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Green Party lauds Pittsburgh City Council Decision; Council votes to ban fracking in city limits

GREEN PARTY OF PENNSYLVANIA
http://www.gpofpa.org

Green Party lauds Pittsburgh City Council Decision
Council votes to ban fracking in city limits

Last week, Pittsburgh City Council voted to ban hydrofracturing, or
“fracking” within city limits.  Fracking is a controversial method of
natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale formation that uses large
volumes of water and severely pollutes it in the process.  There have been
recent incidents of water contamination related to gas extraction in
Northeastern Pennsylvania, and sewage treatment for the Monongahela River
has been compromised by the dumping of fracking fluid leading to foul
smelling and tasting water downstream in Pittsburgh.

“Congratulations to Pittsburgh for doing the right thing,” said Jay Sweeney,
a member of the Green Party and a Marcellus Shale activist.  Sweeney, who
ran for State Representative in the 111th District, made gas drilling a key
issue in his campaign.  “Now we need the rest of the state to follow suit,”
he added.  “A moratorium [as opposed to an outright ban] is a compromise.”

The ordinance was based on language provided by the Community Environmental
Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a nonprofit organization focused on community
rights.  CELDF was founded by Thomas Linzey, who ran for Attorney General
under the Green Party banner in 2000.

“The controversy around Marcellus Shale drilling will not go away until the
drilling stops,” said Mel Packer, a member of the Green Party of Allegheny
County. “There is plenty of evidence from across western states, where it
has been going on much longer, that the process brings massive and lasting
environmental degradation and destruction.”  Packer recently emceed a
protest against gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale, at which 500
community residents and two Pittsburgh City Council members were in
attendance.  The rally was organized by Marcellus Protest
(http://www.marcellusprotest.org/).

The Green Party of Pennsylvania passed a resolution in October 2008 calling
for a statewide ban on gas drilling, particularly on public lands.  The
party also supports a severance tax on gas extraction; Governor-Elect Tom
Corbett is on record as being totally opposed to any tax on the gas
industry.

The Green Party of Pennsylvania is an independent political party that
stands in opposition to the two corporate parties.  The Green Party of
Pennsylvania stands for grassroots democracy, social justice, nonviolence,
and ecology.

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