Welcome to Transition Harrisburg! We are working to create a more sustainable, resilient and livable community... one person at a time. Join us!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Please note the time change for the RALLY on Sept 21st

We Need Protection from Marcellus Shale Drilling!

Come to Harrisburg on Tuesday, Sept. 21

Pennsylvania’s state legislature has taken NO ACTION this year to protect residents from all the problems Marcellus Shale gas drilling is causing in our state.  Contaminated drinking water, pollution in our rivers, hazardous air pollution, safety problems, and destruction of our state forests are just some of the problems.

The state legislature will be in session for at least the last two weeks in September, possibly for the last time this year.  Come to Harrisburg and SPEAK OUT!  Let our legislators know that we need them to take action NOW.

·         Moratorium on drilling
·         Fair Taxation – a severance tax to fund environmental protection programs
·         No Forced Pooling – residents should not be forced to sign gas leases they don’t want
·         Protections for our drinking water
·         Require inspections at drilling sites – increase monitoring and enforcement
·         Require full disclosure of hazardous chemicals used
·         Protect our State Forests

Rally at the Capitol  1:30 pm
Meet with Your State Legislators
(meetings will be set from 9:00 – 1:30 and 2:00 – 4:00)

To sign up for the Sept. 21 lobby day, please visit www.pacleanwatercampaign.org or call: Steve at 412-765-3053, x210 or Erin at 215-545-0250.

Sponsored by:  PA Campaign for Clean Water, Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Earthworks Oil and Gas Accountability Project, PennEnvironment, Protecting Our Waters, Penn Action

Myron Arnowitt
PA State Director
Clean Water Action

100 Fifth Ave., #1108
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-765-3053, x203

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fracking info from Penn Environment:

In Ohio, a gas drilling company used eminent domain to drill for gas right next door to a daycare center. And now, gas industry lobbyists are working in Harrisburg to make it legal to let companies like Exxon Mobil do that here in Pennsylvania.
Gas companies are trying to pass a new law to allow "forced pooling," which would permit those companies to seize mineral rights through eminent domain. If forced pooling were to be allowed, people from Squirrel Hill to State College to the Poconos could be forced to allow Marcellus Shale gas drilling near their property.
PennEnvironment is working to stop this proposal so that gas companies cannot drill next to or underneath your land against your wishes. However, these companies are hiring well-connected lobbyists -- including former Gov. Tom Ridge -- to help pass eminent domain policies. If it passes, this policy would be bad news for landowners who don't want to lease their underground mineral rights for Marcellus Shale gas drilling.
Contact your state legislators and tell them to oppose forced pooling this fall:

Gas extraction in Pennsylvania using hydraulic fracturing ("fracking")

Folks -

I am asking you to take a look at this important issue - natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale deposits which cover a goodly portion of Pennsylvania. This is just beginning in Pennsylvania and we need to tread slowly and carefully.  I have put some links at the end so that you can do your own research if you wish. Don't take my word for it.  If you get the chance, please see Gasland. It has had some showings in the area and is scheduled to open in theaters in November. Finally, please consider coming to the Capital Wed Sept 21st for a Lobby Day and Rally.  

This is a little long, but it is a complex issue and I am only skimming the surface.

The method of gas extraction from Marcellus Shale uses a process called hydraulic fracturing also known as fracking. If fracking sounds like a bad word, well perhaps it is.  There are many issues here, but the most important concern water quality, air quality, and the rights of property owners.  The Energy Policy Act of 2005 removed the Environmental Protection Agency from oversight of fracking [but now the EPA wants to know the chemicals used in drilling].  It also exempted the oil and gas industry from many regulations that protect us such as: the Water Quality Act, the Air Quality Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act , the SuperFund law, just to name a few.  These companies use over 500 chemicals, many known to be toxic and/or carcinogenic, throughout the extraction process and they are not required to disclosed them. In fact, they are considered proprietary and therefore can be kept secret from the public.  As much as 80,000 pounds of chemicals can be injected into each well to fracture the shale. These chemicals end up in the air, soil, ground water, rivers, streams and drinking water wells. This has happened in communities throughout the United States and, as was reported over the last few days, in Bradford County, PA.  Methane gas is already seeping into the Susquehanna River in Bradford County.

Nitrogen Oxide and Volatile Organic Compounds are aspects of drilling that create air quality issues.  In fact, there are times when these compounds, among others, create a visible smog. At other times they are not able to be seen, but they are doing their damage anyway.

It takes about 2 millions gallons of water each time a well is fracked and some wells can be fracked up to eighteen times! It is nearly unimaginable the amount of water necessary for this process at one single well.  Most of the water is not recovered and a toxic soup is all that remains of the water that is recovered.  Your drinking water may be at risk even if you do not live in area that would be subjected to drilling.  Consider that the large watersheds of the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers supply drinking water to millions of people  not just in Pennsylvania, but also to New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and large portions of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.  The overall health of the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays depends largely on the health of the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers.  Those bays, especially the Chesapeake are already under great stress without the added problems from unregulated gas drilling.

Finally there is the issue of the rights of landowners.  Many landowners do not own their mineral rights. They only own the surface.  You can choose not to lease, but does not mean that your gas won't be taken anyway.  Wells can be built right up to your property line.  As you may know, Pennsylvania does not currently tax companies for the gas they remove. This has been a great source of recent debate in the State Legislature.  Just this week the Republicans have said they would agree to the Tax in exchange for "forced-pooling."  Forced-Pooling means that if 75% if the surrounding property owners have signed leases, they consider that you've signed a lease, too.  Gas drilling can then happen on your property without your consent.
I think this is SO important. I am not naive. I know that no form of energy comes without its downside and that includes wind and solar.  However, I am not sure fracking for gas is worth the risk - at least not a this moment in time. Please educate yourself - your drinking water may depend on it.


Not just about the movie, but has a fact sheeting on fracking, personal stories and action steps

A 38 page PDF that de-bunks the industry attempts to discredit the Gasland movie.  You'll find many good links here.

Natural Resources Defense Council Spread sheet on all the exemptions in the 2005 Energy Policy Act

Pennsylvania Clean Water Campaign - You can find more information on the Lobby Day and Rally. Sign-up for the Lobby Day. Lots of good information on Gas Drilling and it's effects on water quality.

Propublica article on last week's EPA warning to the residents of the Wyoming Town of Pavillion that they should not drink their water and must use ventilation fans while showering of washing clothing to prevent a methane gas explosion.  This has been linked to gas drilling and the company involved EnCana wants to drill in PA.  You'll find other information on this site about gas drilling .

Susquehanna River Sentinel - a blog about drilling in Bradford County. Includes photos and video links. [The methane gas bubbles that are coming up in the Susquehanna River cover a huge area, something like 150 feet x 200 feet]. The video doesn't do it justice.

Bradford County methane seeps as reported by a business website.  Pretty much the DEP press release verbatim. 

Here the link to the AP story I heard on NPR this morning [9-10-10].  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129771879

Here is video footage of the Bradford County gas bubbles posted just today by WNEP which is out of Scanton (mailing address says Moosic, PA) http://www.wnep.com/news/countybycounty/wnep-brad-methane-gas-source-susquehanna-river,0,113104.story

 A search turned up only the press release from 09/07

You might be interested in this opinion piece (and the two comments) that ran in  a Lehigh Valley paper in June about the time GASLAND aired on HBO.  This is what we are up against and we need to be prepared to respond.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Photobucket links

Images of things we've been working on:

Greenhouse and cold frames...

We spent a few hours at the greenhouse today, cleaning and watering!

We will be back on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. to plant more seeds and to look at how we might start to capture the rain from the greenhouse roof and land.

A few bamboo poles have arrived! We can start creating trellises for spring crops (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.). If you have small diameter bamboo, we can start bending them in pairs for the hoop houses. Twine and scissors are needed, along with a hammer and limb saw.

Please bring as much water (tap or rainbarrel) in 1-gallon jugs so we can continue to water the seedlings.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

DigIt! dinner and fund-raising event (Lancaster)

Please support our sister organization in Lancaster:

Dig It! is having a Harvest dinner (fund raiser). DigIt! will be selling dinners using some produce from our gardens on September 23 from, 12 - 4pm down at the Dig It! garden at 618 Stevens Avenue. The cost of the dinner is $10 a plate.

Later that evening we are having a buffet dinner out at Radar Park, Church of The Apostles, 1850 Marietta Avenue, where our other garden is located. The cost for the buffet dinner and entertainment is $25.00. Tickets are available for either one of our fundraisers.

Please contact Nasreen for more information

(717) 203-5481

Take a tour through our gardens while you are there!

Please check out our website: www.thresholdpa.org

All things work together for your good if you believe

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Manada Conservancy Native Plant Sale, etc.

Saturday, September 11, 9:00 – 2:00 pm,
Meadowood Native Plant Nursery, 24 Meadowood Dr, Hummelstown

Fall is a great time to plant native trees, shrubs, and perennials. Using native plants can be a personal, small scale way to connect to the local environment and attract local birds, butterflies, and other pollinators that rely on native species for their survival. Customer service volunteers will be available to provide information and assistance with plant selection. There will be a demonstration about planting native trees and other special plant displays. The sale will be held RAIN OR SHINE. Proceeds from this sale support the land preservation and education work of The Manada Conservancy. Members of the Conservancy receive a 10% discount.


Tuesday, September 21 7:00 pm,
Hershey Public Library #4889

Julienne Schieffer, a Pennsylvania State University extension forester will present a program on the use of edible native plants. The program is part of The Manada Conservancy Education series. Admission is free and open to the public, but please call Derry Township Parks & Recreation at 533-7138 to register.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Some stuff to ponder...

From Professor Albert Bartlett: exponential growth and why it's important... (this is only the first of eight parts. For the rest of the presentation, go to YouTube).

Our next meeting....

TH will be meeting at The Green Center at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 9th.

We will discuss local food, gardening, greenhouses, hoop houses, weed walks. If you have any other topics you'd like to talk about, please attend! Share with your community the things you are doing to relocalize your life!

The Green Center is at the corner of Third and Reily.

Everyone who is interested in reducing their ecological footprint is encouraged to join us!

Have you heard…fall is for planting!

Beginning September 1, 2010 through November 30, 2010, TreeVitalize “Trees Count PA!” coupons will be accepted at ‘participating locations’.

• Homeowners can save $15 OFF the purchase of a tree $50 or more!

• Coupons may be found online at Coupons as well as participating locations.

• To find a list of participating locations, please log on to this location.

• Coupons are redeemable at participating locations within Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Perry & York counties!