Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

After New York ban, Pennsylvania renews focus on fracking health impacts

A hydraulic fracturing site in Susquehanna County, Pa.

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY

A hydraulic fracturing site in Susquehanna County, Pa.

New York State banned fracking earlier this month, citing the potential risks to public health. In Pennsylvania, where shale gas drilling has boomed, the state has not studied those risks systematically and some say, deliberately ignored them. A new governor says he wants to take a different approach.

At a news conference the day after New York announced its ban, Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor-elect Tom Wolf summed up his views on fracking:

“I want to have my cake and eat it, too,” he said. “I don’t want to do what New York did.”

Wolf wants a new tax on drilling to pay for a lot of his priorities like education. He also wants to create a health registry to measure the potential impacts of heavy drilling.

“In the absence of a strong concern for health, you have problems,” he said. “I think we ought to do this right.”

The drilling health registry is not a new idea for Pennsylvania.

In 2011, outgoing Republican Governor Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission recommended a long-term program to monitor the health of residents within one mile of natural gas development sites and to fully investigate any complaints. However, the state Department of Health has never received the funding to do the work and the intersection of pubic health and fracking remains a thorny issue in Harrisburg.


Black water, then strange symptoms

But if state health officials ever came to Kim McEvoy’s neighborhood, she’d have a lot to say.

In 2011, her water turned grey. Then, “coal black,” she said.

McEvoy is one of several residents of the Woodlands – a rural community in Butler County, western Pennsylvania – who have complained that natural gas development has damaged their water supplies and their health.

One night, McEvoy says she almost fainted while taking a shower.

“I still had soap on my body and I just got out of the shower and I’m like, ‘I am so dizzy, I can’t even stand,’” she remembers.

McEvoy’s fiancé helped her to the bed where she sat, wet and soapy, trying to stay conscious.

“Just take a break, take a break,” he told her.

That wasn’t the last shower episode. Also, McEvoy’s long black hair began falling out in clumps and her fingernails began to grow strangely, curving with grooves and ridges.

Kim McEvoy fills up a jug of water at her former home in Butler County in this 2012 file photo. She says after natural gas drilling began, her water turned grey and black. Then, she began experiencing strange physical symptoms.

Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Kim McEvoy fills up a jug of water at her former home in Butler County in this 2012 file photo. She says after natural gas drilling began, her water turned grey and black. Then, she began experiencing strange physical symptoms.

Her symptoms started going away, she says, only when she stopped using her well water. The company drilling and fracking nearby provided her for a while with a storage tank known as a “water buffalo.”

McEvoy had no health insurance and no primary care doctor. So she called the state Department of Health, but the person who answered the phone told her to call the Department of Environmental Protection instead.

“They have no departments handling anything that had to do with gas and oil drilling. They told me that. Then they said, ‘You need to call the DEP,’” she said. “Well, [they] didn’t care if my hair was falling out.”

The DEP had already told McEvoy and her neighbors that gas drilling did not contaminate their water wells.

Health Department officials say they have referred fracking-related complaints to their epidemiology experts, who have investigated fully.

But two former staffers say the Department of Health had policies in place that kept them quiet about fracking.

Former staffers accuse Pa. of ignoring health complaints

In 2012, health department officials circulated a list of drilling-related “buzzwords” to its community health staff. The list included phrases like “hair falling out,” “skin rash” and “fracking.” Callers mentioning these words were to be directed to the department’s Bureau of Epidemiology.

The two retired staffers told StateImpact Pennsylvania earlier this year that they were also instructed not to discuss callers’ concerns at any length and not to give them any information.

The Department of Health continues to dispute the former employees’ claims and says it fully investigates all health complaints.

Celeen Miller is a volunteer public health advocate in Bucks County who estimates she has helped about a dozen people like Kim McEvoy lodge complaints. She doesn’t believe the Health Department under Governor Corbett has fully investigated drilling-related concerns.

In 2011, people began reaching out to Miller when they “hit a wall” with staff at the department’s regional offices who told them to contact the DEP instead. Early the following year, she began arranging conference calls with staff at the Bureau of Epidemiology.

“People talked about headaches, dizziness when they took a shower, rashes on their arms when water touched their body, dogs throwing up, children getting sick,” Miller said. “Some of the calls were so upsetting that I felt very teary-eyed after we hung up.”

The Department of Health claims it has logged 76 complaints, but has found no link between drilling and illness. The department has refused to release information about the location, the nature or any resolution of these complaints.

Miller argues the agency has not given its staff the time or the resources to do its job.

“Our elected officials could empower the health department either through policy or regulation to do more,” she said. ”We’ve lost 3 and a half years at least of doing some meaningful investigation on drilling operations and its impact on water and land and on people’s health.”

Last August, in response to the former staffers’ allegations, the Department of Health announced changes to its policies for handling complaints about gas drilling – including regular updates to its website and bi-weekly meetings with the Department of Environmental Protection.

The Department of Health declined an interview request to discuss the changes for this story.

“Through the improvements announced earlier this summer, we have enhanced our efforts and continue our ongoing commitment to prioritizing the health needs of Pennsylvanians,” said spokeswoman Holli Senior in a statement.

Miller has seen some positive changes over the last five months. For example, she says state health officials no longer rely on people filing complaints to send them water test results.

“Now the Department of Health representatives will offer to get the lab results directly from the DEP and that is an important change,” she said, noting many of the people she works with may not have access to the Internet or a fax machine. Some of them are worried that sharing documents could compromise their lawsuits against drilling companies.

“They don’t care”

Miller is optimistic that the Wolf administration will push for a more proactive approach. However, the health registry idea has never won favor with Republican leaders in the state legislature.

“What we don’t want is something that unnecessarily scares residents in the district,” said Drew Crompton, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson).

Kim McEvoy sits at the kitchen table in her new home in Butler County.

Katie Colaneri/StateImpact Pennsylvania

Kim McEvoy sits at the kitchen table in her new home in Butler County.

“We want the public health effects to be known, but we also don’t want people just showing up at people’s doors saying, ‘We would like you to be a participant in this study because we believe that Marcellus Shale drilling is having adverse effects on your health.’”

Crompton says Scarnati plans to reintroduce a bill creating an advisory panel that would review research on drilling and health. That bill never made it out of committee last year.

Meanwhile, Kim McEvoy wonders why her state government seemed so uninterested in finding out why she was getting dizzy, losing her hair, and watching her fingernails change shape.

“You would think they would be caring about the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvanians, but apparently they did not,” she said. “That’s how I felt like well, they don’t care.”

In 2012, when McEvoy grew tired of living with discolored water, she packed up her family and moved to another town. She says she was forced to foreclose on her home because no one wanted to buy a house with bad water.

Comments

  • JimBarth

    Thank you for reporting this story, one which has been repeated hundreds of times across just a few states, if not Pennsylvania alone.

    The major problem with Gov. Elect Wolf’s “cake and eat it too” policy, is that it continues to allow shale gas extraction in PA to be performed exactly as it has been for the past years, thus that policy will, without doubt, create more health cases such as Ms. McElvoy’s. The Governor-Elect wants to begin to study this, almost 10 years after Range drilled its first shale well in PA? This is not a case where “better late than never” should be acceptable.

    In NYS, the authorities looked at such PA and National health impact cases and the Commissioner of Health said that NYS should not allow HVSWMSHF into shale to commence, that these cases alone are proof enough, from the State’s health perspective, of the need to know more, because their citizen’s health is definitely at risk.

    What regulations, if any, would actually make such extraction “safe and responsible”, given the fact the extraction is currently being performed within a few hundred feet of households, in areas zoned as residential, across the Commonwealth?

    In Maryland, the outgoing Governor O’Mally suggested the State allow shale gas extraction after a several year moratorium during which a study advised that setbacks be moved to 2,000 feet from a residence or water well, among other much more strict regulations than PA.

    Pennsylvania still has regulations that are pathetic when it comes to protection. Wells 500 feet from residences and private water wells? No setback regs for well pads? Open air impoundments holding barely reprocessed toxic flowback waste, among many other short comings?

    Unfortunately, this is the soon to be Governor’s “cake”, and it is definitely not something that any Pennsylvanian should “eat”.

    In short of a ban in PA, Governor Elect Wolf should at least declare a moratorium until much more stringent regulations, such as NYS began to formulate in its SGEIS process, or Maryland currently defined in its study, are adopted. When those are in force, then begin the PA Health Registry and study.

    Anyway you cut the cake, high volume, slick water, multi-stage hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling into shale should be stopped, as it is practiced in the Commonwealth of PA.

  • Brick

    Where is the data from the analysis of Mrs. McEvoy’s water done BEFORE the gas drilling started? And where is the data from that same water source AFTER the drilling or after her complaints? In NEPA methane is being found in 20% to 25% of domestic water wells before drilling starts. Many companies have voluntarily started collecting and analyzing samples from domestic wells within 3,000 feet of a proposed well before drilling starts. If you don’t want to trust the gas company’s laboratory contractor, spend the $800 and hire your own, just consider it insurance and use it to compare the result from the gas company.

    • Jim Young

      The call for pre-drilling inspection has been the most consistent question asked by interested, non-industry people, since I started following this. Seems the suppression and or prevention of such data collection has been a long term practice, going back almost a decade and a half, when they shut down the 10 regional EPA Libraries, destroyed all the existing records they could, and made the ones they couldn’t destroy as hard to get to as possible, as they also gutted budgets, cut staff, and appointed political bosses that went as far as rewriting reports, changing conclusions, etc of the existing professionals, trumping all trustworthy expert opinions put out by the agencies they “captured.” Then you had things like slight changes to the conclusions of a USGS study, saying pre-existing methane was common (not just in some wells) without mentioning that the detection level was so sensitive that it found methane at 1/7,000th of a level that should cause any consideration of action to mitigate it (while the fracking related levels could be 10s of thousands of times higher). This also concentrates the attention on only the methane, disregarding all the other dangerous chemicals and gasses. The snow job is mind boggling.

      Better to study the epidemiology (including an examination of all non-disclosure agreements that might be masking public health concerns).

      • Brick

        Then perhaps you can explain the reason the drilling companies share the results of the their analysis with the homeowner? Do you know that there exists a private organization collecting citizen supplied data into a database? Search out “Private Well Owner Outreach Program in Pennsylvania” at the Water Research Center website. This is a function I believe PaDEP or DOH should be handling, in fact since so many Pa households have private water wells, a regimen of sampling and testing should be adopted before new wells can be used for a water supply. Besides the usual coliform and field standards I’d recommend testing for the EPA 126 Priority Pollutants plus Metals and methane.

        I don’t set MDLs of contaminates and that is one of the things that is in fact troubling as detection gets more and more sensitive. I bet $$$ to donuts your blood stream carries PCBs at a level above the MDL concentration, so should we then over-pack you and place in a hazardous waste disposal facility? Purposeful “confusion” of MDL with Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
        is something I find relatively common among the comments offered by some “activists”.

        • Jim Young

          I think I agree with everything you pointed out, though the purposeful confusion of MDL with MCL seemed to be done by those using the MDL in the USGS study to make it seem as if there were far more problem wells before fracking.

          I do believe you are right about what MDL of PCBs would be found in my blood, just as Bill Moyers found out when he started checking on Chemical Companies and the products used in modern farming. He was a gardener, who likely got much of it from what he used in his garden. (The Chemical companies apparently got advance knowledge of his material and had PR countering it out the same day it came out.)

          I absolutely agree the PaDEP or DOH should be the trusted source to do testing of all wells, though I fear political appointees may be no more free of undue influence than what seems to have occurred in too many places. Thank you for the reference to the “Private Well Owner Outreach Program in Pennsylvania,” I’m particularly interested in impacts on the watershed, whether the potential problems no matter who is doing the drilling.

          What do you think of the Pinchout Foundation report, “The Marcellus Shale: Resources for Stakeholders in the Upper Delaware Watershed Region”? I’m a bit afraid it might be like the descriptions of “responsible” fracking that George P. Mitchell advocated (as I read “The Frackers”), but admitted that all drillers “don’t always” follow. What percentage always follow the best practices,and what about the ones they have found that have employees or subcontractors rather outrageously violating?

          Having met a few professionals in the water industry (municipal and fracking), I was interested in finding out a fellow passenger on a flight was a mining company hydrologist, working in West Virgina. After a little discussion on how they mapped underground mines and the water in and around them, he got very hesitant to discuss much more on the water quality impacts in West Virginia. Makes me wonder what is in the “official” records, or what would have been gathered and made available in the 10 regional EPA Libraries before they shut them down.

          When asked about how they handled the excess fluids in Pennsylvania, Dr. Sue Brantley, said they just sent it to Ohio (for injection into sacrifice zones they were more tolerant of). I first learned of some of these “Sacrifice” zones when I spotted a lot of well pad sites in Faulkner County, Arkansas as we flew over the Mayflower area on a cross country flight. They are harder to spot since the pads are darker and lower contrast than the pin cushion areas you can see out West. Makes me wonder how that affects their property values and if any risk exists to surrounding or downstream areas exist.

          Any thoughts on large areas that might have more dangerous water than West Virginia?

          • Brick

            Umm no, I haven’t seen USGS personnel confusing MDLs with MCLs. In fact it was some folks who were complaining about the effects of drilling on their domestic well in Western Pa and one of the more vociferous anti-drillers here in Eastern Pa.
            As to the water testing I recommend above for new wells, and maybe retroactively for existing wells, I DO NOT want DEP or DoH collecting the samples and performing the tests! I want that to be done by the property owner, using a sampling “contractor of his choice and a documented, licensed analysis lab testing iaw current protocols and a lab chief fully responsible for the reporting. My reason for this is because if the land owner hires the service the product belongs to the landowner and he may make whatever use of it he wants. If the state pays for it the data might never see the light of day.
            All I want DEP/DoH to do is collect the data and publish it in a publically available database. Then possibly once enough data is assembled they can analyze the data and assemble maps of the different flow regimes and the water quality associated with them.
            I’m not sure all the water quality problems will be the fault of the drilling or fracking activity. Regrettably farmers have caused as much pollution as any one else. Have you ever seen a farm that did not have a dump attached to it? How many times have you seen farmers burn off their excess pesticides because they didn’t want to pay the fees for disposal? Do a groundwater analysis near any orchard that dates back to 1920s or 30s and you’ll find elevated levels of arsenic. How many old rusted out partially full fuel oil and gasoline tanks do you think are in the ground? Nuts, I can remember GLF delivering bulk fuel to farmers all over. But, much of that has to do with the technology and scientific knowledge of the day. And might even be part and parcel of the arguments regarding “conservation” vs. “preservation”.
            I have no knowledge of water quality issues in WV. But, I’m pretty sure that drainage from any mine is going to heavy in metals, acid runoff, quite possibly suspended oils and greases from the equipment in use, plus silt and whatever constituents is in the silt. Then too you have weak acids forming as aerosols depending on the activities. CO2 plus atmospheric water yields carbonic acid and the SO2 plus the same water yields sulphurous acid both of which add to the lowered pH of rainwater.
            I’ve never studied the use of injection wells for disposal of wastes fracking waste or otherwise. I would hesitate to say that the injection is taking place within the water-bearing strata, to me that would represent a case of supreme stupidity.
            But another site you should review is fracfocus.org it is a registry of nearly 90,000 wells nationwide and lists the chemical constituents and mixes used for the individual well fracking jobs, interesting though they shield some proprietary mixes. The technology I’m most interested seeing developed and used more is that of using a gelled propane as the frack fluid to replace water, since that is nearly completely recoverable with the methane and it would also seem to eliminate the need for other chemicals such as rust inhibitors

          • Jim Young

            Thanks for the thoughtful reply, but I never intended to cast any doubt on the USGS samplers, just those who cherry-pick the results to distort the impacts, effectively sand bagging the impression of preexisting contaminants.

            Did anyone besides royalty owners get the water quality results, like local or state agencies, or were they as Dr. Sue Brantley implied, given to owners who chose to keep them to themselves? It seemed the implication of a water quality expert’s question was whether or not they had to sign non-disclosure agreements to get them. You seem to be saying the results were fully shareable, and were shared, at least among royalty owners. Dr. Brantley, instead led us down the trail of the owners themselves wanting to keep the data from impacting current (if pre-existing contaminants were found) or future values of their land. There was still no clear answer on how much data would be available to their neighbors, if they weren’t also royalty owners, or what public health agencies should have done to fulfil their basic duties (as described in the recent Bill Moyers show describing ancient legal theory and the concept called trust litigation). New Jersey, for example, had the royally appointed Board of Proprietors from colonial times, with positions inherited through the late 1990s (in the case of my wife’s uncle), who were trusted stewards of the lands, somewhat effectively planning sustainable use for the generations to come.

            It seems the safety valves are now wired fully open, as the agencies that should have continued the responsible actions in accordance with sustaining the trust

          • Brick

            You’re welcome, and thanks also for the cites you mention above. I’ll search them out and read through them.
            I don’t know who Dr. Brantley is or who or what she represents. I make no claims regarding veracity, perhaps it is only that her experience is different than mine. But, in my experience, the results of water quality testing done as pre-drilling is supplied to the well owner, whether that property owner is a gas lessor or not. I’ve never heard of anyone having to sign a non-disclosure agreement to get the results either. I probably would have chased a land-man or whoever off my property with scalping knife if they’d made such a demand of me.
            Regardless of the company doing the drilling, the sample collection and laboratory analysis, must be done iaw established protocols in state certified labs. Those results should be available to the land owner without conditions. If that is not the case then legislation requiring such is something I would support. Bear in mind though that the pre-drilling testing is not a requirement, it is only a means that drillers might use to mitigate any claims of damage rising from their activities. Pa law still deems water quality or quantity damages to be the driller’s fault if such damage occurs within 6 months of well completion. I would also support a requirement for post drilling testing (for the same parameters as pre-drilling) to be performed by the drillers, for no other reason than to complete the record and prove no harm.

        • Iris Marie Bloom

          I visited Kim McEvoy after her water was impacted by fracking, and saw the discolored water coming out of the tap as well as heard her 3 year old say “we can’t take a bath in the tub any more.” I saw the black rings in the tub. The difficulty faced every day by the McEvoy and so many families like them, desperately collecting water in jugs at work to save money, experiencing health impacts and being ignored, is more than a tragedy. It is a crime.
          Anyone who tries to sell a home where the water has gone bad has the same terrible experience. Kim was wise to leave. The house and yard were cute and in good shape and I’m sure would have sold easily if not for the family being victimized by the fracking industry.
          Protecting Our Waters and other organizations chipped in to help a few of the many impacted families in Butler County to get access to clean safe water. The low income families with children suffer the most. AND they are not the ones signing a contract with the shale industry. Rex Energy harmed their water and that’s the first they knew anything could go wrong.
          Pre tests are not shared by the industry, that is absolutely a misconception, a myth. PA should have prevented fracking before it started 10 years ago — just like New York. Now a moratorium must be instituted in PA and the health impacts studied for 20 years, since developmental, neurological, respiratory, radioactive, and carcinogenic impacts are long term.
          Sunoco’s plan to export huge quantities of fracked natural gas liquids starting this year must be stopped because if allowed, it would mean many more sacrifice zones and sacrificed families like the McEvoys. Scarnati will stack and derail any PA state “health study” to ensure shale gas profits.

          • Brick

            A myth? Seriously? I have a copy of the analysis done on my spring and all those that I personally know of have received copies of the results affecting their water supply wells. FWIW Pa law says very clearly that the drilling company is “deemed” responsible for water quality or quantity impacts occurring within 6 months of a gas well’s completion. The pre-testing if is one means of the company mitigating this though it doesn’t absolve them of blame.
            I know that the process of drilling can change the pressure in the ground and cause an increase in sediment suspended in water, and sediment can be filtered out, chemical pollutants cannot, but seriously has there been a chemical change in the water?
            For that matter has anyone done a chemical analysis of the water as it exists now? Has the gas company offered any form of relief? Temporary water supply, sediment filtration, reverse osmosis system, new water supply well?

  • AlSever

    Find it interesting that none of the ambulance chasing attorneys who advertise on TV won’t take on these cases for a contingency fee. Perhaps even the Liars for Hire know these allegations won’t win in court.

    • Glen Etzkorn

      because the courts are corrupted? or law schools produce stupid lawyers.

  • Herculee

    Did it not occur to the reporter that a financially insolvent couple, who lost their home to foreclosure, just MIGHT have an ulterior motive for claiming they suffered damages as a result of drilling done by a prosperous energy company?
    This report is largely a mix of innuendo and worthless anecdotes, but I was able to tease out one fact: the PA Dept. of Health has found no link between gas drilling and illness. This is the same conclusion reached by all the scientific studies conducted about fracking to date: http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/05/the-top-5-lies-about-fracking .

    As usual, the liberal bias of an NPR-affiliated reporter shines through. She didn’t interview people on both sides of the issue to present a balanced view (no comments from gas company representatives), or report the results of any scientific study of the issue. Instead, reporter interviews an environmental activist (who she disingenuously refers to as a “volunteer public health advocate”) and a woman who tells disturbing tales of questionable veracity. Another sad commentary of the current state of journalism in America.

    • Kaight

      At NPR, on this issue and several others, there IS only one side. NPR does not report. NPR advocates.

      • paulroden

        I guess you haven’t heard the “corporate sponsorship underwriting announcements” from the American Gas Association on NPR and the fact that they cut the number of environmental reporters at NPR. NPR has lost it’s objectively and integrity. It is a miracle that the State Impact Series still continues NPR. The coverage of fracking and other environmental issues has changed, especially on climate change. As the old saying goes, money talks, B.S walks and we are all running a close third.

        • James de Christ

          THIS IS NOT MONEY- IT IS THEFT!! THEY ARE STEALING OUR NATIONAL AND HISTORICAL WEALTH OUT FROM UNDER US BY DESTROYING THE ENVIRONMENT. THESE COMPANIES ARE STEALING THE WEALTH OF LAND OWNERS, FARMS AND OTHERS EFFECTED NOW AND FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR THEY MAKE BY INJECTED MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF PROVEN HYPER TOXIC FLUIDS INTO THE GROUND AT EACH AND EVERY WELL AT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF WELLS IN THE USA IS VERY LIKELY TO DESTROY GROUND WATER! DESTROY HUMAN HEALTH! DESTROY THE MULTITUDES OF SPECIES IN THE ENVIRONMENT! THIS IS MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF THE LAND RESOURCES OF THE USA! IT IS A CRIME AND THE COHORTS IN “GOVERNMENT’ ARE GUILTY OF TREASON AGAINST THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THE SOVEREIGN OF THE UNITED STATES. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT THE PEOPLE ELECTED TO OFFICE ARE THERE TO SERVE US AT OUR WILL AND IN OUR INTERESTS! THEY HAVE BETRAYED US!! THEFT AND BETRAYAL! CROOKS!! THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE!!

    • Glen Etzkorn

      Hercule does it occur to you more likely all frackers like conspiring to commit murder, Frackers – CEO’S, shareholders, corrupted politicians and the workers need to be sent to prison for intentionally and knowingly harming innocent others. The placement of these scum should be in profit prison system where food is sparse and we could send the frack waste loaded with heavy metals and radioactive particles for desert.

    • Sharon Ohnesorge Sheets

      Perhaps you would be interested in purchasing some of those homes being sold by people who don’t want to bathe in fracking fluids, Hercules. I’ll bet they are a bargain! Move all of your best friends and family in there while you’re at it.

  • JASON

    Tom Wolfe..what a fracking joke..Tax the gas companies more??Are you for real..they have paved the roads,brought the economy up..Your a damn idiot..No different than CUOMO THE HOMO…GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE

    • 1Hope

      Wow such great language for the New Year. Perhaps you are upset that NG and Oil prices have fallen the most since 2008. I don’t see the tanker trucks flying by home like I used to either. Many layoffs. It’s not good to rely on one industry to save our economy either. Tom Wolf can keep his cake! Don’t rely on a volatile industry to fund our state, plus one that is causing so much damage!

      • James de Christ

        By switching over to super clean hydrogen->hydrogenelectric, electromotive systems to move our vehicles and heat our homes; Wind/water/solar system and super advanced hydrogen generation technology that employ features of molecular bonds, unique to water to create boundless hydrogen(which is electricity and can also be burned to heat homes and water). Pennsylvania can become a net energy and energy systems exporter. Added to the effect upon an economy of having inexpensive super clean energy. It will change the economy and all aspects of life. It will not leave a pair of hands or a brilliant mind of science idle. Pennsylvania would become a dream state to live and to work, practically overnight. Water *is* life! Water *is* energy! We can change the world by standing up to evil!

  • paulroden

    Here is yet another example of why fracking needs to be outlawed. That is why the DEP should be called the “Don’t Expect Protection” department and the DOH or Department of Health should be called the “Don’t Offer Help” department. With reduced budget and staff, the PA DEP inspectors ordered to send inspection and citation reports to the governors office first before issuing a citation or fine for well drilling violations, and the PA DOH ordered not to call citizens back about complaints, questions about fracking or allowed to speak to the public about the public health impact of fracking, you can’t expect environmental and public health protection from the government. The PA government is not living up to the PA Constitution. Article I, Section 27 of the Constitution of the
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania declares:

    “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the
    natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

    With the Assembly and the Senate controlled by Republicans obtaining a 5% extraction tax from gas drillers, better enforcement and environmental and public health regulations after elected officials receiving campaign contributions from the gas drillers including $273,000 by Governor elect Tom Wolf , I don’t expect this to happen. Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. It is “unfortunate” that Governor Elect Tom Wolf has not seen the light that Governor Andrew Cuomo has done. So now he will have to feel the heat from the people. He cannot “have his cake and eat it to.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522786448 Scott Cannon

    There is so much wrong with Pennsylvania, it’s just making me want to leave. Our state is being run by greedy fools.

  • Carpe Environment

    People of Pennsylvania, constituents who want their children to enjoy their beautiful state, I beg you to stand together with your neighbors and tell your new Governor Wolf, he MUST SUPPORT PROTECTING THE HEALTH of the citizens he was asked to represent, with their vote, and SUPPORT A BAN on Fracking, like New York has done based on a year-long study on the environmental and health concerns. If you need evidence, why not look to the evidence that New York used to ban Fracking, pruduced by the New York State Department of Health: http://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdf

  • James de Christ

    These people with contaminated farms and homes and contaminated bodies, need to stand up and push for MASSIVE CLASS ACTION SUITS AGAINST EACH AND EVERY COMPANY, AND EACH AND EVERY PERSON INVOLVED INCLUDING THE REGULATORS AND POLITICIANS WHO ARE CRIMINALLY SERVING THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE DESTROYING THE ENVIRONMENT!! MANY OF THESE RISKS ARE ALREADY WELL ESTABLISHED LONG TERM CANCER RISKS!! IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED WE DO NOT HAVE TO TRACK ANYTHING AT ALL TO PRESS MASSIVE CIVIL ACTIONS AGAINST THESE COMPANIES! They can sue these monsters OUT OF BUSINESS. TAKE EVERY CENT THEY AND *ANYONE CONNECTED TO THEM HAS*!!! This is a terrible crime! Stop trusting politicians! SCIENCE ALREADY HAS PROVEN EVEN CASUAL EXPOSURE TO THINGS LIKE BENZENE CAUSES CANCER!!! THESE MONSTERS IN THE GOVERNMENT WHO ARE GUILTY OF HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE PEOPLE- ARE MURDERING PEOPLE AND DESTROYING ENTIRE STATES!! THIS LAND IS THE PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE OF THE USA AT THE END OF THE DAY ALL OF THIS NATION IS OUR LAND. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE A RIGHT TO DESTROY THE LAND OR HARM THE ENVIRONMENT!!! THE MORONS CANNOT EXTRACT ENERGY THIS WAY!! DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO HARM ONE SQUARE INCH OF LAND!! WE CAN MAKE BOUNDLESS ENERGY FOR THIS NATION AT VERY LITTLE COSTS!! DO NOT TURN YOUR FUTURE OVER TO CRIMINALS!!

    I sincerely wish people would wake up and STOP voting these 2 parties of criminals in and HOPING they behave lake human beings. We have a psychopathic takeover worse in many respects than nearly anything we have seen in history. Stop watching brainwashing mainstream media TV!

  • marlette782

    How do liberals in the east heat their homes in the winter? They think fracking should be banned, then don’t use gas to get through the winter

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