Author, “Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland”
Posted: September 27, 2010 03:01 PM
Over one hundred protesters from the Appalachian coalfields were arrested in front of the White House today, defiantly calling on the Obama administration to abolish mountaintop removal mining. As part of the Appalachia Rising events, the coalfield residents took part in a multi-day series of events to bring the escalating human rights, environmental and health care crisis to the nation’s capitol.
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth leaders Teri Blanton and Mickey McCoy, the first arrested in today’s nonviolent act of civil disobedience, were joined by allies from around the country, including NASA climatologist James Hansen. Meanwhile,protesters led by the legendary Rev. Billy Talen staged a nearby sit-in at the office of the PNC bank, which remains one of the last major financiers of coal companies engaged in this extreme form of strip-mining in Appalachia.
Rep. Jim Christiana Misrepresents the 15th District
by Bob Schmetzer, V.P.
PA 4th CD Chapter, PDA
I met with the PA 15th Legislative District State Representative on Tuesday Sept. 21st in Harrisburg and on Friday Sept. 24th in Monaca. I presented him with information about the effect of Marcellus shale drilling on our area.
I asked if my name was on the PA Homeland Security list. I read that attendees of the Marcellus Shale informational breakfast in Georgetown were listed. I wanted my name removed. He said he had other names removed in the past. He didn’t say if it was listed or not.
I spoke about the well in Marion Township, Beaver County. My wife and I went past in the truck and got a mouth full of the burn-off fumes from the stack. The fire raged about 50 feet over to the trees along the field. It took about a half hour for the sandy foul taste and uneasy feeling to clear out of our mouths, throats and lungs.
Rep. Christiana argued that none of the residents complained. He could care less about us, nor showed any compassion. I told him of my concerns about the deadly volatile chemicals that were being used, both in the earth and on top. He said the industry is very careful not to spill any of the frack fluid. “But accidents will happen, so what?” was the attitude.
I asked about the fish kills around the state. He assured me that a fishing group from the Susquehanna River said the fish are fine. I asked the name of the club. He stumbled and floundered and could not come up with a name. Earlier I had spoken to a member of the PA Fish Commission. He told me that the Monongahela River was the best Musky fishing in the USA. Now, they are all dead because of the recent water pollution from disposing partially treated fracking mud into the river.
I asked Rep. Christiana about the Impact Fee on gas drillers. He called it a severance Tax and blamed the Democrats for the budget problems. I said I had spoken to the fish commissioner who told me that their only income is through License fees and Federal Excise tax. That the fish commission is depleting its resources dealing with drilling and problems with water and fish kills. There is no help from the state.
Representative Christiana said that the fish commission doesn’t need to be out there. I suppose if no reports are written, then nothing happened. I told him that I was a life member of Trout Unlimited, and we have been cleaning up Pennsylvania streams for 50 years from the last ecological disaster. He noted that we are still cleaning the streams up.
I then said that I am a life member of the Viet-Nam Veterans and that I would never believe my government again that the chemicals won’t hurt me! This brought him to silence. So I left and he said he didn’t think he had my vote. I smiled.
Now lets go to work to replace him. He misrepresents the 15th legislative district. Any help and all help would be greatly appreciated.