Activists protest Philly gas drilling conference

Activists protest Philly gas drilling conference
PATRICK WALTERS, Associated Press
Updated 03:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Shale Gas Outrage rallyPHILADELPHIA (AP) — Several hundred environmental activists and homeowners packed the sidewalks outside a natural gas industry conference Wednesday and called for a moratorium on drilling, which they said was contaminating water, harming animals and creating a public health hazard.

The boisterous "Shale Gas Outrage" rally was organized by a coalition of environmental, political and labor groups, including Philadelphia-based Protecting Our Waters. Hundreds of protesters lined the sidewalk outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center and chanted "Shale gas outrage" and "Ban it now." Some carried signs and T-shirts with slogans such as "What's in your water?"

"We cannot, we will not sacrifice our water for gas," Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, said to a round of cheers.

The groups were calling for a ban on drilling in the gas-rich underground rock formation known as the Marcellus Shale. The formation, which runs beneath Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, New York and portions of other states, is believed to contain one of the biggest deposits of natural gas in the world. Nearly 4,000 wells have been drilled in the state over the past few years.

Marcellus gas is extracted with a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which millions of gallons of water, along with sand and chemical additives, are injected at high pressure to crack open gas-bearing rock. Oil and gas companies say the process is safe, but environmentalists have expressed concerns about groundwater contamination from chemicals used to get to the gas.

Josh Fox, director of the anti-drilling documentary "Gasland," said the state was making a huge mistake in allowing the gas companies to drill on its land, something that he said will damage Pennsylvania for future generations.

"What I'm witnessing in Pennsylvania is a systematic destruction of the state," Fox said at a news conference before the rally. "What we're doing is contemplating taking our civilization off of an insane cliff."

Homeowners participating in the rally and news conference said drilling has contaminated the aquifer near their homes, poisoning their water with barium and other chemicals, killing animals and presenting a public health hazard.

Stephen Cleghorn, who runs an organic farm in Reynoldsville, doesn't believe the assurances from gas companies that the water near drilling sites is safe.

"Don't let anybody tell you it's responsible drilling," Cleghorn said.

One northeastern Pennsylvania homeowner said he stopped drinking his water after drilling began near his property three years ago. Craig Sautner, of Dimock, said: "There's no gas company that will tell me I will drink my water."

Susan Breese, of Kingsley, said her water was clear before drilling started three years ago. Now, she said, it has high levels of barium and other chemicals. She blames drilling.

Breese, who is part Native American, said she feels she has been let down by the state and the gas companies alike.

"I never thought that in 2011 I would be getting a taste of the loss and greed that my ancestors felt," Breese said.


methane in water near Dimock, PA

The Salt Spring State Park, near Dimock, PA, has water wells than can be easily lit on fire. They have been that way long before Marcellus was discovered.
Have a party there.

Fracking and drilling is the

Fracking and drilling is the biggest industry in my depressing and dying town most drilling companies will supply bottled drinking water to families who suffer from the rare and unfortunate event there water is contaminated until the issue is fixed. People complain that drilling adversely affects our environment in a negative way but they neglect to realize that millions of families worldwide depend on this industry surviving. How would you like it if thousands started protesting cutting your chance of surviving down threatening to put you out of work .you would take it very personal so if your opposed to drilling and Fracking. Try heating you homes with dirt and cooking with a magnifying glass. Or whatever it is you tree hugging hippie hypocrites do.