Environmental Groups Want More Protections After Wolf Bans Fracking in State Parks and Forests

Yesterday evening, the Associated Press reported that Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order banning fracking in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.  Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests have been treated like a political football over the past three gubernatorial administrations.

When Pennsylvania’s fracking boom was taking off, Governor Ed Rendell implemented the original ban on fracking in the state’s parks and forests.  That ban only lasted for three years when Governor Corbett rescinded the ban as a way to raise revenues in his final budget.  And now with Governor Wolf’s, the ban is back in place.  Big green groups such as PennEnvironment applauded the decision, and the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the group lobbying on behalf of the fracking industry, cued their collective outrage by releasing a statement that read “this deeply misguided and purely political action to unnecessarily ban the safe and tightly-regulated development of natural gas from beneath taxpayer-owned lands flies in the face of common sense.”

Pennsylvanians Against Fracking thanked Governor Wolf for protecting the state’s natural wonders.  In a statement, the organization has again pushed for a statewide ban on fracking, and Jenny Lisak, of Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air, a member of the Pennsylvanians Against Fracking steering committee said “keeping fracking out of state parks is welcomed news, but I am fearful that the negative impacts of this process will be concentrated in communities already being harmed. We must stop fracking around the state.”

Pennsylvanians Against Fracking pointed out that New York state decided to ban fracking in its Southern Tier because of the health issues and groundwater contamination that have happened in Pennsylvania and that there are over 400 peer-reviewed studies point to that.  Last October, the AP reported that during the fracking boom there were hundreds of complaints about water contamination and 243 confirmed reports of groundwater contamination.

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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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1 Comment on Environmental Groups Want More Protections After Wolf Bans Fracking in State Parks and Forests

  1. Fresh out the inaugural gate, Pennsylvania’s Governor Gas Wolf wasted no time signing 22 permits to continue the conversion of the state into a giganto-frack-gas factory.

    At the direction of the new governor, (reported by Energy Justice), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP),”permitted 22 shale gas wells for five counties in just three days from January 21-23. One of those well permits, Chief Oil’s Teel 4H, is within a mile of a cluster of 19 water wells in Dimock, PA that were spoiled by gas drilling in 2008″ (Bad Call: PA Governor Wolf Pursues Drilling on 700,000 Acres of State Land | Energy Justice: Shale Initiative).

    The report continues:

    The 22 new well permits last week were granted to operators including Chevron, Rex Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, Chesapeake Energy, Chief Oil, and EQT. Combined, the six drilling companies have been cited for 118 well casing failures by PA DEP, according to a report by Energy Justice Network. Steel and cement well casing failures endanger water supplies across the state.
    None of this, of course, is the least bit surprising.

    Governor Wolf has never as much as hinted that he’d strive for any other but the “have your cake and eat it too” course consistent with the gas company campaign donations, the hand-waving at what would be a disastrous extraction tax, and his promises to use the dirty dollars to fund education.

    He even used the disruption of his inaugural speech to reiterate his support for the gas: ““To the protesters here today, I say: help me develop these opportunities in a way that is clean, safe and sustainable.”

    The governor’s reasoning is deluded to be sure–especially in light of climate change–but it turns out the gas wolf is also smart like a fox.

    For in a matter of hours after he signs permits for 22 more frack wells, he delivers a preemptive strike against the potential reaction-of-horror from the anti-fracking movement by bribing it with a teeny tiny “concession” reinstating the moratorium on new leases on public lands.

    And we’re expected to thank him for that.

    That’s like thanking the armed robber for leaving the curtains after he terrorizes your family and guts your house.

    That’s like thanking the psychotic dictator for leaving one house standing after he torches your town.

    That’s like thanking the guy who just beat the shit out of you and took your wallet because he left two of your teeth.

    What do these have in common?

    You’ve got no reason to believe that the armed robber, the psychotic dictator, or the thieving assailant are ever going to restore, repair, or return any of your stuff.

    You’ve got no reason to believe that the gas wolf governor is going to do anything other than keep signing permits to frack the state to smithereens.

    But here’s the really insane part:

    You’d never thank the robber, the dictator, or the assailant for leaving your curtains, one house, or your two teeth.

    Yet, somehow we’re being encouraged by Big Green Sierra Club, and little greenies–The Forest Coalition and Pennsylvanians Against Fracking to applaud the governor’s decision to reinstate the moratorium as if being handed a few trees somehow compensates for the other 700,000 acres already robbed, torched, and beat to shit by the gassers–not one inch of which is protected from further battery.

    In fact, you’re expected to treat what is a straight-up bribe–no new leases on pubic lands– as if it were a gift even though its a “gift” offered to you after you’ve already been robbed, torched, and beaten by an assailant who promises you he’s coming back!

    Even worse–you know the assailant’s coming back because he’s already unleashed his gasser friends on 22 of your neighbors!

    How did we get to such a pathetic groveling place?

    For more, please see: http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/2015/01/thanking-gas-wolf-for-saving-few-acres.html

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  1. #PhlEd: Tom Wolf to Bill Green: “Say Hello To My Little Friend” | Raging Chicken Press


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