Just posted in the Socialist Worker is ISO Pittsburgh members Russell Pryor and Nicholas Rushin's piece "Don't frack with Pittsburgh," a round-up of the controversial issue of hydraulic fracturing, a process in which natural gas is extracted by energy corporations pumping a mixture of sand, water, and a chemical combination into the earth to loosen rock where the deposits exist. The gigantic Marcellus Shale formation lies underneath the ground of New York state, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, and it has been pushed into the spotlight of a debate over jobs, energy, and the environment.
But the way in which this gas is extracted, "fracking," is problematic--the chemical cocktail that companies use to break up the shale is kept as a secret, and many people out west, where the fracking process has been used extensively in the recent past, have reported illnesses. Some of the chemicals used in the process are even known carcinogens. And in July, two Pennsylvanians lost their lives when an explosion erupted at a gas well.
As residents of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, our branch finds itself in the middle of a large debate--and a large grassroots movement that is building momentum. We support standing up to companies that keep the truth of their toxins secret and exploit our environment, and on November 3rd, a large coalition has planned just that. Energy executives will be meeting at the David Lawrence Convention Center, and a large action has been organized to protest it. Check marcellusprotest.org for more information.
Stay up to date with our events and conversations at our Facebook page. And check out the article at SocialistWorker.org!