A Letter to Governor Wolf from Scotland

Our allies in Scotland sent this letter to Governor Wolf today!

Frackwatch
c/o 3 Parkhill Drive
Lochwinnoch
PA12 4EN

November 20, 2017

Governor Thomas Wolf
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Dear Governor Wolf,

Shipments via the Mariner East Pipeline and vessels across the Atlantic to Scotland
Greetings to you and all in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, cradle of American
democracy.

We write to you as a group of concerned Scottish citizens. Our group helped to secure a ban
on Unconventional Gas Extraction in Scotland. The Scottish Government listened to the
concerns of communities and acted on those. 60,000 individuals and groups responded to a
public consultation and around 99% opposed unconventional gas extraction. The majority
were people living in areas that would be affected by this dirty industry. The claims of local
economic benefit did not convince them. This was democracy in action.

We are delighted our government heard the voice of the people. But at the same time we’re
concerned because Scotland is a major importer of fracked gas from Pennsylvania. INEOS,
based at Grangemouth, has a 15-year contract to buy gas, which is transported through the
Mariner East pipeline to Marcus Hook and across the ocean in giant ships.

This is nothing to do with a secure energy supply for Scotland; it is a feedstock for INEOS’
plastics production.

We are in touch with groups representing the concerns of citizens in Pennsylvania who also
don’t want fracking; nor do they want fracked gas to be transported in pipelines near to
where they live, work and go to school, and through precious parkland and countryside and in
some cases, across their own private land. Please listen to them.
Leakages from pipelines are happening across the US with growing frequency as a result of
the fracking boom.

Your own Department of Environmental Protection has had to issue Sunoco, operator of the
Mariner East pipeline, with four Notices of Violation, one consent order and one fine for
dozens of drilling mud spills that occurred along the length of the Mariner East 2 pipeline
construction project, causing water-contamination incidents. The DEP also published a list of
49 incidents, as well as copies of the Notices of Violations. There have also been leakages of
ethane gas from operational pipelines just this year. Precious water and land are being
polluted and it is not possible to regulate pipelines to be safe or clean.

We also completely condemn this import-export industry, because it is contributing to climate
change and we know you share our concerns about that.

There is also a global problem with plastic pollution. We are over-producing plastics and not
recycling enough of them, with the result that oceans and waterways are being choked up
with throw-away plastic destroying the marine environment, foundation of life on earth. The
transfer of fracked gas is enabling this.

We also think it is very undemocratic for people to be prevented from denying corporations,
permission to construct pipelines across their private land. This is being done using PA laws
meant to permit developments in the public interest. The public interest is not the same as the
interests of private companies. We believe you are not one of those politicians who believe the
two are identical – but in the case of pipelines, that is what is happening in your State.

When future generations consider our social and political contribution, they will not forgive
those who did not act to halt extreme energy extraction, toxic pollution of land and water, and
the sacrifice of people’s health for the sake of profits. We would urge you to start supporting
those who are defending Pennsylvania from the effects of this dirty industry and also the
rights of people to protect their own land and homes.

Pennsylvania is often our thoughts, because of the libraries and community arts centres
endowed by the Carnegie Foundation. Andrew Carnegie was a giant of his time, a baron of
steel – but steel is no longer key to the economy of your state or ours. Scotland and
Pennsylvania suffered in recent decades from economies trapped in old technologies –fossil
fuels and plastics are increasingly in that category. We should not repeat mistakes of the past,
but support jobs and growth from clean technologies with a future.

We hope you will respond positively to our concerns. We raise our glasses – of good whisky
made with our pristine water – to your continuing recovery and health and the health of all
Pennsylvanians.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Cole
Chair,
for the members of Frackwatch

Download the letter