A poem – child safe world

October 5, 2010

 

Toxic sludge
terrorist ALERTS
flashing images:
bad times and
end times. What has this world become?

When will we learn?
A child safe world
is safe for us all.


How Natural Gas Drilling has Changed My Eating Habits by Molly M.

September 1, 2010

Following is a guest post from Molly M.  All are invited to submit:

I travelled to Dimock, PA, several weeks ago to see for myself what was going on at my neighbors to the north.  I was astounded to see gas drilling pads in many farm pastures.  On several sites, cows were being pastured and fed adjacent to the pads. I had read about cows being quarantined in Tioga County after they were suspected of drinking polluted flowback water.  In Washington County cows died after exposure to drilling fluids.  At Dunkard Creek, where all aquatic life died from an algae bloom caused by drilling, beef cows were photographed standing in orange-tainted water.  I have decided not to eat beef any more.  Every time I look at a steak, I see those cows standing next to a drill site.

My new discoveries opened my eyes to other concerns.  How about the farmers who were present at the farmers’ markets? Had they leased their lands?  If I knew for sure they had, I bypassed their stands.  I am also boycotting a restaurant next to a drill pad in Fairmount Township.

I began searching for alternative food sources and discovered the joys of shopping at the Lands at Hillside.  The folks who bought this wonderful farm from the old coal barons opted not to lease these lands.  Hooray!  Now I buy hormone-free milk, free range eggs, Hillside Gold butter, fresh ice cream, and other goodies.  Life is good, and my tummy agrees.

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)


Even if

July 14, 2010

Even if one manages the drilling like an angel, and has the luck of God… even if, there are inspectors hanging from every rig… and ten feet of regulations at each worker’s side, even if… even if…

It will not change the inexorable facts that with each fracking: we retire millions of gallons of drinking water from the earth’s scarce supply, and we saturate the air with pollutants.  Also, we horizontally fracture miles of rock  below us, and fill those sharded caverns with a toxic slurry of brine, radioactivity, and nasty chemicals.  That is the present state of reality.  Even if we don’t want to believe it.


water is a closed system

June 14, 2010

This planet is a terrarium orbiting the sun. The flaming star casts a million terawatts of energy upon us each day. Earth has been given all that it needs. We will either thrive, or render this terrarium useless. We make our own destiny. It is insanity to let big conglomerates dictate the condition of this planet. And, it is cowardice.

Each fracking leaves approximately 4.5 million gallons of water sequestered beneath the earth – taken out of the water cycle – never to be replaced. For every 420 horizontal frackings, the equivalent of the Huntsville Reservoir is polluted and left underground (1.9 billion gallons). Water that has touched the lips of our ancestors, now gone from the equation.

Oh, we may see it again, but next time as a spoiler of our diminishing clean water supply.


Thank you, we will carry on…

May 31, 2010

They didn’t die
for eminent domain
or Made in China
or farmland foreclosure…


Selective Citizens’ Voice

May 30, 2010

The Citizens’ Voice chose a holiday weekend Saturday to squeak out its opinion that: Drilling’s OK, but commonwealth must be protected. Below is their piece followed by my letter to them.

Development of the Marcellus Shale gas formation has followed lines that generally have applied to resource extraction throughout the nation’s history.

There are substantial economic benefits and substantial environmental costs. Folks doing the actual extraction work hard and play hard, bolstering the local economy but not always in accordance with local cultural and behavioral standards. Some people profit; some people suffer losses through affected property values. The government plays catch-up because the industry drives the market and the technology.

All of that has played out in the early days of the Marcellus Shale Development. Yet there also is a broad, sensible and achievable consensus that the gas can be extracted in a way that boosts the economy without devastating the environment.

The problem is that the political debate, as political debates often are, has been driven from the ends of the spectrum rather than the middle.

As a bill in Harrisburg to establish an 8 percent “severance” tax on gas extraction has begun to move, for example, anti-tax Republicans have claimed that it would stifle further development of the Marcellus Shale field. It’s a remarkable assertion, because similar taxes just about everywhere that gas drillers operate have done nothing of the kind. Rather, those taxes are considered by the industry as part of the cost of doing business.

The plan is for an 80-20 split of the proceeds among the state government and affected local governments, which could use the money for regulatory enforcement and to mitigate the impact on roads on other infrastructure.

In Harrisburg this week, state police contended that crime has increased in drilling areas, a downside to the boom that few had anticipated. That requires continued vigilance, and also is a good argument for the severance tax, part of which could be directed to law enforcement in affected areas. It also should be an incentive to expedite the training of more local workers for jobs in the expanding industry.

Industry estimates indicate that gas extraction could be a major industry across much of Pennsylvania for as long as a century. Lawmakers should move now to ensure that the commonwealth at large benefits from the boom, and that the environmental and social costs are mitigated.

Not OK

Regarding your May 29 editorial titled “Drilling’s OK, but commonwealth must be protected”: You conclude by stating “Lawmakers should move now to ensure that the commonwealth at large benefits from the boom, and that the environmental and social costs are mitigated.”

To mitigate means to lessen. I guess more crime is OK, just not too much? Dead aquifers are OK, just not too many? You also claim there is a “broad” consensus that this gas extraction can be done without “devastating the environment”. Just where is this broad consensus? In the clubhouse?