President Obama did not go far enough, Natural Gas is a bridge to nowhere. A response from members of the Stop the Frack Attack Network

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For Immediate Release: June 27th, 2013

Contact: Robby Diesu, 631-241-5966

National Coordinator of the Stop the Frack Attack Network


President Obama did not go far enough, Natural Gas is a bridge to nowhere.

A response from members of the Stop the Frack Attack Network

 

Washington, D.C., June 27 — President Obama’s recognition that our Nation must act on global climate change did not go far enough.

“As a nation we cannot allow fracking to continue if we are truly trying to curtail global climate change.  Fracking is the vehicle that drives natural gas and natural gas is a bridge to nowhere,” said Tracy Carluccio of Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Stop the Frack Attack (STFA) Steering Committee.

The President’s speech was powerful and hopeful. It suggested a United States that could once again be a beacon of hope and leadership for the world. President Obama spoke of the urgency of taking on man-made climate change. In his message he gave people hope that he might deny the Keystone XL pipeline, listed concrete action items to invest in renewables sources of energy, and promised to have the EPA enforce restrictions on power plant emissions.

But the President let down communities impacted by fracking-enabled oil and gas development when he promoted the false notion that natural gas is a “bridge fuel”. While his promises of climate change action are welcome, they do not undo the damage that is being done by his support of natural gas development.  The same climate standards the President is indicating he will apply to a decision on Keystone XL pipeline must also be used as a basis for decisions about natural gas.

The truth is that methane, over a 20 year period, is at least 72 times (IPCC) and possibly up to 105 times (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies) as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. And fracking-enabled oil and gas development leaks methane at every step from extraction to transport. The fracking process is dirty and unsafe, inevitably polluting water, air, and communities.

EPA is in the process of analyzing fracking and its impacts on water, the devastating public health effects of fracking are just beginning to be tracked, and scientists and several federal agencies are in the process of studying fracking and its true costs.  It is not appropriate for the President to promote natural gas development ahead of these considered steps, effectively making guinea pigs out of the people and the environment exposed to the destruction that accompanies fracking.

We must turn from dirty fossil fuels to a truly green revolution built upon renewable, sustainable and efficient energy sources.  Only when the foundation of our nation’s energy plan has made this shift will we cease our forced march towards global climate change.

As STFA Advisory Council Member, Jill Wiener of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy put it “The President did a fair job of parroting fracking industry talking points about job growth, which under independent analysis fall apart, but most upsetting is his belief that fracked gas is safe and clean, anyone living in the shadow of fracking can tell you that is not the case. If our collective goal is to have a more stable climate, we cannot choose a path that is lined with drilling rigs.”

Natural gas is not the way of the future. It is the continuation of the dirty and dangerous past. Fracking is a process that is destroying communities across this nation, and it will continue to do so if it is accepted as a bridge fuel.

“At each shale industry session I attend I hear the industry themselves state it is up to government policies to prevent this supposed bridge fuel from becoming a bridge to nowhere,” says Stop the Frack Attack Advisory Council Member Kari Matsko of Ohio.

The President made it clear that addressing climate change promises jobs and economic opportunities. But in a talk about how to save the planet from the effects of climate change, fossil fuel jobs are not the way of the future.

“The bottom line is getting off of fossil fuels, and fast. Methane, a major by-product of fracking, is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It is absolutely not the solution,” said Karen Feridun of Berks Gas Truth and STFA Steering committee Member.

As STFA Advisory Council Member, Jenny Lisak of PA, puts it: “Let’s stop the bridge to nowhere. Lets Stop the Frack Attack. And let impacted communities have a chance of being heard, Mr. President.”

This statement is endorsed by the following STFA member organizations:

Clean Water NC

Marcellus Outreach Butler

Athens County (OH) Fracking Action Network

Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Catskill Citizens for Safe energy

Lehigh Valley Gas Truth

Berks Gas Truth

Safe Water Society

Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air

United Against Fracking

The Washington Peace Center

Clark Resource Council, Clark, Wyoming

Interfaith Sacred Earth Coalition of the Susquehanna Valley

Center for Biological Diversity

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Earthworks

Sierra Club


Stop The Frack Attack Network is a national coalition of citizens impacted by fracking and members of the non-profit community who work to support them.  STFA is united by the fundamental belief in the multi-pronged approach that is laid out in the mission statement of the Network.