A Message for Progressives and Fracktivists in 2014…

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.

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to sean@rcpress.org or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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7 Comments on A Message for Progressives and Fracktivists in 2014…

    • Right. I know that other candidates such as Wolf and Hanger support a drilling severance tax and stricter regulations. I’d like to see a moratorium and would support candidates who support a moratorium, but I also accept that there are other issues we need to follow as well.

  1. Yes, John Hangar seems the person liberals/progressives will likely support—though I need to know Rob McCord’s positions on single payer, restoring Corbett’s education cuts and re-hiring 20,000 teachers, and support for public university professors/students like K-town—-all positions John Hanger supports. Wolf—-don’t know his candidacy yet. Narrows it down significantly……

    • Yeah, but Hanger isn’t going to get anywhere with his campaign. Wolf, McCord and Schwartz already have millions in their war chests. I like the fact that Hanger is putting policy positions out there on a daily basis so he can keep a narrative going.

  2. I am a member of the Democratic State Committee and all these folks will be asking us for an endorsement. Should be interesting. I will not support Schwartz.

  3. Fracking IS the biggest issue in Pennsylvania, in my opinion, but there are many more right up there, too… like women’s reproductive rights. In March 2012, Corbett made this suggestion to women who don’t like the idea of a trans-vaginal ultrasound mandate: “You just have to close your eyes.” ANYONE would be better than this scumbag.

  4. For me the issue is WATER. If we don’t have water, we won’t be able to fight for any other cause.

    Fracking IS the issue in PA. Fracking is playing a (big & bad) part in all of the issues you list: health, education, tax giveaways.

    I get what you’re saying, Sean, but I’m not going to vote for ‘lesser of 2 evils’ candidates anymore. I will write someone in as a protest. If enough of us do this, it will send a message.
    One last thing – While I admire & respect what NY is doing I have also heard from many NY residents that they have us in PA to thank. We were blindsided by fracking’s onslaught, NY was smart & watched us closely. They took good notes on the devastation fracking caused to our environment & democracy. They also learned that grassroots efforts, such as Pittsburgh’s being the 1st city in the US to ban fracking.

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