(All photos, save for the first [taken by a friend], taken by The Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, March 2012).
A reporter from the Sunbury Daily Item called to ask for my reaction to newly-inaugurated Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to ban new gas drilling leases in Pennsylvania’s state forests and public lands (“Wolf’s ban on leases lauded,” Daily Item, January 30, 2015, A1-2). I said that I was relieved because I have witnessed first-hand what kind of damage is being done in Tiadoghton State Forest (Lycoming County), for example.
|Where would Jesus frack? Not in a park, not on a farm. He would not frack and do such harm.|
|Drill rig at Tiadoghton State Park, Lycoming County, 2012. Just the kind of tree I want to see when I hike the Pennsylvania Wilds.|
So I am grateful that this step has been taken.
But I stressed that the existing leases are still active and the public lands are continuing to be drilled.
|Formerly pristine state forest now an industrial zone with a well pad. Note the venting tower - you can't see the methane, but it's being released into the atmosphere, adding yet more greenhouse gases and exacerbating climate change.|
And the rest of the state is still being ravaged by the process. Here’s the thing: if fracking is not good for our state forests and public lands, it’s not good for the rest of the state either. The reporter left that part out of my quote.
|Why am I required to wear safety equipment in a state park?? The industrialization of Penn's Woods.|
|Compressor station right next door to a house in rural Lycoming County, PA.|
|Pipeline cutting through forests (fragmentation). Well pad next door to a house in rural Lycoming County, PA|
Wolf still thinks that the shale gas drilling industry is good for PA, even as communities, families, and ecosystems continue to suffer.
No form of energy is worth sacrificing our “common wealth” – the land, water, air, human and biotic communities that make up our planet. A non-fossil-fuel energy economy based on renewables such as solar, wind, geothermal and conservation is the wisest use of the resources entrusted to us.