Thursday August 23, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOSH FOX AND AL APPLETON TO SPEAK AT SHALE GAS OUTRAGE RALLY TO “STOP DIRTY DRILLING,” PROTECT AIR, WATER, HEALTH
WHO: Protecting Our Waters & over forty local, regional and national endorsing organizations incl. Catskill Mountainkeeper and Delaware Riverkeeper
WHAT: Shale Gas Outrage Rally and March
WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 7, noon-2pm (March 2 – 3pm)
WHERE: Arch St. between 13th and Broad, Philadelphia PA 19107
Philadelphia, PA – As the U.S. Energy Information Administration slashes its estimate of recoverable Marcellus Shale gas by 80%, activists are reinforcing their call for shale gas drilling to be halted. “Just as the industry has not been telling the truth about recoverable gas, so they have not been telling the truth about what high-volume hydrofracking does to air, water, earth and human health,” said Francesca LoBasso, Communications Director for Protecting Our Waters, the Philadelphia-based advocacy group initiating the Shale Gas Outrage events.
Filmmaker Josh Fox, creator of the documentary Gasland, and Al Appleton, an international water systems expert, will be among the speakers at the Shale Gas Outrage rally and march in Philadelphia on Sept. 7.
Mr. Fox’s film was among the first to document major problems associated with high-volume slickwater hydraulic fracturing with directional drilling, popularly called “fracking.” The controversial new combination of techniques is called “unconventional” by the industry and is less than five years old in Pennsylvania. It has caused air and water contamination, health problems, and widespread methane migration.
“Not only did Josh make a great informative film, but he has become an expert on what has happened to communities across the world when the gas industry marches in. He really understands the big picture,” said an outspoken proponent for protecting the Delaware River, actor Mark Ruffalo.
Al Appleton, a Senior Advisor at The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, is an expert on the real and potential impacts of fracking. Mr. Appleton’s experience with water systems for major cities includes positions as former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Director of the New York City Water and Sewer system.
“Mr. Appleton’s professional past and experience, coupled with his longstanding dedication to the issue, positions him as a unique expert in the field,” said Wes Gillingham, Program Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, an environmental group that helped sound the alarm on fracking in the region beginning over three years ago. “He understands the absurdity of fracking for gas in the Delaware River Basin – an act which would threaten the drinking water of over 15 million people, including residents of Philadelphia, Princeton, Camden and New York City.”
In a letter to the New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, Mr. Appleton wrote, “[the fracking process is] an enormous threat to the well-being not only of the city but of the state of New York.”
Protecting Our Waters, a Philadelphia-based grassroots advocacy group focusing on unconventional gas drilling and other threats to drinking water, environment and public health, initiated the September 7th protest to protect people throughout the Marcellus Shale region; to push for a Pennsylvania statewide moratorium and to intensify the demand for a continued moratorium in the Delaware River Basin.
An Interfaith Blessing of the Waters will be held after the rally and march at Penn Treaty Park on the Delaware River from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.
A coalition of over forty organizations has endorsed the event; all are listed at shalegasoutrage.org, complete with a link for each organization. Rally and other program updates are also posted at shalegasoutrage.org.
For issues-based information, please visit protectingourwaters.com and allies.