Progressives and Labor Can Tip This Election

Progressives and Labor Can Tip This Election

by Randy Shannon

On Tuesday evening, October 26, Beaver County local union leaders, Democratic Party activists, and Progressive Democrats gathered at the IBEW Local 712 Hall in Vanport, PA to plan a get out the vote effort for the next week. In a close off-year election in which the Republicans are spending $millions, the union turnout at the polls can make the difference between winning or losing union contracts, social security, and healthcare.

Yael Foa, National AFL-CIO senior field representative, is spending two weeks in the area pulling together the union effort and coordinating with Progressive Democrats, the regular Democratic Party and union locals. The Beaver County GOTV effort is led by Chuck Munoz, (602) 738-7878, of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).

Ms. Foa pointed out that there are approximately 6,400 union households in Beaver County and around 11,400 members who are registered to vote. The AFL-CIO’s priority list consists of 7,500 households to contact by phone or in person. Representatives of IBEW locals, Postal Workers, USW, AFSCME, IAM committed to mobilize volunteers for the effort.

Labor Walks will be held on Saturday 9am-4pm, Sunday 1pm-6pm, Monday 9am-7pm, and Tuesday 9m-7pm, October 30 through November 2, Election Day. Volunteers can get assignments and partners at the IBEW Local 712 Hall, 217 Sassafras Lane, Beaver. (See Calendar for more details.)

Continue reading Progressives and Labor Can Tip This Election

Marcellus Shale Fracking Releases Uranium: University of Buffalo

Release Date: October 25, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Scientific and political disputes over drilling Marcellus shale for natural gas have focused primarily on the environmental effects of pumping millions of gallons of water and chemicals deep underground to blast through rocks to release the natural gas.

But University at Buffalo researchers have now found that that process — called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking”– also causes uranium that is naturally trapped inside Marcellus shale to be released, raising additional environmental concerns.
The research will be presented at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver on Nov. 2. Marcellus shale is a massive rock formation that stretches from New York through Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, and which is often described as the nation’s largest source of natural gas.

“Marcellus shale naturally traps metals such as uranium and at levels higher than usually found naturally, but lower than manmade contamination levels,” says Tracy Bank, PhD, assistant professor of geology in UB’s College of Arts and Sciences and lead researcher. “My question was, if they start drilling and pumping millions of gallons of water into these underground rocks, will that force the uranium into the soluble phase and mobilize it? Will uranium then show up in groundwater?”

Continue reading Marcellus Shale Fracking Releases Uranium: University of Buffalo