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GPOAC joins calls for a cleaner, better Ohio Valley

posted Aug 17, 2018, 11:11 PM by Green Party of Allegheny County
The Green Party of Allegheny County endorsed and signed on to a Sierra Club letter to the governors of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia that demands action to protect our water and air from the petrochemical industry. The Green Party has previously called for a statewide ban on fracking and large investments into renewable energy infrastructure and jobs instead.

Other organizations and individuals may sign the letter at this link. The full text of the letter is also reproduced below.

"Dear Governors Justice, Kasich & Wolf,

On March 20, 2018, you made the unfortunate decision to continue a 2015 Agreement to Enhance Regional Cooperation and Job Growth Through the Continuing Development of Shale Gas in the Appalachian Basin (the “Gas Agreement”) through 2021.

In three years, the Gas Agreement has done little to boost regional or local economies, and our states have already experienced multiple petrochemical “accidents” that have threatened public health and damaged public resources. For example, on March 16, just 4 days before you extended the Gas Agreement, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued its 40th Notice of Violation to the owners and operators of the Sunoco Mariner pipeline for releasing drilling fluids into a stream.

We, the undersigned organizations, represent tens of thousands of residents in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia who call upon you, our Governors to rescind this Agreement and uphold your sworn duties to safeguard the people, our health and our environment. The revitalization of our region is not beholden to the fading fossils of yesteryear; it depends on a continued pivot to 21st century industries such as clean energy and sustainable agriculture.

The Gas Agreement is focused on promoting the development and use of shale gas and fracked gas liquids in the Tri-State Region. However, the development and use of gas and other nonrenewable resources have very real, negative impacts on our air, our water and human life/the health of our people. It is impossible to develop fracked gas and fracked gas liquids in an environmentally sound manner. And shale gas is not the answer to our economic challenges. The production of Appalachian shale gas and fracked gas liquids will not offer significant economic opportunities for the people of the Tri-States, nor will it provide domestic security for the United States. We should keep it in the ground.

We need a new agreement that looks to capitalize on the growing green economy. Our coalition has resolved to work with the states to develop a regional strategy for sustainable economic development and job creation in the region.

Our states can cooperate to support a sustainable economy by: (1) Sharing information; (2) Organizing seminars, workshops and training; (3) Collaborating on policies to promote environmental health and economic growth; and (4) Promoting clean energy and energy efficiency, ecotourism and outdoor recreation, recycling and other sustainability practices. Let’s work together for the betterment of all.

The Gas Agreement is a bad deal for the people of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Please do the right thing, rescind this dirty compact, and give our region a chance to build the clean and thriving future that we deserve.

Thank you for listening to your constituents. We look forward to a productive conversation."