This article is meant to get people mad and spark a discussion. So allow me to vent a rant for a couple of minutes….
In Pennsylvania, the 2014 elections will be a pretty big deal and environmentalists in the fracktivist community must see the forest through the trees when it comes to natural gas drilling and other progressive issues. In the Democratic field, there are candidates who I like and candidates who I don’t like. If a candidate supports a fracking moratorium I may even support that candidate. But as a community to simply say “We should try to sink some of the most progressive candidates because they don’t support a ban on fracking or a moratorium on fracking” is absolute horseshit because having a defeatist attitude like that will damage the progressive community and give us four more years of Governor Tom Corbett.
Besides fracking, there are a host of issues that progressives are fighting for, and fracking shouldn’t be the only issue; it should be seen as an important issue among many other important issues. Some other important issues that should be considered by everyone include: the 700,000 Pennsylvanians who don’t have health insurance because the Governor and the House won’t support Medicaid Expansion; the thousands of public school teachers in impoverished cities who have lost their jobs because education isn’t a priority with our government; the hundred thousand plus students in the PASSHE system who have faced tuition increases because of Governor Corbett’s 20% higher education cuts and refusal to restore those cuts 2 years later; the 80,000 plus children who were knocked off of PA CHIP a couple of years ago; the endless tax breaks given away to corporations; the endless attempts to privatize the lottery and liquor systems because our government doesn’t want to raise taxes on those who have gotten tax cuts; our transportation problems; the attacks on government workers because our government didn’t feel like funding the employees pensions for the past 10-15 years; the attacks against those in the LGBTQ community and much more.
If fracking is this big of an issue, I’m all for ditching the petition drives and permitted sidewalk demonstrations that get nothing accomplished and following the examples our friends in New York state are doing. I admire actions people in Pennsylvania are taking, but there is a broader picture that should be seen.