A Wellsboro protest is planned for Dec. 6, 7 to 9 a.m., both in and in front of the Penn Wells Hotel, 62 Main St. in Wellsboro, where Ridge is the featured speaker at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Some tickets for the breakfast may still remain; they’re $20 a pop, and the Chamber of Commerce number to call is (570) 724-1926. Actually, it would be great if some GDAC people could get inside.
GDAC attendance inside or outside is totally fitting, since all the signs point to Ridge having some shady, background role in PA Homeland Security’s no-bid hiring of ITRR (who spied on and libeled all of us. There’s as yet no “smoking gun,” but it’s pretty fishy, given Ridge’s PA government and US Homeland Security contacts, that PA Homeland Security should no-bid hire a spying organization that works for Ridge Global and that PA Homeland Security should openly admit (in its notorious e-mail to Virginia) that it was taking the side of the gas industry–for whom Ridge now works!–against dissenters. One protest sign I’m playing with using is ITRR: Institute of Terrorism Recruited by Ridge.
It might be interesting to scare potential leaser and investors (again, it’s a C of C event) by asking Ridge if he thought the well-organized activism in Luzerne and Columbia counties caused Encana to pull out of two counties after only two test wells; I would be cool if GDAC people either asked or were present as “Exhibit A” to back up this question.
Protest signs — pointing to Ridge and Corbett in bed with the gas companies, especially, are welc0me.
– Paula Chaiken, GDAC
“Dry Baby dry!” has been Audrey Simpson’s battle cry (and prayer) since she first heard of EnCana’s plans to drill three experimental horizontal gas wells in the Back Mountain region of Northeast Penn’s Woods.
We first met Audrey on January 14, 2010. She was video taping a presentation by EnCana to the Back Mountain Community Partnership. I recall how simplistic and benign EnCana’s presentation was. They did not mention trainloads of chemicals, just some water and sand. When we publicly questioned them, they became defensive and contentious.
After the meeting, Audrey approached Karen, Leanne and I, “We have to organize!”. Then she introduced herself. She had been following this Marcellus “play” for a while and she knew it was bad mojo.
That was the beginning of NoDrillNEPA which eventually merged with Tom Jiunta’s group (Luzerne County Citizens for Clean Water) to become GDAC – Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition.
I called Simpson tonight to discuss the news that EnCana was pulling out of Luzerne and Columbia Counties. We recalled that back in January, we saw this outcome as a remote possibility. Here it was nine months later, and the dream was now reality.
This may be good news for the Back Mountain, but EnCana’s departure is totally fortuitous. Like being spared of small pox while others around you are wasting away.
The Susquehanna, Delaware, Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio remain threatened and suffering. Thousands of fellow citizens continue to be treated as guinea pigs, The Pennsylvania State Constitution continues to be usurped. Citizens will have their properties seized by private entities. Our governor will pay back the gas industry for its contributions to his campaign.
Ours was a chance victory in a large war. This won’t be won without a constitutional battle. For the time being we must do everything we can to help slow, stall, challenge, and ban this supposed juggernaut. Place by place. Day by day.
Otherwise, they will be back.
I would think this EnCana announcement will not effect the continuing attempts to traverse the area with pipeline.
Always remember, the landmen were there when we were not. We must find a way to help struggling family farms. They are the backbone of rural Pennsylvania.
We need to re-think and re-tool for a green humanscale future. It is the only sane path.
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.”
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
we will have signs
The new Don King
I was on television last night. I was an audience participant on WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania live broadcast. I asked a question on camera. This was not easy for me. I don’t like the limelight. Last night’s show was hosted by Suzanne Kapral-Kelly. Her guests were WILK talk show hosts Nancy Kman, John Webster, Sue Henry, and Steve Corbett.
When it was almost my turn, I was ushered to a spot marked by masking tape, directly in the line of fire. Then before I could run away, all lights and attention swung to me. I think I did okay. It was my first time on the tube. I kept it simple. I thanked the WILK radio hosts for providing a platform to discuss the Marcellus Shale issue. Then, I simply requested that both stations sponsor a debate between EnCana and the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition. The dreaded GDAC.
I did this without consulting anyone else from GDAC. But I am sure each one would say, “Bring it on”! This gas play is so wrong in so many ways for our communities.
I remember the first and only time I heard representatives from EnCana speak. They were making a presentation to the Back Mountain Community Partnership. The Partnership is a group of local township and state representatives. EnCana presented hydraulic fracturing as a benign and safe process. You have seen the Chesapeake ads. Makes it look like a park. During the question period, there were some of us who began to ask reasonable questions about safety and environmental impact. They became visibly defensive and dismissive. The EnCana reps could not or would not provide answers to most of our questions and were then asked by the Partnership to report back in writing. They did eventually submit an inadequate response in writing. But that is a whole other story for a future date. The point here is they don’t like questions. They seem to expect us to be compliant and quiet. Watch the movie Split Estate to get a glimpse of EnCana’s dark side.
On the broadcast, Steve Corbett related how he has been unable to get anyone from EnCana to talk with him. They are about to change our world in a very surreal, industrial, and irreversible way – yet are too arrogant to address any of these potentialities with the public.
Even if you had the perfect company doing all the right things, fracking is still a dirty, radioactive, water wasting, toxin injecting, air polluting, community disrupting, waste producing, land damaging, infrastructure intensive, property devaluing, inefficient way to produce energy. Add on top of that a secretive and entitled corporation – you are begging for trouble.
Come on down EnCana! Name the time and place.
The Lake Twp. drill site hearing Tuesday May 4 at 7:00pm at the Luzerne Co. Courthouse in the commissioners room. The purpose of the Luzerne Co. Zoning Board hearing is to grant a conditional use permit for the drill site located on the Salansky property (corner of Sholtis and Zosh/Ide Road). The site was moved from the Farrell property near the township line to this proposed site due to access considerations.
We need to insist that they do not grant the permit, and if they do it must be with strict restrictions. Per Joe Rutchauskas, “this site is located in the middle of 300 properties within a one mile radius!!”
Please attend this meeting to show solidarity!
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
LUZERNE COUNTY GREEN PARTY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Contact: Carl Romanelli, 570-574-0829 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jay Sweeney, 570-587-3603 email@example.com
Green Parties of Northeastern Pennsylvania to join citizen groups for Earth Day press conference/rally/protest regarding gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. Events are part of statewide events on drilling scheduled throughout Pennsylvania.
On Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010; groups from all over Northeastern Pennsylvania will come together on Public Square, Wilkes-Barre; beginning at 11 AM; for a press conference on the environmental threats of gas drilling in Pennsylvania. The event is being coordinated by the Green Parties of the northeastern section of the state. Greens from Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, Wayne and Susquehanna counties participated in the planning of the event, along with members of various citizen groups concerned about this issue.
Among the activist groups supporting the Earth Day protests are: The Sierra Club, Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition (GDAC), Citizens for Clean Water, No Drill NEPA, Energy Justice; to name a few. Speakers will include Dr.Gere Reisinger of GDAC, Dr. Richard Aston of the Green Party, Atty. Frank J. Muraca from the PA Sierra Club and Jay Sweeney of the Wyoming County Green Party and candidate for State Representative in the 111th District.
Speakers will address the unified demands of environmentalists concerning drilling issues, which include:
* an immediate moratorium on all horizontal hydrofracturing in the Commonwealth, including in our state forests and on floodplains,
* an immediate freeze on all new Marcellus Shale drilling permits throughout Pennsylvania,
* the immediate suspension of the Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions’ authority to approve drilling-related water withdrawals anywhere in their respective watersheds, and, if necessary,
* the immediate resignation of DEP Secretary John Hanger.
Similar protests and rallies will be held throughout Pennsylvania on Thursday. They are planned for Norristown, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Meadville, and Williamsport. Speakers will be available to answer questions for the media from 11:00 to noon. Speakers and activities commence at 12:00 noon.
Tom Jiunta plans to present the Citizens for Clean Water Petition to state legislators at a public meeting on gas drilling. The meeting will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7, at the Kingston Township Municipal Building at 180 E. Center Street, Shavertown.
Please come and show your support!
Here is a story regarding the presentation from the Times Leader: Petition urges rules be put on gas drills