Citizens and concerned community members held a “Brownie Bake Sale” in Cedar Beach Park, Allentown, to raise money for their fellow-Pennsylvanians most adversely affected by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). The fundraiser follows a meeting with community members in which State Senator Pat Browne balked at supporting recently introduced legislation to stop fracking despite widespread support among his constituents.
Speaking on behalf of the local chapter of Food & Water Watch, Allentown resident Michele Bowers said, "Fracking is destroying our state. People from the southwest to the northeast of Pennsylvania have had their water contaminated, so we're raising funds for those affected families. Senator Browne needs to step up and support legislation for a moratorium on fracking, to bring this crisis to an end.”
Legislation to halt the drilling of new natural gas wells was introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate in September by Pittsburgh area State Senator Jim Ferlo and is co-sponsored by seven Pennsylvania senators. Moratorium supporters want to encourage Sen. Browne to help his Pennsylvania neighbors and sign PA Senate Bill 1100 – the Statewide Natural Gas Drilling Moratorium Act. All proceeds from the bake sale will go to the families of Dimock and other neighborhoods where fracking has ruined water wells.
PA S.B. 1100 is open-ended and would halt the drilling of new wells until further notice while independent conclusive research is completed regarding health and environmental risks associated with fracking.
This event was one of more than 200 taking place around the world on Saturday as part of the second annual Global Frackdown (www.globalfrackdown.org), a worldwide day of action against fracking and related oil and gas infrastructure, initiated by Food & Water Watch.
A 2011 peer-reviewed study led by Cornell University professor, Robert Howarth, concluded that natural gas is dirtier than coal from a climate change perspective. Methane gas, 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the environment, and high concentrations of radium 200 times higher than normal, have been found in Pennsylvania waterways close to fracking wells making water undrinkable in some locales.