Lobby Day, June 2011
Pennsylvania Campaign for Clean Water members and activists went to Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 for a lobby day and rally to protest Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.
Over 150 meetings were held with lawmakers to discuss issues with Marcellus Shale drilling, including meetings with 45 of the 50 Pennsylvania state senators. The focus was on protecting public health and drinking water supplies.
Campaign members and activists lobbied elected officials for a tax on drilling to make certain drillers are paying their fair share, and that a significant portion of this money will go to programs that fund environmental protections. The group also lobbied for better protections of our public and private drinking water sources from the threat of hydrofracking. Further, grassroots lobbyists pressed legislators to commit more of the state’s budget to the Department of Environmental Protection. DEP’s budget has gone down 40% in three years, while the biggest new industry in the state tears up land, contaminates water and pollutes the air.
Lawmakers heard the public’s concerns with strengthening Pennsylvania’s drilling laws and about the public’s right to know of hazardous chemicals used in the drilling process. So far, the state has passed no new public health protections in light of this huge new industry.
Thanks to grassroots pressure like the 2011 Lobby Day, Governor Corbett has yet to re-open state forest land for Marcellus Shale Drilling, but Campaign members continue to press for a permanent moratorium. The state forests are already overstressed as it is. Check out these videos from the Responsible Drilling Alliance on the consequences of habitat fragmentation.
Lastly, the Campaign for Clean Water member groups and citizen volunteers called for a moratorium on all Marcellus Shale extraction until there has been a cumulative impact analysis.
This 2011 Lobby Day was the largest to date protesting Marcellus Shale drilling in Harrisburg. A crowd of over 400 was present at the noontime rally that had twelve speakers, including Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montco), Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Pitt.), Crystal Stroud, advocate from Towanda, PA, and Josh Fox, director of Academy Award nominated film, Gasland.
Check out some of the media coverage!