Hundreds of Anti-Fracking Activists Demonstrate Outrage Towards Dirty, Polluting Process
PHILADELPHIA - As corporate executives from the oil and gas industry’s Marcellus Shale Coalition convened in Philadelphia today for their Shale Gas Insight conference, hundreds of public health and environmental advocates lead by the groups Food & Water Watch, Protecting our Waters and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network came together to denounce the possible expansion of hydraulic fracturing in the northeast at the coinciding Shale Gas Outrage protest. Controversy surrounding fracking has mounted in recent months as the federal government weighed in on safety concerns surrounding the practice, and a decision is expected next month on whether or not to allow fracking along the Delaware River, which supplies drinking water to 15 million Americans.
The process of injecting large quantities of toxic chemicals, water and sand underground to extract natural gas, hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” has been shown to pollute water supplies and endanger public health. Eighty state and local governments around the U.S. have taken action to protect residents from the effects of fracking.
“Around the U.S., and especially in the northeast, people are sick from, and sick of fracking, said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “We can’t stand by and allow the natural gas industry to endanger any more lives or natural resources. We’re here to send a message to the industry that it’s time to put public safety before corporate interests by banning fracking throughout the U.S.”
The controversy over fracking is heating up around U.S., especially in the Northeast. Just today, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation released their revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, which recommends opening up large parts of the state to fracking in order to access 85 percent of the shale in New York. Despite public outcry, Governor Cuomo appears to support this recommendation.
The economic promise of fracking is in question following a USGS analysis that forced the U.S. Department of Energy to lower its estimated reserves of gas in the Marcellus Shale by 80 percent. In August New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent subpoenas to Range Resources, Cabot Oil and Gas, Goodrich Petroleum and Chesapeake Energy, four of the nation’s largest energy companies, to determine if they are overstating their natural gas production. This followed a New York Times investigation, which found that the industry is over-predicting gas forecasts.
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