Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jan's Updates June 14, 2012

Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group

A radio add that will be running on KDKA radio by Pa Just Powers. They are giving it away for free to anyone in the state who want to air on their own station. Contact them at…
Added on 3/25/12
Youtube video

For articles and updates or to just vent, visit us at face book.
For information on the state gas legislation and local control:
Please Cut and Paste All Links-(they work erratically)
Calendar of Events
*** Stop the Frack Attack, Washington DC, July 28,
(Sierra Club, Calvin Tillman, Earthworks)
*** Tour de Frack-You Can Participate For Only One Day:
The ‘Tour de Frack’ promises to be one of the most celebrated local events of this coming summer. Described as ‘activism in motion’, from July 14 to July 28 cyclists may take the whole ride from Butler to Washington DC, or they may enjoy one or two day segments of the journey.
***Anti-Fracking Rally in DC –from Gloria F.
The first - ever national anti-fracking rally is planned for July 28, in Washington, DC. For quite a while now many have been pushing for taking this to the federal level. Marcellus Protest is considering organizing a charter bus to DC for this rally.
Before proceeding with any further plans to charter a bus we need to have a firm commitment from enough people to make the effort worthwhile. Please respond to me, gtforouzan (at), by June 7, ONLY if you plan to go if a charter bus is available.
Date: July 28 – this is a one day trip – no overnite stay
The Rally & March are from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the West Lawn of the US Capitol.
Round trip tickets will be in the $35 -$40 range. (Includes tolls/parking/driver tip)
The larger bus, seats 47, has a restroom on board. Handicap accessible: possible/not known at this time.
Refunds most likely will not be possible, you can sell your seat to someone else/donate it to someone who can’t afford the trip.
DEPART- Pittsburgh: 9:00 a.m.
ARRIVE- Washington, DC : 1:30 p.m.
DEPART– DC: 5 p.m.
ARRIVE- Pittsburgh: 9 p.m.
***HARRISBURG RALLY-Capitol Steps-June 19--- Clean Water Action
Chesapeake Energy, Range Resources, and Chief Oil and Gas have fracked more than 1,200 wells in Pennsylvania and have been cited 900 times for violations of our state’s drilling rules. It is clear that our woefully underfunded DEP cannot protect us from the dangers of drilling. It is clear that Governor Corbett and our state legislature will not provide the leadership we need to protect our communities.
Clean water Action is taking the fight directly to the drilling companies that are threatening our healthy, safety, and environment and letting them know its time to CLEAN up their act.
The day will begin with a march to and demonstration outside of Chesapeake, Range, and Chief's offices. There will be a rally on the capitol steps and an opportunity in the afternoon to visit your state legislators.
We are departing from downtown at 7am and should be back between 7:30pm-8pm. Transportation to and from Harrisburg is available. We would love to have you join us and signing up is a simple as clicking on the registration link. I hope to see you there.
***County Commissioners Hold Evening Meetings Around the Area
Westmoreland County commissioners will conduct public meetings to solicit comments on how to spend Marcellus shale impact fees.
The meetings will begin at 6 p.m. on:
• July 9 at Westmoreland County Courthouse, Main Street, Greensburg
• July 10 at Washington Township Municipal Building, 289 Pine Run Church Road
• July 23 at Mt. Pleasant Township Municipal Building, 208 Poker Road
• July 26 at Rostraver Township Municipal Building, 201 Municipal Drive
• Aug. 13 at Derry Township Municipal Building, 5321 Route 982
TAKE ACTION-from Debbie and Gloria
*** On Pittsburgh’s Ban
Mayor Ravenstahl is WORKING WITH Governor Corbett TO GET RID OF the PITTSBURGH BAN.
Moments after the passage of ACT 13, Luke Ravenstahl had the City Solicitor contact the PUC in order to file a complaint with PUC to initiate the action to remove the ban. You may want to ask the Mayor:
First, call/email & thank Bill Peduto for his unwavering, outspoken support of the ban:
Bill Peduto – 412-255-2133
Then call/email the mayor & city council & ask them to stand strong in supporting our drilling ban..
Mayor- 412 255 2626 (412) 475-2387 255-2694
and leave a message.
Ricky Burgess – 412-255-2137
Patrick Dowd - 412-255-2140
Darlene Harris, Council President - 412-255-2135
Theresa Kail-Smith - 412-255-8963
Bruce Kraus - 412-255-2130
Daniel Lavelle - 412-255-2134
Corey O’Connor – 412.255.8965
Natalia Rudiak –
Ricky Burgess -
Patrick Dowd -
Darlene Harris -
Theresa Kail-Smith -
Bruce Kraus -
Daniel Lavelle -
Corey O’Connor -
Bill Peduto –
Natalia Rudiak -
***About Taking Action on Resolutions Against Act 13
What we have learned about passing the resolution to support the lawsuit against Act 13:
1. 1. You will probably need to attend 2 or 3 supervisors' meetings in seeking passage of the resolution. Public comment time is often at the beginning of the meeting so people do not have to sit all evening.
2. 2. At the first meeting, we introduced the resolution and discussed the need to overturn Act 13-- emphasize that this is a loss of community rights.
It is hard to believe, but many supervisors have no interest in this issue and it is the residents who have to be insistent.
3. 3. It is helpful to have resource people discuss the problems with Act 13 with your supervisors. (Brian Coppola has volunteered to do this for many communities and maybe others involved in the suit would be available. Local officials have a real knack for presenting information in a convincing way to other supervisors.) There are also many active environmental groups in the area that understand the zoning implications.
4. 4. If people can’t attend a meeting to support you, they can send emails to officials. Provide residents with the email address of supervisors and two or three points they may want to include. You can also provide the link to the fact sheets on Act 13 which are given in the ‘call to action’ below. Providing the addresses of supervisors makes it easy for people to send a brief letter.
5. 5. If the resolution supporting the lawsuit becomes an issue due to wording, and supervisors are absolutely unwilling to pass it, we have copies of resolutions that oppose Act 13, without directly citing the lawsuit that you may be able to get passed.
6. 6. For most meetings, we had a core group of only 4 or 5 people –we found it very difficult to get people out to meetings in our area. But at the meeting when the vote is to occur, it is very effective, sometimes necessary, to have a group of friends and neighbors attend the meeting with you to show support. Persistence is key. We are the voters. There is no way to ensure success, but it is clear we must be persistent.
7. 7. You can contact me for details or prototypes of statements.
All Township Residents—Call to Action !! Keep Those Resolutions Coming !!
**Lawsuit Filed --Resolutions of Township Support Urged
Attached to this WMCG Update is a resolution supporting the lawsuit against Act 13. Act 13 precludes the use of local zoning to restrict gas operations in residential areas, restricts doctors in sharing important health data, and limits counties in the use of the impact tax (a partial list).
HOW WE CAN HELP: Please print the resolution and take it to your next township supervisors’ meeting to request their support for this lawsuit. Supervisors should return the signed resolution to Brian Coppola and also to your state representatives.
Sample Statement: See our Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens’ Group blogspot, for a sample statement to supervisors. (Address is listed above)
Good references on Act 13:
Handout on Act 13 by Penn Future (short version)-
Delaware Riverkeepers Basics About Act 13
Penn Future on act 13 (detailed version)
Fracking Quotes
*** “The governor is choosing winners and losers and he has cast his lot with choosing to further help a multi-billion dollar corporation over the education of future generations of Pennsylvanians”, George Jugovic, PennFuture president speaking about Corbett’s tax credits for Shell versus education cuts.
***Gov. Corbett— whose career-making 2004 election as attorney general came after energy tycoon, (CEO Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake), wrote checks for $450,000 that was funneled into (Corbetts) the Pennsylvanian’s campaign.
1. Ligonier Township Passes Resolution Opposing Act 13- Finally!
After months of advocacy work by citizens, Ligonier Township supervisors passed a resolution opposing Act 13. Thanks to all who supported this effort through emails to the supervisors and their presence. Only through your support did this resolution pass.
2. Marcellus From the Air
Amazing pictures
3. Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon Plans PA to Be Drilling Epicenter
“CEO Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake is being questioned about 1.3 billion in personal loans. The company stock lost half of its value since August.
Last month, McClendon told Wall Street analysts in a conference call that the troubled energy giant that bills itself as "the world’s biggest fracker" plans to save itself by shifting from "a strategy of asset capture to a strategy of asset harvest."
McClendon’s plan is to frack more-- drill more wells than ever across the thousands of acres of prime Marcellus Shale real estate that Chesapeake already has under lease. The epicenter, McClendon told Wall Street, would be southwest Pennsylvania as well as adjacent regions in Ohio and West Virginia, where wells tend to pull up liquid gases like ethane that are now getting a higher price. And McClendon got boost this week from Gov. Corbett —whose career-making 2004 election as attorney general came after the energy tycoon wrote checks for $450,000 that were funneled into the Pennsylvanian’s campaign.
Corbett aides have been quietly pushing for a 5-cent-a-gallon tax credit for PA manufacturers that use ethane. Although pitched as an incentive to ensure that Shell builds a massive cracker plant in Beaver County — a $1.7 billion corporate giveaway that Corbett defended — the program could also drive up demand for the liquid gas at the core of new business strategy of the governor’s former benefactor.”
(chesapeake’s troubles could mean more fracking in Pennsylvania, amy friedenberger, 6-6 12)
4. Yeager Compound and Health Problems
“The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the EPA are assessing health problems reported by residents living in a valley below Range’s frack pit and a drill cuttings pit in Amwell Township. Stacy Haney and her children moved from their home which is about 1,500 feet from the impoundment. Other plaintiffs are the Voyles’ family and Loren Kiskadden and his mother.
The agencies are investigating if the range site resulted in toxic air and groundwater pollution that damaged the families’ health.
The Yeager site is one of three sites in PA and of seven nationwide that are part of the Congressionally mandated study that will be completed in 2014, assessing the impacts of fracking on drinking water.
In a separate study in 2011, EPA sampled an intermittent stream and private well water that were near Range’s 3 million gallon frack pit. The results showed nitrate levels at more than twice the levels allowed by federal drinking water standards were present in the Voyles well water.
The families filed a lawsuit alleging their heath was damage and their risk of cancer increased due to exposure to toxic leaks, spills and air pollutants from Ranges operations. They say Range provided incomplete drinking water test results to the DEP that omitted findings showing a high concentration of nitrate (which can cause cancer), plus fracking fluid, flowback water, uranium and silicon. Children can be sickened by drinking water with high nitrate levels and infants can die from blue baby syndrome.
The Voyles and Haney properties are receiving replacement water from Range.”
(Federal agencies probe range resources’ yeager marcellus shale gas drilling site, don hopey, Pitts. Post gazette)
5. Chesapeake in Debt
“Chesapeake has put more than 337,000 acres in Ohio up for sale-this is about one- fourth of its total Utica Shale holdings. The company hopes to raise some capital to improve its debt-ridden balance sheet. Chesapeake also replaced four board members with new directors who were approved by some of the firm’s most vocal critics.”
(the week that was, bill toland, 6-10-12, post gazette.)
6. Plans for SW PA Pipeline Dropped
“Peregrine Keystone Gas of Texas has abandoned plans for a nine- mile gas pipeline through parts of Fayette, Greene, and Washington counties, citing legal costs and falling natural gas production .
The executive, Lorne Fuller, says the company believes it would have faced ongoing legal action even if it overturned an adverse ruling by the state Public Utility Commission. Some residents had expressed concern the company would use eminent domain to seize land for the pipeline.
The company says in a PUC filing last week that because of falling gas production in the area, continuing the regulatory process "would be a waste of time and resources."
(texas company drops plans for sw pa gas pipeline, rribune review, 6-13-12)
7. Federal Court Rules in Favor of PA MARC 1 Pipeline
“A coalition of environmental groups attempted to stop the construction of a gas pipeline in Pa Endless Mountains. But a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court ruled that the federal energy regulators properly approved the 39-mile MARC 1 pipeline through Bradford, Sullivan, and Lycoming counties.
Some landowners contended that Central New York Oil and Gas refused to negotiate in good faith on either monetary compensation or on the pipeline’s route. Sierra Club and two local groups challenged a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to authorize construction, saying regulators should have done a more through environmental assessment.
NY appeals court said that FERCs analysis of the pipeline’s impact on forests and migratory birds was sufficient”.
(federal court rules in favor of pa gas pipeline, michael rubinkam, AP, 6-13-120
8. Police Raid A Frack Protest Camp in Mobile Park in PA
“Police and private security guards have raided a protest encampment at the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, to break up a nearly two-week resistance effort by dozens of residents and activists. The company Aqua America bought the property to withdraw up to three million gallons of water per day for use in fracking. Residents learned of the sale after reading about it in the newspaper. Many claimed the payments offered are not enough for them to relocate from the mobile home park, where some have lived for decades. A group of volunteers and residents calling themselves "Occupy Well Street" blockaded access roads and covered the park in hand-painted signs, successfully delaying construction. On Tuesday, activists complied with requests by
residents that they disperse rather than risk arrest. Some residents still remain in their homes, and negotiations with the company continue.”
(amy goodman, democracy now, june 13, 2012)
9. Corbett Wants $66 Million Tax Break for Shell
“While Gov Corbett cuts state spending for schools and social services, he advocates tax credits worth as much as $66 million a year for a Shell petrochemical refinery in Monaca. The credit would be worth about $1.7 billion over 25 years. Shell promises 10,000 to 20,000 jobs. Shell already stands to receive 15 years of tax cuts and exemptions under a bill signed by Corbett earlier this year.
Penn Future criticized the plan for massive tax credits as education and other programs are being cut. Corbett blames the rising cost of pensions and health care for the poor for the spending cuts in his budget that also reduces business taxes.”
(proposed shell tax break in PA worth $66 million a year, peter jackson, latrobe bulletin, 6-5-12)
10. Taxpayers May Pay for Shell Site Cleanup
“The biggest package of taxpayer paid incentive in Pa history may be about to happen. Horsehead Corp. zinc smelter is the country’s largest and has operated on the site that is to be occupied by Shell. The package of financial incentives for the petrochemical refinery could include the cost to clean up pollution from the zinc smelter. The administration proposes a newly- created, tax- free zone for the site that the legislature approved in February.
Because Shell will probably have no state- tax liability, it can sell the $66 million in tax credits a year to companies that use its feedstock as a way to encourage a local market in PA.
Some of the wet gas is already under contract to be piped to the Gulf Coast taking lucrative business elsewhere. “
(state may pay for cleanup of shell refinery site, AP, latrobe bulletin, 6-11-12)
11. Radio Ad On KDKA—Support Needed
The Communities United for Rights and Environment has a 60 second spot on KDKA radio in opposition to Gov. Corbett’s Act 13 legislation. To keep the ad running, the group needs donations.
The ad is free to anyone in the state who wants to air it on their own station. For information contact:
To hear the ad and learn how to contribute for publicity for our side:
The ad is also on YouTube:
Westmoreland Marcellus Citizen’s GroupMission Statement
To raise the public’s general awareness and understanding of the impacts of Marcellus drilling on the natural environment, health, and long-term economies of local communities.