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New York Greens celebrate fracking ban, credit grassroots movement

p greens demand fracking banYesterday it was widely reported that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has agreed to ban fracking after a state environmental review found that the gas drilling method cannot be employed without unacceptable risk to public health and the environment. This decision comes after Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins, who advocated for a fracking ban, took nearly 5% of the vote in the 2014 election. This significant turnaround by the Cuomo administration, which announced plans in 2012 to introduce fracking in New York’s Southern Tier, comes after years of unrelenting pressure from community activists, including Greens across New York.

From the New York Green Party:

The Green Party of New York (GPNY) and its recent gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins join the chorus of New Yorkers celebrating what appears to be an imminent fracking ban, arising from today’s reports from Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.

p howie hawkins“This news is a victory for all New Yorkers who have dedicated their lives for the past six years to keep fracking out of New York,” said Howie Hawkins, 2014 Green candidate for Governor. Hawkins ran in 2010 and 2014 on a strong anti-fracking platform and confronted Cuomo about the issue during the October 2014 gubernatorial debate in Buffalo. “Together, we have won more than just a ban – today, we have a strong movement that must now use our people power to win the transition to 100% renewable energy for New York by 2030 in order to fight climate change.” Continue Reading

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Green Party of New York Denounces DEC Report, Calls for Ban on Hydrofracking

The Green Party of New York has released a statement slamming the NY Department of Environmental Conservation’s report on hydraulic fracture drilling and calling for a ban on hydrofracking:

The Green Party of New York State is outraged in the latest DEC release on hydrofracking for natural gas and calls for a total ban on the practice.

DEC’s report makes it clear that the state’s primary focus is clearing the way for the petro-chemical industry to reap enormous profits, cloaked in the language of the potential economic benefit to workers. While the DEC claims its “number one priority is to protect the state’s drinking water and environment in concert with exploring options to safely and efficiently extract the state’s natural gas,” there is no way to safely protect drinking water and frack for natural gas. This report greases the skids for hydrofracking to start as soon as possible in New York. This is a terrible blow against the environment and the communities in the Marcellus Shale region, which will be negatively impacted by the damage done to their water supply, land, and the natural beauty of that area. It does nothing to lead us to a post-fossil fuel future and towards renewables in this era where we are on the tipping point of catastrophic climate change; fracking and natural gas are a bridge to nowhere, not economic prosperity. Continue Reading

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Green Party of PA endorses total ban on fracking, leads Earth Day actions against the practice

A press release from the Green Party of Pennsylvania (the resolution is included below, as well):

Friday April 22 marks the 41st anniversary of Earth Day.  The seventies brought promise with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.  That promise fades with the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the damaged nuclear complex in Japan and the threat to Pennsylvania’s water, land and air from drilling for natural gas.

The Green Party of Pennsylvania calls upon Governor Corbett to fulfill his oath of office and the DEP to follow it’s mission and protect our environment.  “Natural gas drilling will consume the equivalent of Harvey’s Lake, the largest natural lake in Pennsylvania, in less than 2 years time.” states Green Party activist Jay Sweeney.  “The dumping of ‘treated’ wastewater into our rivers and streams is a public health threat as noted by Dr. Conrad Volz in his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works last week.”

The Green Party of Pennsylvania has endorsed a resolution calling for a ban of the hydrofracking process. See below.

“The Corbett administration reminds us, day after day, of who helped get them get into office and who is really pulling their strings,” remarks I.K. Samways, Chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania.  “To treat a severance tax as a third rail while insisting on a political seal of approval for DEP inspection reports is irresponsible in the extreme.  Hydrofracking remains a volatile and poorly regulated process, where the very health of our citizens has become little more than a political trading horse.  A ban on the process, as called for in the Green Party’s resolution, will put an end to this blatant misuse of our natural resources and keep us on the road to a much more responsible and sustainable energy policy.”

“For years, we’ve been told that natural gas is cleaner than traditional gasoline, and so despite the concerns about water, it was still the more environmental thing to do.” adds former Chair, Hillary Kane.   “We now know that fracking releases so much methane into the air at the time of extraction that the carbon footprint of natural gas is actually worse than coal.  There is no reason to be doing this.”

The Green Party of Pennsylvania is also sponsoring Earth Day rallies outside DEP Regional offices on Thursday April 21.  On Thursday from 11 am to 2 pm, there will be a rally outside the DEP Northeast Regional office on 2 Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.  Also on Thursday from 4 to 6 pm, there will be a rally outside the DEP Southeast Regional Office on 2 E. Main St. in Norristown.  The Green Party would like to thank it’s Earth Day Coalition partners Citizens for Clean Water, NEPAGasAction.org, End Gasocracy Now!, Protecting Our Waters, Brandywine Peace Community, Buxmont Coalition for Peace Action and Saint Vincent’s Peace and Justice Ministry.  

New Green Party of PA Statement on Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale

Green Party of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Statement

Whereas Marcellus shale natural gas is not a transitional fuel, but an impediment to a clean energy policy that conserves energy and develops solar, wind, geothermal, micro hydro and other renewable technologies, and

Whereas methane (CH4) a greenhouse gas and the principal component of natural gas is more harmful than carbon dioxide (CO2), and

Whereas the Energy Act of 2005 exempted the oil & gas industry from the Safe Drinking Water Act, and

Whereas natural gas fracking results in a level of devastation on the scale of the previous oil, timber and coal exploitation of our natural heritage, and

Whereas the byproducts of the hydrofracking process include the release of radioactive materials into the environment, and

Whereas hydraulic fracturing squanders our precious water resources and poisons drinking water, private wells and public supplies, and

Whereas natural gas extraction poses dangers, including explosions, threatening those employed by the industry as well as the general public, and

Whereas Article 1, Section 27 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania states, “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,” and

Whereas there is a total failure to regulate extractive industries including the failure to prevent illegal water withdrawals by the oil & gas industry in Western Pennsylvania, and

Whereas Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have passed ordinances calling for a ban and a moratorium, respectively,

Be it resolved that, we, citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and members of the Green Party of Pennsylvania, call for the termination and prohibition of all natural gas extraction involving the use of our Commonwealth’s water resources.  We call for a ban immediately stopping all high volume, slick water, horizontal fracturing of deep shale, including exploration, in Pennsylvania and worldwide.

Be it further resolved that the Green Party of Pennsylvania believes the short term economic benefits will be dwarfed by the long term economic and environmental consequences of natural gas extraction.  Any and all political and legal means must be employed to protect our environment.

In the interim, the right of local communities to protect themselves and assert their rights through local ordinance is supported by the Green Party of Pennsylvania.

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Three upcoming Green Party of Philadelphia events

The Green Party of Philadelphia has three events in the next two weeks.  First, they will be demonstrating against fracking on Earth Day.  Next, they will be holding a monthly meeting.  Finally, on May Day they will be having a community celebration.  More details below.

Continue Reading

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News from Ed Bortz, Pittsburgh Green for US House

Pennsylvania Green Party candidate for US House in PA’s 14th District Ed Bortz has been very active recently. On September 13th, Bortz spoke out against hydrofracking at a Pittsburgh City Council meeting, which earned him a mention in at least one news outlet.

Bortz has received the endorsement of the Gertrude Stein Political Club of Greater Pittsburgh for his strong advocacy of the rights of people in the GLBT community.

He is also one of several Green candidates who have signed onto the Fight Washington Corruption pledge, including Ben Emery (CA-4), John Gray (AR-Sen), LeAlan Jones (IL-Sen), Bob Kinsey (CO-Sen), Simon Ribeiro (IL-9), Steven Welzer (NJ-4), and Julia Williams (MI-12). Candidates who sign the pledge support overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate spending on elections, passing the Fair Elections Now Act to establish option public campaign financing for congressional races, and enacting measures to limit the influence of corporate lobbyists.

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NY Green candidates rally against hydrofracking at Binghamton EPA hearing

New York Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins and US Senate candidate Cecile Lawrence were in Binghamton on 9/13 for the EPA’s public hearing on hydraulic fracture gas drilling, commonly known as fracking. The New York Greens have made a ban on hydrofracking, which many New Yorkers believe would put the state’s water at risk, a central campaign theme. The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin covered the event and interviewed Hawkins and Lawrence:

Lawrence, 63, a Jamaica-born activist who resides in Apalachin, is active in the movements for health care reform, organic agriculture, renewable energy and a ban on hydrofracturing. Among the issues she discussed: she’s in favor of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system, and wants healthier food fed to schoolchildren. Continue Reading

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GPPA Statement Condemns Natural Gas Procedure

GREEN PARTY CONDEMNS NATURAL GAS PROCEDURE
Says no to “fracking” and no drilling on public lands

This week, the Green Party of Pennsylvania issued a statement calling for the abolition of “fracking” in natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, and a total ban on natural gas drilling on public land, due to the potential for environmental damage and poisoning of local water supplies. This is especially relevant given the large amount of natural gas under Pennsylvania, located in what is known as the “Marcellus Shale.”

Fracking is a procedure that involves pumping a mixture of sand, water, and chemical additives under high pressure into the underground rock to fracture so as to release a greater flow of natural gas. These chemical additives can be quite dangerous, even leaving small amounts of radioactivity in the resulting waste. Fracking even a single natural gas well consumes millions of gallons of water, which can be a significant burden on local water tables.

Interest in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation has been one of the hottest energy developments in the U.S. in 2008. An initial wave of over 900 PA drilling permits were approved in June, and that number is likely to multiply several times over during the next year or so.

The Green Party of Pennsylvania, is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom and nonviolence.

To read the full statement on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, visit: this page.