“Freedom from Fracking III” — Conference in Philadelphia

by Duane Nichols on September 22, 2013


“Freedom from Fracking III”

Location: Friends Center, Philadelphia, PA

Schedule: 1:00 to 8:00 pm, September 26, 2013

1:00 – 2:00  Arrival, Weavers Way lunch, informal networking amongst activists

 2:00 – 2:30  Introduction & Overview, Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Maya van Rossum, Iris Marie Bloom and Karen Feridun
2:30 – 3:15  Keynote Presentation, John Fenton, Pavillion, Wyoming
3:20 – 4:25

  • Track 1 Air Quality and Climate Impacts of Shale Gas, Matt Walker
  • Track 2 Beyond Anecdotes, Health Impacts Session, Nadia Steinzor
  • Track 3 Community Impacts of Gas Development, panel, Speakers Stephen Cleghorn

4:30 – 5:40

  • Track 1 Fracked Gas Pipelines –Cutting through Streams and Fueling the Fracking Frenzy, Faith Zerbe
  • Track 2 Understanding the True Costs of Gas Development, Erika Staaf
  • Track 3 Moratorium and Why Impacted Communities Need It, Adam Garber and Sam Bernhardt

5:45-6:00 Coffee Break
6: 00 – 7:45  The Gas Industry in Philadelphia and the Delaware River Port System Workshop Q&A, strategy session, Speakers Maya van Rossum, Iris Marie Bloom, Tracy Carluccio
7:45  Announcements
8:00  Close

Session Descriptions:  Introduction & Overview

Opening – Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Shalom Center

Welcome – Maya van Rossum, The Delaware Riverkeeper

Why a Water Drive – Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth

Why a Conference – Iris Marie Bloom, Protecting Our Waters

Keynote Presentation by John Fenton:  2:30 – 3:15 PM

We are thrilled to announce that we just confirmed John Fenton as our keynote speaker. He’ll speak on the EPA investigation in Pavillion,Wyoming, his personal experiences in the gas patch, and more. 

Air Quality and Climate Impacts of Shale Gas

Track 1 – 3:20 – 4:25 — Matt Walker, Community Outreach Director, Clean Air Council

Walker will discuss the air pollution, climate, and health impacts of shale gas infrastructure in Pennsylvania and cover some organizing approaches that groups in the state have been using. The session will include a talk about campaign planning and how to use a power mapping tool, an analysis of who has the power to make decisions that advance your goals and identify possible points of leverage. Walker will share some success stories of grassroots groups in Pennsylvania working to address air pollution through local campaigns. There will also be a discussion about how to counteract air pollution and climate impacts of fracking by promoting local renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Fracked Gas Pipelines –Cutting through Streams and Fueling the Fracking Frenzy

Track 1 – 4:30 – 5:45 — Faith Zerbe, Water Watch Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Join us for this session to learn about the negative impacts of fracked gas pipelines that are cutting through and proposed for the Delaware River Basin as the fracking frenzy grows in Pennsylvania. We will see what one pipeline project is doing to some of the cleanest streams of the Delaware River Basin. We will learn how gas pipelines are regulated, what efforts are underway to strengthen these regulations, and what citizens are doing to get involved to protect their communities from these harmful gas infrastructure projects.

Faith Zerbe of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network will review a new visual assessment for volunteer monitors who are concerned with gas drilling impacts related to large pipeline projects to carry marcellus shale gas to various markets. During this session participants will learn the types of impacts that are violations and what to look for and how to report potential problems and violations to the proper agencies and how to ensure a record of the observations are compiled via the FERC website. Basic pipeline construction techniques and processes, types of wet crossings implemented, pipeline environmental impacts, and types of pipelines associated with natural gas development will also be covered. DRN will also share on the ground experiences with its own Pipeline Watch Program that has mobilized about 30 volunteer monitors to document pipeline impacts for a pipeline cutting through Exceptional Value and High Quality streams of the Delaware River Watershed. Field photos of one specific intra-state pipeline currently under construction from Bradford County PA eastward and across the Delaware River into New Jersey will be shared to show on the ground construction.

Beyond Anecdotes, Health Impacts Session

Track 2 – 3:20 – 4:25 — Nadia Steinzor, Eastern Program Coordinator, Oil & Gas Accountability Project, Earthworks

This presentation is called “Beyond Anecdotes” because of the maddening insistence by industry and some decisionmakers that reports of health impacts are few and isolated. But communities and individuals living with oil and gas development know that’s not true.

In 2012, Earthworks released Gas Patch Roulette: How Shale Gas Development Risks Public Health in PennsylvaniaThe report is based on the largest health survey to-date of Marcellus Shale residents living near oil and gas development and air and water testing in those areas. Its findings were published in New Solutions Journal this year, and its conclusions reflect what other studies increasingly show about the true costs of drilling.

Nadia Steinzor is the Eastern Program Coordinator for the Oil & Gas Accountability Project of Earthworks, a national organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mineral development (www.earthworksaction.org). Nadia provides landowners and local groups with information on shale gas development in the eastern U.S. and helps advance local campaigns and state and federal policy reform. She has a background in communications, research, and policy on issues such as natural resource protection, endangered species recovery, and human rights.

Understanding the True Costs of Gas Development

Track 2 – 4:30 – 5:45 — Erika Staaf, Clean Water Advocate, PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

“Fracking” operations pose a staggering array of threats to our environment and health – contaminating drinking water, harming the health of nearby residents, marring forests and landscapes, and contributing to global warming. Fracking’s negative impacts on our environment and health come with heavy “dollars and cents” costs as well. Many of these costs are likely to be borne by the public, rather than the oil and gas industry. To the extent that this dirty drilling is allowed to continue, policymakers must require, among other things, that the oil and gas industry provide up front financial assurance commensurate with the potential for damage. Unfortunately, current state and federal requirements for bonding or other financial assurance are wholly inadequate to protect the public.

Community Impacts of Gas Development

Track 3 – 3:20 -4:25 — Dr. J Stephen Cleghorn, Paradise Gardens & Farms; Rebecca Roter, Breathe Easy Susquehanna County; Stephen Cleghorn and Rebecca Roter will discuss the true cost of fracking in communities everywhere it is being done.

Building Toward a Moratorium on Fracking in Pennsylvania

Track 3 – 4:30 – 5:45 — Adam Garber, Field Director, PennEnvironment; Sam Bernhardt, Pennsylvania Organizer, Food & Water Watch

As the rush to frack continues devastating Pennsylvania, there is a growing grassroots movement to put a moratorium in place. In just the last few months, grassroots groups and citizens have come together to highlight the damages of fracking and push local legislators to support a moratorium. Unfortunately, a number of Senators across the Commonwealth, especially in Southeastern Pennsylvania, continue to say gas drilling can be done responsibly and will be good for Pennsylvania. This session will include a discussion of how we can build more support among the public and Harrisburg for a moratorium, developing a detailed plan in a set of districts to hold legislators feet to the fire for their anti-moratorium stance, and starting to plan a series of actions to take the fight to legislators own neighborhoods.

The Gas Industry in Philadelphia and the Tidal Delaware River Region

General Session – 6:00 – 7:45 —Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper;  Iris Marie Bloom, Executive Director, Protecting Our Waters; Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network

There may never be gas drilling in Philadelphia or the Delaware River Watershed but the industry’s heavy hand is already being felt here and, if fracking expands in Pennsylvania and the nation, the industry’s footprint will expand exponentially.  Find out why the Delaware River port system is the apple of every gas and oil company’s eye as they frantically search for markets and ways to store and transport their products.  Find out the real reason the City may try to sell the Philadelphia Gas Works and who is for and against it.  Find out what Liquified Natural Gas facilities may be looking to be sited here and what is already occurring – including refining Bakken Shale oil and train-railing in liquefied natural gas liquids from Pennsylvania’s shale country.

In addition to overviews by the speakers listed above, Wes Gillingham, of Catskill Mountainkeeper, will address the dangerous train routes taken by Bakken Shale oil from west to east; Matt Walker will address air impacts from the natural gas liquids industry, including MarkWest facilities in western Pennsylvania; Sam Bernhardt and Stan Shapiro will describe how the proposed PGW sale could help the shale industry but hurt residents.

 An extended Q and A plus strategy session will intrigue and galvanize attendees as we see how our work to support the harmed — from the Bakken Shale to those made sick by MarkWest facilities in PA — connects with our work to stop shale gas development in unexpected places.

From the 300-foot fireball created by a natural gas liquids pipeline in Illinois this August (like the Mariner East natural gas liquids pipeline now being built across PA by Sunoco Logistics) to the terrible loss of life in Lac Magentec, Quebec, due to a Bakken shale oil train just like the ones that run frequently through Philadelphia, fracking has come home to roost, and new fronts for the struggle requires new involvement. Come one, come all.

Register here. See also:  www.FrackCheckWV.net

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