FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 12, 2017
Contact: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pipeline Opponents Urge Farmers to Learn the Facts about Natural Gas Pipelines
Slanted PA State Grange Farm Show Pipeline Session Does Disservice
Harrisburg, PA – Farmers, landowners, and concerned citizens fighting natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania aired their concerns about a pipeline session hosted by the Pennsylvania State Grange on Thursday. The session, billed as an informational program, featured speakers from pipeline company Williams Partners and the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania.
“Do pipeline companies tell you how many years it will take land compacted by heavy machinery to return to full or nearly full production? Do they tell you how much water they have to pull from ponds, rivers, or other aquifers for hydrostatic testing or horizontal directional drilling? Do they tell you what chemicals they will be introducing into the environment when they drill? Do they tell you how they will dispose of the toxic sludge that will result from the drilling? The answer to all of these questions is a big, resounding “NO!” said Ellen Gerhart, affect landowner from Huntingdon County, at a press conference today outside the Farm Show Complex.
“According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, agriculture is the leading economic driver of Pennsylvania’s economy, with manufactured food products generating over $38.4 billion in revenue; $2.2 billion of that, in agricultural commodities exported,” said Phillip J. Stober, President, Bare Foot Organics at Greystone Farm in Lebanon County and member of Lebanon Pipeline Awareness. How can the government risk the destruction of this industry, by enabling unfettered oil and gas development, with over 23 pipeline projects currently underway in Pennsylvania? It is an absolute travesty that multinational oil companies are speaking at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, about the ‘benefits’ of oil and gas exploration, and thousands of miles of proposed pipeline, when it is that very activity that will eventually destroy Pennsylvania’s agriculture. They are incompatible industries.
Why should the farmers of Pennsylvania, who grow local food, for local people in agricultural communities across Pennsylvania, have our livelihoods threatened? Why should the people who own some of the finest non-irrigated farmland in the world, have it taken by eminent domain, resulting in the destruction of their air, water and soil, by a private, multinational oil company, selling ethane for plastic production, to the Europeans? This is my environment too. When does injustice to the majority, by the machinations of the minority, stop? Who is speaking for the clean air, clean water and healthy soil that farmers depend on for our livelihood? When do we, as a society, finally say enough?” continued Stober.
“The Pennsylvania State Grange has publicly supported the proliferation of natural gas pipelines across the state. Its choice of speakers for the PA Farm Show session clearly demonstrates the group’s pro-industry bias and utter lack of any attempt to provide a more balanced program. Farmers need to hear the truth about pipelines,” said Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth.