It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I'd like to give a tremendous thanks for people and events this week in the Marcellus Shale region.
The Delaware River Basin Commission postponed a vote on gas drilling regulations. Organizations, activists, and concerned citizens said loudly and clearly (through thousands of phone calls and letters) that elected officials must put the protection of natural areas, drinking water, and communities first. The celebration at a rally in Trenton ushered in the next stage of the fight to save the Delaware—and hopefully other regions—from the mad rush to drill.
Huge crowds also flocked to the first hearings on New York’s draft guidelines and regulations for shale gas development. Many spoke about the critical flaws in the documents and their concern that the state is willing to sacrifice the health of its citizens and environment in the name of questionable job creation.
An online petition protesting the Pennsylvania legislature’s attempt to gut local zoning—making it possible for gas companies to drill anywhere, anytime—garnered nearly 11,000 signatures in just a few days. Dozens of municipal officials have also signed onto a letter objecting to the power grab by legislators who have evidently been emboldened by a flow of industry cash.
As the New York Times reported this week, the shale gas frenzy is ripping the very fabric of communities. Yet the people whose water, health, and property have been ruined are speaking out and fighting for their rights—often going against powerful companies that deny responsibility and are expert at intimidation. They are true heroes.
Here’s to more weeks like this one in many more places—providing the “strength in numbers” needed to keep pushing the movement against dirty drilling forward.
THANK YOU for the inspiration and hope, and have a very peaceful holiday.