Food & Water Watch analysis of employment

Cracking through Trump’s Fracking Claims

From an Article by Alison Grass, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, October 16, 2020

The road to the White House once again runs through Pennsylvania, which explains the campaign photo ops and nonstop TV ads. It also means we’ll be treated to a lot of claims about fracking. Unfortunately, much of what we’re hearing about drilling is not rooted in the facts.

The stories that the Trump campaign and the fracking industry tell are straightforward: Fracking equals jobs, and lots of them. Trump tells his supporters that 600,000 (or occasionally even 900,000) fracking jobs in Pennsylvania are at risk due to a ban on drilling. That is nowhere near the truth — the real number is under 30,000and Joe Biden does not support a fracking ban in the first place.

The Trump team makes the same kinds of boasts about the Shell petrochemical cracker plant going up in Beaver County, which has become a regular campaign backdrop. In a sense, this is perfectly fitting; that facility, and the massive public subsidies that have been wasted on it, are emblematic of Trump’s distorted fossil fuel agenda. The public will eventually shell out $1.6 billion — in the form of corporate tax credits — to help subsidize the $6 billion facility, which will convert fracked gas byproducts into plastics. This is, in Trump’s view, a huge success story; he even once bizarrely claimed credit for the plant’s existence.

But the Shell saga is not a success, it’s a cautionary tale. Contrary to the boasts of petrochemical backers, the plant was mostly built with imported materials and out-of-state workers. Instead of providing for thousands of local, permanent jobs, it will create about 600. And these massive corporate giveaways don’t create jobs — they serve to widen the inequality gap.

The fossil-fuel industry and its political allies are telling us the same story we’ve always heard: If you want the jobs, you have to put up with living with the air and water pollution. But new research from Food & Water Watch shows that “choice” is false. Our new analysis — “Cracked: The Case For Green Jobs Over Petrochemicals In Pennsylvania” — shows that a similar level of investment in wind and solar manufacturing would create as many as 16,000 permanent jobs.

But let’s be real: Subsidies and tax breaks alone are unlikely to attract manufacturers. The most effective way to ensure the transition to a green economy is through a large-scale buildout of publicly owned renewable electricity. This should include a comprehensive, New Deal-scale green public works program that guarantees employment for fossil-fuel workers and prioritizes American-made renewable energy and energy-efficient equipment, materials and appliances.

The fact that clean energy manufacturing provides a much more serious jobs boom should move Pennsylvania’s political leaders to pursue policies to create an economy that works for everyone. Unfortunately, state lawmakers are still banking on fossil fuels and petrochemicals.

Right now, the entire “debate” around fracking in Pennsylvania is marred by outlandish exaggerations and a willful blindness to the realities of the fossil-fuel business. As national media outlets pontificate about what the presidential candidates will do to “protect” fracking jobs, the industry is in the midst of a devastating collapse. While the campaign rhetoric spins fantasies about hundreds of thousands of good jobs, in the real world fracking jobs are disappearing and companies are going bankrupt.

The Shell cracker plant does not represent the kind of future that will truly benefit all Pennsylvanians. Instead of spending billions of dollars to create a few hundred jobs — and unknown quantities of air and plastic pollution — the state should make serious investments in wind and solar manufacturing, which will create far more stable, long-term jobs at a fraction of the cost.

>> Alison Grass is research director at the national advocacy group Food & Water Watch.

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FACT CHECKER: Trump campaign promotes false claim that Biden would end fracking – The Washington Post, October 7, 2020

More than six months after former vice president Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the Trump campaign still acts as if it is running against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).


ACTION ALERT: Comments Needed on Stormwater Runoff Permits

by Diana Gooding on October 21, 2020

Make Your Voice Heard Now on West Virginia Stormwater Permits by October 23rd

From the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, October 20, 2020

Through Friday, October 23, you can make your voice heard on an important permit related to water quality. WVDEP is accepting public comments on modifications to the general permit that regulates stormwater runoff associated with industrial activity.

Why is the general stormwater permit so important? General permits are blanket permits that cover different types of industrial facilities throughout the state. Because the permit is related to stormwater runoff, multiple types of pollutants can be found in the discharge water.

This isn’t the first time we’ve asked you to comment on this permit. In May of 2019, WVDEP reissued the permit, but industry attempted to weaken it though the appeal process. Then, the US EPA stepped in to prevent “backsliding”, a term used when a permit becomes weaker than previously issued.

So, here we are again, asking for your comments on the general stormwater permit.

Although, US EPA has addressed some of our previous concerns, we still found problems in the modified permit. Learn more and submit comments on the permit today or ASAP, by the 23rd.

Action Alert: Comment on Important Stormwater Permit by 10/23

Stormwater issues have grown dramatically in past decade

3501 MacCorkle Ave SE #129
Charleston, West Virginia 25304
304-637-7201 |


Questions Arise Regarding EQT $19.5 Million Pact with Appalachian Trail Conservancy

October 20, 2020

NOTICE TO: Sandi Mara, ATC President & CEO and to Members of the ATC Board, October 16, 2020 FROM: POWHR & Stop The Pipelines WVVANC On August 17th, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) announced a “Voluntary Conservation Stewardship Agreement”. This $19.5 million agreement, which was formed without the knowledge of [...]

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Conservation Fund and Mountain Valley Pipeline Announce Commitment to Conservation Stewardship

October 19, 2020

Protecting the Appalachian Trail, Conserving Important Natural Lands, and Helping Local Recreation-based Economies From the Appalachian Trail Conservency & MVP, August 17, 2020 CANONSBURG, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (Conservancy), The Conservation Fund (the Fund), and Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (Mountain Valley), today announced a conservation stewardship agreement that will advance the Conservancy’s work to [...]

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U.S. Circuit Court Places Temporary HOLD on Stream Crossing Work for Mountain Valley Pipeline

October 18, 2020

Federal court delays stream crossings for Mountain Valley Pipeline From an Article by Laurence Hammack, Roanoke Times, October 16, 2020 The on-again, off-again pace of building the Mountain Valley Pipeline is off again. A temporary administrative stay of stream-crossing permits was issued Friday by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a brief order, [...]

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TWO ZOOM PROGRAMS ON 10/20/20: Environmental Health Project Programs

October 17, 2020

JUST THE FRACKS, MA’AM: FRACKING AND PUBLIC HEALTH, Zoom 10/20/20, Noon SELECT THIS DATE & TIME: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 @ Noon Join us on Tuesday, October 20, at noon for a lunchtime colloquium that will focus on facts about the fracking process and related public health and climate research to allow for more informed [...]

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PART 2. ACP & MVP Pipeyard Storage Times are Very Excessive

October 16, 2020

Too Much Sun Degrades Coatings That Keep Pipes From Corroding, Risking Leaks, Spills and Explosions, Part 2 From an Article by Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News, 10/11/20 More Testing Is Needed on Aging Pipe To gain a better understanding of the safety concerns posed by long term aboveground storage, experts say more testing is needed. [...]

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LECTURE #3. Radioactivity in Fracking Fluid & Natural Gas: Potential Health Effects (10/15/20)

October 15, 2020

Final Webinar in the Shale Gas Development and Cancer Series, Part 3 From the Environmental Health Project, October 14, 2020 JOIN IN — THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020 AT 7:00 PM EDT David O. Carpenter is a public health physician whose current position is Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University [...]

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PART 1. ACP & MVP Pipeyard Storage Times are Excessive

October 14, 2020

Too Much Sun Degrades Coatings That Keep Pipes From Corroding, Risking Leaks, Spills and Explosions, Part 1 From an Article by Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News, Oct 11, 2020 For natural gas pipeline developers hunting for a good deal on a 100-mile section of steel pipe, a recent advertisement claimed to have just what they [...]

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“Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger” Promotes Small-Scale Farming

October 13, 2020

Ceres2030 offers path to ending world hunger within decade By Blaine Friedlander, Cornell Chronicle, October 12, 2020 The world’s small-scale farmers now can see a path to solving global hunger over the next decade, with solutions – such as adopting climate-resilient crops through improving extension services – all culled rapidly via artificial intelligence from more [...]

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