark Cour and Herb Baldwin.“I’ve attended several of these meetings where the gas industry people basically said, if you drove here and you don’t support what we’re doing, you’re a hypocrite. I remembered that,” Williams said. “That’s why I did it, being able to say I had the lowest carbon footprint here today.”

Actually there was six of us. The person omitted in the Times Leader quote is blogger Hannah Abelbeck.  Sending us off was yet another blogger, John, and his sister Sandy. They showed up at dawn to wish us well and record the riverside ceremony. Afterward, we started out, four bloggers and two sane people.

(“By the time we got to Gas Stock, we were half a dozen strong…”) (apologies to Joni Mitchell).

Our march paralleled in reverse the route of  Toby’s Creek as it moves from the back mountains down to the valley, tumbling fresh water into the Susquehanna and eventually the Chesapeake.

We started our journey atop concrete and asphalt, alongside traffic and amid big plastic signs and display windows. We left the streets in Luzerne and strode along an old railroad bed turned recreational trail. It parallels the highway which was once but a creek side foot path. Now the sound of  traffic permeates the air.

We eventually emerged from the woods onto route 309 in Dallas. It was pedestrian unfriendly from there to the fairground. We stopped by Lisa Baker’s office but no one was there. We took some pictures and left tri-folds of information in the doorjamb. Lisa continues to believe this corporate invasion can be “managed”.

How do you manage billions of  gallons of toxic slurry left inside the shattered rock? How do you manage the diminishing water supply?  How do you tell the regional water cycle it will have to do with billions of gallons less?  How do you insure the infrastructure of wells are maintained and incident free for the next thousand years?  How do you manage a hodgepodge of corporations, companies, and contractors from myriad states and countries whose only goal is the maximization of profit?

The picture above is one taken at Baker’s office.  You will notice the Pennsylvania State Flag is upside down. This was not a mistake. Don did it, as a sign of distress.  Penn’s Woods is in serious jeopardy.

( There is, however, one mistake in the photo: See if you can find it in less than five seconds.)

Meanwhile, to be continued…


Walkin’ to Gas Stock

August 18, 2010

Here is an invitation from Kayak Dude to walk to Gas Stock with him. I plan on doing it and hope to see you there:

Walkin’ to Gas Stock
Event: Walking from the Susquehanna River @ Nesbitt Park to the Luzerne County Fairgrounds

When: Beginning at dawn ( ~5:52 a.m. ) on Saturday, 8/21/2010

Why: In Support of Gas Stock…and because I can!

Who: Whoever shows up

Other: Join us for all 10+ miles or any portion thereof

Contact: djw444@gmail.com