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Thu Oct 31, 2013, 07:14 AM

State Senator Ferlo comes out fighting against Big Fracking.

Here's the announcement I got from Senator Ferlo's office. Please contact your state senators and ask them to co-sponsor his new legislation, Senate Bill 1100, which amends the infamous pro-fracking Act 13 of 2012.

PHONE: (412) 952-3364
CONTACT: Anne Huber
PHONE: (717) 787-6123

Senator Ferlo Holds Town Hall, Unveils New Oil & Gas Legislation
Pittsburgh, October 30, 2013 – Senator Jim Ferlo, in partnership with Protect Our Parks, held a town hall meeting to discuss fracking in Allegheny County Parks on Wednesday evening. The event was held in the auditorium of Highlands Middle School in Natrona Heights with several hundred in attendance. As the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 1100, a statewide moratorium on fracking, Senator Ferlo called the meeting to inform local residents, exchange ideas, and rally public support to protect county parks.
“I have heard countless stories over the years about the reckless and dangerous practice of fracking, and I am extremely concerned that this method is something under consideration within our pristine and valuable public parks. With children, public health, lost recreation areas, and water quality in mind, I oppose drilling in our county parks. I called this open meeting for the sake of public dialogue, and those in attendance did not disappoint,” explained Ferlo.
The middle school auditorium was host to concerned citizens, elected officials, and various community members. Fracking is proposed for two Allegheny County Parks in the 38th Senatorial District: Deer Lakes Park and Harrison Hills Park. Allegheny County Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko has proposed a “3 year hold on drilling, exploration, of surface or subsurface development relating to natural gas extraction on any property located within the boundary of any County park,” and she was present to discuss her concerns.
“I support Councilwoman Danko’s proposal wholeheartedly, and I believe we should do the same in Allegheny County as we ought to do statewide: impose a temporary moratorium on new fracking and establish an unbiased committee to study the effects of fracking across our Commonwealth which is why I have introduced Senate Bill 1100,” said Ferlo.
The event was hosted by Senator Ferlo in conjunction with Protect Our Parks, a group comprised of ten member organizations that oppose fracking in county parks and has organized a number of local events to protest the proposal.
“The member organizations of Protect our Parks are grateful to have Senator Ferlo’s support for our efforts educating the public on all aspects of shale gas extraction. It is up to us to make sure that our health, safety, and welfare are considered above the interest of the drilling industry. We are finding that the negative impacts from this industry are far greater than any short term gains. We believe it is up to the people to make sure our elected officials are doing their due diligence to protect the people and not the gas industry," said Briget Shields of Protect Our Parks.
In addition to the robust discussion regarding fracking the parks, Senator Ferlo went on to unveil new legislation. Ferlo plans to introduce, in the near future, a bill which would overhaul Act 13 of 2012 that provides for the State’s oversight of the oil and gas industry. The proposal includes a 17-point plan to amend the law which is currently in place. Some of the changes include increasing criminal penalties for violations of the Act, eliminating the impact fee and replacing it with a fair severance tax, and requiring that a driller notifies surrounding property owners and municipal officials of their plans to drill if they are within 5,000 ft of the prospective well site, among several others. The co-sponsorship memorandum is available online with a complete description of the bill.
“While a statewide moratorium is my goal, in the meantime I strive to amend Act 13 because we can make significant changes to the law currently on the books that will benefit thousands of Pennsylvania residents. I hope my Senate colleagues will join me in supporting this legislation,” said Ferlo.
Panelists at the event included Patricia DeMarco of DeMarco & Associates, Lynda Farrell of the Pipeline Safety Coalition, Erika Staaf from PennEnvironment, Dr. Cynthia Walter, Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko, and former Pittsburgh City Council President Doug Shields.
State Senator Jim Ferlo is a Democrat representing the 38th Senatorial District comprised of parts of the City of Pittsburgh, Armstrong, and Westmoreland Counties. Senator Ferlo serves constituents in two district offices; one in Lawrenceville and one in Natrona Heights. For more information, visit www.senatorferlo.com

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Reply State Senator Ferlo comes out fighting against Big Fracking. (Original post)
Divernan Oct 2013 OP
Divernan Oct 2013 #1
ellenfl Oct 2013 #2
Pat Riot Nov 2013 #3

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2013, 07:18 AM

1. Here's my letter of thanks and support to Senator Ferlo

Dear Senator Ferlo,
Thank you so very much for your efforts to protect our parks, our communities and our citizenry from the precipitate rush-to-profit of the national and international oil and gas companies and corporations. As a retired state legislative attorney (I worked for the Democratic caucus of the Pennsylvania House), I understand the pressures of the lobbyists for the oil and gas industry, and I admire your willingness to ignore their financial blandishments and to stand up to protect the Commonwealth and its citizens from the predatory practices of fracking.

As I read of the ongoing and worsening situation in Fukushima and the catastrophic dangers of trying to safely dispose of thousands of spent fuel rods, I see an alarming analogy between the early days of the nuclear power industry and the fracking industry. My family moved to Pennsylvania in 1969 to work for Westinghouse Nuclear Energy Systems. We happily believed the hype that nuclear power would be a miraculous source of clean, cheap and totally safe electric power. There was a blind and unfounded faith that spent fuel could be easily and safely stored “somewhere” – leaving that disposal issue to be dealt with at some later date. It was pure Scarlet O’Hara: “Well, fiddle-di-di – I’ll worry about that tomorrow.”

Now, some 45 years later, the piper is demanding payment and the country of Japan is paying a terrible price. At this link, we learn that a former Japanese Prime Minister, who describes himself as someone who pushed the policy of utilizing nuclear power, has come around 180 degrees and now urges his country to close down all nuclear fueled power generating facilities. He concludes his well-reasoned comments with:

“It is possible for mankind to get enough energy without relying on nuclear power -- by using natural energy such as solar, wind, and biomass. To help curb global warming, we need to stop the use of not only nuclear power but also fossil fuels. If all nations make serious efforts to develop new technologies, I believe it's more than possible that in fifty years we mankind will have all our energy needs met entirely by natural energy.
For the sake of the human race and of our planet earth, the desirable path is for the entire world to walk in the direction of zero nuclear reliance. I have become firmly convinced of that.”


When it comes to fracking, we are at a watershed moment analogous to the early days of nuclear power. I note that fracking has been banned (pending truly INDEPENDENT scientific studies as to short and long term risks and effects) in some parts of the United States and some entire countries: In Vermont, Governor Peter Shumlin and the legislature made Vermont the first U.S. state to ban fracking. New Jersey, which lacks the pockets of natural gas that one finds in Pennsylvania, Texas and New York has banned the treatment of fracking wastewater. It has also been banned in France, Bulgaria and South Africa. http://front.moveon.org/fracking-is-bad-but-why-this-graphic-explains/?rc-fb.fan#.UnHQLlPYCSp
And I call your attention to recent actions of the European Union to tighten regulatory oversight & require in-depth environmental audits before fracking.

“The result is a setback for the shale-gas industry in Europe, where it is far less developed than in the United States and where many citizens are more concerned about the environmental impact of recovering the gas than about finding new sources of hydrocarbons . . . .
“But environmental groups and lawmakers praised the rules covering the gas sector. “While this would not prevent permits from being granted, it would ensure a basic standard of assessment and public participation,” said Sandrine Bélier, a French member of the European Parliament who is the spokeswoman for the environment for the Greens, a political group. “This will help prevent risky shale gas projects being bulldozed through in spite of environmental concerns and public will,” she said.”

Your legislation proposing amending Act 13 of 2012 is a critical, vital first step in protecting the Commonwealth’s environment, public health and safety, and future generations. I know it’s an uphill battle, given Governor Corbett’s sell out to fracking interests and gutting of the state regulatory agencies, but please keep fighting the good fight on this issue – I truly believe it is THE issue of our time in Pennsylvania.

With best regards from your constituent in O’Hara Township,

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Response to Divernan (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 31, 2013, 04:54 PM

2. excellent. eom

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Response to Divernan (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 1, 2013, 09:34 PM

3. Love your letter

I like the comparison of nuclear to fracking in regard to environmental danger. I rarely sign any of those things asking me to thank a politician for doing the job they're elected to do, but this time I did.

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