Friday April 22 marks the 41st anniversary of Earth Day. The seventies brought promise with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. That promise fades with the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the damaged nuclear complex in Japan and the threat to Pennsylvania’s water, land and air from drilling for natural gas.The Green Party of Pennsylvania calls upon Governor Corbett to fulfill his oath of office and the DEP to follow it’s mission and protect our environment. “Natural gas drilling will consume the equivalent of Harvey’s Lake, the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania, in less than 2 years time.” states Green Party activist Jay Sweeney. “The dumping of ‘treated’ wastewater into our rivers and streams is a public health threat as noted by Dr. Conrad Volz in his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works last week.”
The Green Party of Pennsylvania has endorsed a resolution calling for a ban of the hydrofracking process. See below.
“The Corbett administration reminds us, day after day, of who helped get them get into office and who is really pulling their strings,” remarks I.K. Samways, Chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. “To treat a severance tax as a third rail while insisting on a political seal of approval for DEP inspection reports is irresponsible in the extreme. Hydrofracking remains a volatile and poorly regulated process, where the very health of our citizens has become little more than a political trading horse. A ban on the process, as called for in the Green Party’s resolution, will put an end to this blatant misuse of our natural resources and keep us on the road to a much more responsible and sustainable energy policy.”
“For years, we’ve been told that natural gas is cleaner than traditional gasoline, and so despite the concerns about water, it was still the more environmental thing to do.” adds former Chair, Hillary Kane. “We now know that fracking releases so much methane into the air at the time of extraction that the carbon footprint of natural gas is actually worse than coal. There is no reason to be doing this.”
The Green Party of Pennsylvania is also sponsoring Earth Day rallies outside DEP Regional offices on Thursday April 21. On Thursday from 11 am to 2 pm, there will be a rally outside the DEP Northeast Regional office on 2 Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. Also on Thursday from 4 to 6 pm, there will be a rally outside the DEP Southeast Regional Office on 2 E. Main St. in Norristown. The Green Party would like to thank it’s Earth Day Coalition partners Citizens for Clean Water, NEPAGasAction.org, End Gasocracy Now!, Protecting Our Waters, Brandywine Peace Community, Buxmont Coalition for Peace Action and Saint Vincent’s Peace and Justice Ministry.
New Green Party of PA Statement on Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale
Green Party of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Statement
Whereas Marcellus shale natural gas is not a transitional fuel, but an impediment to a clean energy policy that conserves energy and develops solar, wind, geothermal, micro hydro and other renewable technologies, and
Whereas methane (CH4) a greenhouse gas and the principal component of natural gas is more harmful than carbon dioxide (CO2), and
Whereas the Energy Act of 2005 exempted the oil & gas industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act, and
Whereas natural gas fracking results in a level of devastation on the scale of the previous oil, timber and coal exploitation of our natural heritage, and
Whereas the byproducts of the hydrofracking process include the release of radioactive materials into the environment, and
Whereas hydraulic fracturing squanders our precious water resources and poisons drinking water, private wells and public supplies, and
Whereas natural gas extraction poses dangers, including explosions, threatening those employed by the industry as well as the general public, and
Whereas Article 1, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania states, “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,” and
Whereas there is a total failure to regulate extractive industries including the failure to prevent illegal water withdrawals by the oil & gas industry in Western Pennsylvania, and
Whereas Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have passed ordinances calling for a ban and a moratorium, respectively,
Be it resolved that, we, citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and members of the Green Party of Pennsylvania, call for the termination and prohibition of all natural gas extraction involving the use of our Commonwealth’s water resources. We call for a ban immediately stopping all high volume, slick water, horizontal fracturing of deep shale, including exploration, in Pennsylvania and worldwide.
Be it further resolved that the Green Party of Pennsylvania believes the short term economic benefits will be dwarfed by the long term economic and environmental consequences of natural gas extraction. Any and all political and legal means must be employed to protect our environment.
In the interim, the right of local communities to protect themselves and assert their rights through local ordinance is supported by the Green Party of Pennsylvania.