Thursday, October 27, 2011

November 21 -- Speak Up For Your Community; Stand Against Gas Drilling



November 21 is an important day for Delaware River communities, for the citizens/families of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware, and for the future of our country.  Wow, that’s a big day? you might be saying.  What could possibly be happening? you might be asking. 

November 21, in Trenton, NJ, the Governors of the four states and a representative for the President will decide how much they value life – or whether they value corporations and political contributions more.  On November 21 they will be voting whether to open the Delaware River watershed up to gas drilling or not. 

Contrary to the slick marketing campaigns of the shale gas companies,  drilling makes communities sick. 

The drilling and blasting  used to get the gas, consumes, permanently, billions of gallons of our finite freshwater, locking it underground and poisoning it with dangerous toxins such as arsenic, lead, mercury, benzene, m,p-Xylene, barium, chromium, radium, and strontium..  The drilling, blasting and fracking release benzene, toluene, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, lung-irritating particulates, volatile organics and more into the air we breathe.
My Kids -- Along with the River, I will be 
Standing to Protect
Them From Gas Drilling --
 For Their Present and Future
In just a three month period this year  Pennsylvania papers reported an explosion in a water well that forced a family from their home because of nearby drilling; drinking water wells for three homes in one community and  7 homes in another community contaminated because of drilling, as well as methane bubbling up through the Susquehanna River; a driller fined for an hydraulic oil spill that polluted the soil, and another company fined for discharging drilling poisons into two high quality creeks; two workers injured in an explosion at a gas drilling site; a blowout at a well site dumping thousands of gallons of drilling waste on farm lands, into creeks and forcing 7 families to evacuate.  During this same period Cornell University published areport documenting that fracking contributes to global warming as much, or even more, than coal and Duke University published a paper analyzing the increased contamination found in groundwater of homes located near drilling rigs.   
Mothers, fathers, doctors are coming out talking about their children that have been harmed by drilling– children suffering nose bleeds, headaches, high levels of dangerous substances in their blood.   The stories are heart wrenching. 


Government is supposed to protect the people.  On November 21 there is an opportunity to protect from gas drilling the 15 million people who drink Delaware River water, and the millions who breathe the air, eat the fish, and feed from the lands in the River’s watershed. 



videoLearn more at http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/act-now/urgent-details.aspx?Id=93

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why 11/21 Is So Important For Prevent Drilling & Fracking



For over 3 years the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and our whole watershed community has been fighting to protect our River and communities from the ravages of gas drilling and fracking and all of the deforestation, development, and devastation they bring.

For over 3 years we have attended public meetings and along with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of others; we have submitted tens of thousands of pages of comment; we have provided thousands of pages of expert opinion; and delivered hundreds of hours of testimony on why gas drilling should not be allowed in our watershed.

And now we are at the final moment.  The Governors and the Army Corps Colonel that are the real commissioners of the Delaware River Basin Commission who have the authority to give drilling a thumbs up or a thumbs down, are in the final stages of making the decision about whether or not to allow drilling.

Overall, the representatives for New York and Delaware have been much more open minded  and stood stronger for protection than New Jersey, Pennsylvania or the Army Corps (representing the President) have been.  But, there is still a chance to convince New Jersey and the Corps to make the right choice.  Pennsylvania is likely a lost cause, but we are ever hopeful if we can give a clear show of opposition from the region that even Pennsylvania might recognize the important qualities that warrant protecting our watershed from drilling -- and even if we don't, as long as we have the other Commissioners we will be able to secure the votes for protection we need.  (DRBC is a majority rules system at the Commissioner level.)

Over these past three years it is quite unbelievable that drilling in our watershed is even still an option.  At DRBC public meetings and hearings we have learned:
  • Poignant stories of incredible sickness caused by drilling -- barium levels in the blood of a mother and son many times over what is deemed safe; nose bleeds, headaches, confusion, asthma and and exposure to toxins that can lead to cancer, developmental problems, autism and more;
  • Documented cases of water pollution, air pollution, and deforestation that has devastated special fishing and hunting spots and destroyed dependent businesses;
  • Plummeting market values of homes located near drilling pads -- so much so that realtors won't sell them and banks won't provide the loans needed by would-be buyers -- locking homeowners forever into homes where they are vexed by polluted drinking water, air pollution, sickness, and the constant noise and lights of drilling sites;
  • Livestock becoming ill, dying and/or unable to reproduce healthy offspring because of drilling contamination;

On November 21, the DRBC Commissioners are set to cast a vote that could open up our Delaware River watershed to drilling.


Unfortunately, on November 21 there is no opportunity for the public to testify and to try once again to convince the DRBC Commissioners to hear us about why drilling should not be allowed.  So the only way to send our message is by sheer volume of numbers -- if we can fill the theater with our presence and the signs that contain our message -- Don't Drill the Delaware -- then we can send a strong message about how we need them to vote.


We are dealing with a public health, water and air emergency of catastrophic proportions and we must be heard.  This may be the last chance to protect ourselves from drilling before having to resort to the courts -- which is never a guaranteed option of hope or help.

And so, we are gathering on 11/21 to engage in lawful, peaceful, first amendment activity so as to make sure the Governors, the Colonel, and the President know that we don't want drilling in our watershed and communities.  This is our last chance to be heard before they decide and to force them to hear our message by the sheer volume of our presence:

Don't Drill the Delaware!

Come Stand with Us on November 21 to Take This Last Chance to Be Heard.
And to enjoy our right to engage in this exercise of lawful, peaceful, first amendment activity.
For training to ensure a safe and lawful day join us for our scheduled training:
http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/about/event.aspx?Id=160