Saturday, October 18, 2008

Green Party Condemns Natural Gas Procedure

Green Party Condemns Natural Gas Procedure

Green Party of Pennsylvania
For Immediate Release

Hillary Aisenstein, 267-971-3559
Blyden Potts, 717-377-9638

Says no to "fracking" and no drilling on public lands

This week, the Green Party of Pennsylvania issued a statement calling for the abolition of hydraulic fracturing in natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania, and a total ban on natural gas drilling on public land, due to the potential for environmental damage and poisoning of local water supplies. This is especially relevant given the large amount of natural gas under Pennsylvania, located in what is known as the "Marcellus Shale."

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as "fracking," is a procedure that involves pumping a mixture of sand, water, and chemical additives under high pressure into the underground rock to fracture it and therefore release a greater flow of natural gas.These chemical additives can be quite dangerous, leaving the water polluted despite efforts to clean it. Fracking even a single natural gas well consumes millions of gallons of water, which can be a significant burden on local water tables. Currently, natural gas drilling is exempted from the Clean Water Act, because adherence to the law would be too expensive for the drillers.

Titus North, Green Party candidate for Congress (14th District) said, "Burning natural gas releases greenhouse gases, and tapping new sources of it will only impede conservation efforts and delay the transition to renewable energy sources that represents the only long-term solution to our energy and environmental crisis."

Interest in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation has been one of the hottest energy developments in the U.S. in 2008. An initial wave of over 900 PA drilling permits were approved in June, and that number is likely to multiply several times over during the next year or so.

Jay Sweeney, Green Party candidate for State Representative (111th District), summed up the issue by saying, "Natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania has the potential to produce enough gas to meet the entire country's needs for 2 years, by industry figures, and generate billions of dollars in revenue. But it also has the potential to deforest thousands of acres, eliminate wildlife habitat, poison farmland and pollute millions of gallons of water. It's a devil's bargain."

The Green Party of Pennsylvania, , is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom and nonviolence.

To read the Green Party of Pennsylvania's full statement on natural gas drilling, visit:

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