Dangers of Natural Gas Drilling Need Regulation


1,200 Hear Marcellus Shale Debate

At EPA hearing in Canonsburg

Photo: Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette
By Don Hopey
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 23 2010

Sandra McDaniel of the Clearville Citizens for Sustainability speaks during a public listening session hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the agency’s proposed study of the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing at the Hilton Garden Inn in Canonsburg on Thursday.

Concerns about the risk of water contamination and public health problems from Marcellus Shale drilling dominated a sometimes loud U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearing in Southpointe attended by 1,200 people Thursday night.

Although EPA officials told those in attendance the meeting was not about drilling policy, most of the more than 100 speakers let it be known that they oppose Marcellus Shale drilling in the state, and many shared personal stories of contaminated wells, dead farm animals and damaged health. They attributed the problems to water contamination caused by the deep gas drilling operations that are increasing quickly through much of the state.

Several urged that a moratorium on Marcellus Shale drilling be enacted until the EPA finishes its study scheduled for the end of 2012.

Continue reading Dangers of Natural Gas Drilling Need Regulation

Message to Altmire: Stop the Wars, Tax Wall St and Hands Off Our Safety Nets!

Beaver County Times photo by LUCY SCHALY

Photo by NOLEARYSending Our Messages!

BCT  Caption: Members of the group Progressive Democrats of America (4th Congressional District PA chapter) stand in front of Jason Altmire’s office in Aliquippa and let their feelings be known about Social Security during a luncheon “vigil” Wednesday afternoon.  Janet Sabat, left, from Raccoon Township, and Randy Shannon from New Brighton hold their protest cards along the side of the road for drivers to see.

Sign Petition to Save Shirley Sherrod’s Job

Shirley Sherrod

Dear friends,

The Obama administration just caved in to the right-wing smear machine, firing a Black USDA official after she was smeared by far-right blogger Andrew Breitbart and his friends at Fox News Channel.

Shirley Sherrod’s dismissal was based on a selectively edited video that made it appear she was confessing to discriminating against a white farming couple. In reality she was telling the story of how working with that family to save their farm helped her to lose her racial preconceptions.

It took less than 24 hours for the lies to be debunked. But by that time, it was too late — Sherrod was forced to quit. And even now that the truth is known, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is refusing to reinstate her. Worse, Vilsack has President Obama’s support. This kind of political cowardice is beyond shameful.

That’s why I’ve joined the people at ColorOfChange.org in calling on the White House to immediately give Shirley Sherrod her job back, and to stop bowing to the will of right-wing propaganda artists. Will you join me? Click this link to sign an online petition for Shirley.


Continue reading Sign Petition to Save Shirley Sherrod’s Job

EPA Fracking Hearing in Canonsburg July 22nd – public invited to show your concern

Marcellus News All Events

YOUR Presence Needed at EPA Fracking Study Hearing, July 22

July 22, 2010
6:00 pm to 10:00 pm

The U.S. EPA wants to hear from the public about a proposed study of the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (also known as “hydrofracking”).

no frack sign
Curb-side sign in Ithaca, NY.
Photo: P. Wray

Take Action Now – Let EPA know about YOUR experiences with contaminated water and the need to protect your drinking water. A coalition of environmental groups will hold a joint press conference before the meeting.

6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Thursday, July 22
Hilton Garden Inn, Pittsburgh/Southpointe
1000 Corporate Drive
Canonsburg, PA 15317

You do not need to speak publicly at this meeting, BUT YOUR PRESENCE WILL SEND A STRONG MESSAGE to regulators that the public cares about what EPA does to regulate this new Marcellus gas industry. Large crowds have participated in similar meetings in Texas and Colorado, so ATTENDEES and SPEAKERS should register HERE

Hydrofracking is used to release natural gas trapped deep underground. Currently unregulated, the EPA is just beginning to examine hydrofracking’s potential impact on drinking water, human health and the environment. Much of the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing are unknown.

The purpose of this Scoping Meeting is for EPA to:

  • promote discussion of the public engagement process,
  • determine the scope of the study,
  • establish perspectives on risks,
  • gain public data that may inform the study,
  • and identify the data gaps.

USW Explores Merger with the Miners Union of Mexico: a new level of solidarity against global capital

Mineros Pres. Gomez (right) & USW Pres. Gerard (2nd right) Visit Locked Out Workers


by Dan La Botz

July 2010, Vol. 15, No. 5

The merger would create an international union of one million metal workers and miners.

The United Steelworkers (USW), which represents 850,000 workers in Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States, and the National Union of Miners and Metal Workers (SNTMMSRM), known as the Mineros, which represents 180,000 workers in Mexico, have announced plans to explore uniting into one international union.  The agreement to begin exploration of a merger was signed on June 21.

This new step in the creation of a global union — as opposed to a global federation of unions — represents a significant new development for labor in the Americas with implications for workers around the world.  Building on the 2008 trans-Atlantic relationship between Unite in the United Kingdom and the USW, now the USW and the Mineros are working to build a worldwide labor union with the power to confront the concentrated capital of the mining and metal working industries.

Continue reading USW Explores Merger with the Miners Union of Mexico: a new level of solidarity against global capital

Example: Why We Need a Living Wage, Full Employment Program

Photo: Monument to the 1930s CCC workers

Many Young Adults in Poverty

Have a College Degree, Report Says

By Sara Lipka

Increasing proportions of low-income young adults are pursuing higher education, but some remain poor even with a postsecondary degree, according to a new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

In 2008, among Americans ages 18 to 26 whose total household income was near or below the federal poverty level, 47 percent were or had been enrolled in college, compared with 42 percent in 2000. Eleven percent of them had earned a degree, a proportion roughly equivalent to that eight years ago, according to the report, which is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The institute is a nonprofit group in Washington that conducts public-policy research to encourage access and success in higher education.

In introducing its report, the group called into question President Obama’s declaration in his State of the Union address in January that “the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education.” Poor students go to college academically unprepared, the report says, and, amid competing family and work obligations, they accumulate debt “that could have been avoided by pursuing a different type of degree or a credential.”

Continue reading Example: Why We Need a Living Wage, Full Employment Program