January 20, 2015
Coverage of rally and march before inauguration day:
Events like next week’s inauguration proceedings are an opportunity to really show the power of our movement — Sam Bernhardt, with Food & Water Watch
StateImpact PA: Anti-fracking protesters plan to rally at Wolf Inauguration
Coverage of march and rally from inauguration day:
Philadelphia Inquirer: Wolf sworn in as Pa. governor
Morning Call (Associated Press): Anti-fracking protesters arrested, heard at inauguration
Erie Times-News: Lupo heads to Harrisburg for anti-fracking rally
Sister Pat Lupo, OSB, of Erie, served on a transition team for Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. She plans to be in Harrisburg today — but not for the new governor’s inaugural…Lupo plans to attend an anti-fracking march and rally at Wolf’s inaugural ceremony.
Tribune-Review: Pennsylvania Capitol prepares for Democrat Governor Wolf
Press from the rally:
Patriots-News: ‘Ban fracking now’ protesters urge Gov. Wolf at inauguration
“He really needs to ban fracking, and at the very least, start off with a statewide moratorium with no new wells,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth, which is on the steering committee of Pennsylvanians Against Fracking
StateImpact: 8 fracking protester arrest at Wolf inauguration
“We believe that we’re dealing with somebody who is open to reality and who wants to make the right decisions,” Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum says of Wolf.
NBC 10 (Philadelphia): Anti-fracking protesters under arrest after being heard at inauguration
Free Speech Radio News: Pennsylvania Governor’s inauguration draws opponents of fracking
York Daily Record: Wolf’s inauguration day completes journey from Mount Wolf to Harrisburg
York Dispatch: Wolf speech showcases ‘Let’s talk’ style
Letters and Opinion Pieces Following the Inauguration Rally
Pennsylvanians Against Fracking Press Release:
For Immediate Release: January 20, 2015
Sam Bernhardt, Food and Water Watch, 267-428-1903, [email protected]
Tracy Carluccio, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 215-692-2329, [email protected]
Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726, [email protected]
Briget Shields, Marcellus Protest, Friends of the Harmed, 412-799-3236, [email protected]
Diane Sipe, Marcellus Outreach Butler, 724-272-4539, [email protected]
Activists Greet Wolf at Inauguration
with Call to Stop Fracking
[Harrisburg, PA] — Today, Pennsylvanians Against Fracking, a new coalition of groups from around the Keystone State working to halt fracking, gathered in Harrisburg with hundreds of activists to greet Governor Wolf and urge him to make stopping fracking a priority. Pennsylvanians from all corners of the state converged on Harrisburg’s Grace United Methodist Church to hear from lead advocates and experts at a pre-rally press conference. Attendees then marched down Walnut Street to the Inauguration grandstands where they held a rally throughout the ceremony. Chants of “Fracking PA? Our Answer is No!” met Governor Wolf, a reference to New York State’s recent ban on fracking.
Several spoke of New York’s recent ban and concerns the negative health consequences of fracking. According to Josh Fox, the award-winning director of Gasland and Gasland Part II, “New York banned fracking based on solid science that says fracking is harmful to people – people who live near it suffer effects of air pollution, water contamination and health risks, people who live downstream from it suffer from regional air pollution and contaminated public water supplies and all people who live on the planet suffer the effects of fracking’s increased greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. Governor Tom Wolf inherited insane policies on fracking but he does not have to continue these policies. The choice is Governor Wolf’s – listen to science and to the harmed citizens of PA or be on the wrong side of history.”
“In our rush to develop shale gas, PA has created some economic winners, but we have put many other Pennsylvanians in harm’s way,” said Raina Rippel, Director of Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project. “After three years of dedicated work, EHP understands that the scale of protecting these Pennsylvanians demands the full participation of the PA Department of Health and the commitment of our Governor.”
Those from frontline communities spoke passionately about the reality in PA. Diane Sipe of Marcellus Outreach Butler made it clear what’s on the line: “While Gov. Wolf says with respect to unconventional gas that he wants his cake and to eat it too, we in the shale fields understand that the gas industry will eat the whole cake. This is what an extreme extraction process does–it creates sacrifice zones of the places where it operates. This industry will take the gas and its profits and leave Pennsylvania a legacy of an unhealthy and damaged environment.”
“We all have inherent & indefeasible rights to pure water, clean air & a healthy environment, according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Science, facts and experiences in our communities where shale gas extraction is happening make clear that these environmental rights cannot be honored if PA allows fracking to continue. Governor Wolf, as he takes his oath of office as the leader of the Commonwealth, must honor his commitment to protect the environment by stopping fracking in Pennsylvania,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
Wes Gillingham, a New York activist with Catskill Mountainkeeper stated, “High volume fracking has been banned in NY. How did it happen? It wasn’t a back room deal or individual hero; it wasn’t a big organization or politician flexing their might. There is a Ban in New York for the same reason the people here will change the course of history – hundreds and thousands of ordinary people who see the dangers of fracking and refuse to let the gas industry trash the state they love.”
Others focused on Governor Wolf’s campaign platforms and what they saw as a disappointing response to New York’s ban.
“Governor Wolf has repeatedly expressed his opposition to fracking our state forests and parks, citing ‘an exhaustive study’ that pointed to the irreparable harm it would cause,” said Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth. “Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies point to harms to our health, safety, and environment that extend far beyond the bounds of our public lands. Which Pennsylvania community is less important than a state forest? Whose child is less precious than a stream or a tree? If Governor Wolf can’t answer those questions, then his choice is clear. He must halt fracking.”
“I’m disappointed in Governor Wolf’s lack of due diligence towards gas drilling in the Marcellus,” said Briget Shields, Founding Member of Marcellus Protest, the grassroots group based in Pittsburgh. “Dr. Howard Zucker, New York’s Health Comissioner, determined it’s too risky for the people of New York, so how can it be safe for the people of Pennsylvania?”
Jenny Lisak of Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air said, “Rather than support a poisonous, toxic, explosive greenhouse gas spewing industry and the administration that wants it to succeed, the fracktivists are putting their passion to work turning this planetary ship around before there’s a head on collision, with no survivors.”
“We are marching today to show Governor Wolf the strength of the movement against fracking,” said Sam Bernhardt, Senior Pennsylvania Organizer for Food & Water Watch. “Pennsylvania needs a halt to fracking; we are going to organize communities around the state until we achieve that goal,” said Sam Bernhardt, Senior Pennsylvania Organizer for Food & Water Watch.
Pennsylvanians Against Fracking is a statewide coalition of groups representing a diversity of issues, backgrounds and locations, united in the mission of achieving a ban on fracking in the Commonwealth.