Today’s Tuesday to do list is going to be a bit different. Normally I have advocacy and action items to lobby for special education and disability issues. This week, in preparation for Saturday’s Global Frackdown, I finally got around to educating myself on fracking and the issues. I’ve heard some of the buzz before, but never really paid attention. Hey, there are only so many hours in a day, right? But I really had no idea if fracking was good, bad, good income source or what.
As a Pennsylvanian, I’ve no doubt heard the word fracking, sort of knew what it is, and I know that there is a tremendous amount of drilling going on, particularly in central PA. My uncle who used to live in Wellsboro would tell stories of how the industry has changed the once peaceful landscape of his town. In particular, I’ve also heard the calls for Governor Corbett to tax the frackers, as right now they are paying very little in taxes. Scratch that, they pay NOTHING. We are the only state who doesn’t tax them. And, it’s destroying the central part of our state and harmful to the water supply down this way. (because our water comes from central PA, you knew that, right?)
But, this isn’t about taxing them. This is about holding them accountable for their environmental practices, which are dangerous.
Here’s a story: A few years ago, pre-kiddos, my husband and I investigated buying a cabin up in central PA from one of my dad’s friends. This was even really pre-fracking, or just in the early stages. Mind you it’s been around for quite some time, just not popular or on people’s radars until recently. So anyway, we pursued buying this cabin, getting pretty serious about it to the point of pursuing financing options. In the end, for various reasons we passed on the offer. Some time goes by and many years later I am chatting with my dad and my brother about it. What I learned–he never sold the cabin, never found a buyer. In the meantime, frackers came in and made him an offer for his rights. And now they are sitting on a nice income, I think it was like $19k a month or something. Let me tell you, I get it. In my head, I’ve done the “what ifs” of purchasing that cabin and now sitting back and earning $19k a month. I get why residents, particularly since they live in low-income potential areas, why they sell. I get it, I really do. When I think of my fears for my son (with special needs) as he gets to be an adult, that $19k a month would serve him quite well.
But, I hope that I would have had the discipline to say no. I wish I would be able to say no, to think of the environment, to think of my kids and their kids…and to say no. Because the problem is, not enough people are saying no. It’s the wild west out there, quite literally. No taxation, very little regulation with too many environmental exemptions…and we are all going to pay for it in the long run.
So for this Tuesday to do list, all I’m asking is that you read some of the links I’ve posted and learn. Then, when issues come up, and hopefully they’ll come up for votes, vote with what you believe. Thanks for reading.
Here are a few more resources: