Dear Friends of Sustainable Communities,
It’s time to send a message to Harrisburg. Enough is enough. Municipalities across Pennsylvania are being sacrificed to unwise, poorly thought-out development plans for natural resource extraction, and our right to untainted water is being violated. The people in our communities are beginning to feel like they are living in resource colonies run for the benefit of giant multi-national corporations. And they are on to something.
Please read the enclosed Declaration of the Right of Communities to Water, as well as the very simple Resolution Endorsing the Declaration. We hope you will adopt the Resolution at your next municipal or organizational meeting and let us know that you have done so by sending an e-mail indicating the municipality or organization, address, county and date of resolution to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, the Commonwealth is issuing thousands of permits for drilling into the Marcellus shale deposit for natural gas, despite the spate of explosions, toxic spills, and ruined aquifers that have resulted from the “fracking” technique used for gas extraction.
The unspoken truth is that our communities wouldn’t have a fracking problem if local governments were allowed to make governing decisions to protect the health, safety, welfare, environment and quality of life in the places we call home. But state agencies follow mandates from Harrisburg. And the regulations adopted into law by state legislators are more often than not written and proposed by the very industries supposedly being regulated.
It’s time to tell the politicians in Harrisburg that letting their cozy corporate relationships replace the responsibility they owe to all 12.5 million Pennsylvanians in unacceptable. Let’s start with water, and the right that every member of this Commonwealth has to water untainted by gas extraction techniques that are permitted and licensed by the State House and its coterie of corporate lobbyists. There’s nothing to talk about if the compromise we’re being asked to make is a trade-off of our drinking water for natural gas. Turning our communities into ghost towns for short-sighted profit isn’t “good business,” and it isn’t “green energy.”
Please read the Declaration of the Right of Communities to Water, and then adopt the enclosed Resolution endorsing the Declaration. Be sure to let us know that your municipality can be counted, and we’ll let the world know that you stand with your community in defense of their fundamental rights.
Cathy Pedler and Bill Belitskus
Co-Chairs, Northwestern Pennsylvania Community rights Network