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July 30, 2012

Thousands Gather for Stop the Frack Attack Rally

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On Saturday, July 28th, more than 5,000 people rallied on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, DC, and then marched through the streets of DC as part of the Stop the Frack Attack Rally. 

This was the first-ever national rally on fracking. "Fracking," a violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations, is known to contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes.

"Our call to action, in concert with over 130 other organizations, was to demand that no more drilling harm our public health, water and air," said Deb Nardone, Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Natural Gas Campaign. "Elected officials and public agencies must put communities and the environment first, starting with removing special exemptions and subsidies for the oil and gas industry, while ushering in clean, renewable energy."

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Sierra Club Board President Allison Chin (pictured above) spoke at the rally - here are her complete remarks:

The natural gas industry is powerful. Everyday we hear their rhetoric -- "there's never been any water contamination due to hydraulic fracturing", and "the chemicals we use are the same as in your shampoo." Yet, everyday WE get to see the results:  roads torn up, polluted air, and water from the faucet you just don’t want to drink!
 
No state has adequate protections in place. Even where there are rules, they are poorly monitored and enforced.  Thanks to the multiple federal exemptions, we can't even count on the federal government to keep us safe!  
 
TOGETHER, THOUGH, WE CAN CHANGE THAT! No industry, no matter how wealthy or powerful, can withstand the righteous passion of the American people. The out-of-control rush to drill has put oil and gas industry profits ahead of our health, our families, our property, our communities, and our futures.
 
If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, THEN WE SHOULD NOT DRILL FOR NATURAL GAS.
 
We also must stop the emerging threat of exporting liquefied natural gas, which would increase fracking, increase carbon emissions, and put sensitive areas at risk.  If the US Dept. of Energy allows all 18 LNG terminals to be built, we'll see as much gas exported per year as we currently use in the entire electricity sector.  WE CANNOT LET THAT HAPPEN!
 
The winding network of pipeline infrastructure slices through wildlands, rivers, and backyards -- just as the pipes and cracks below our feet slice through aquifers, faults and bedrock. We KNOW that pipes will inevitably leak and rupture, fouling the environment where people live - further polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink.
 
And what will this do to solve America’s energy problems? NOTHING. It only leaves our families and communities to suffer the impacts and pay the true cost, while the 1% makes billions more in profits. 
 
The industry claims natural gas is the answer to energy independence, but the only way to achieve energy independence is to move beyond all fossil fuels.  A clean-energy economy based on energy efficiency and renewable sources of power like wind and solar remains the only safe and responsible way to achieve energy independence while putting Americans to work.

EcoWatch posted video of the event.

 

As did the Delaware RiverKeepers.
 

You can see more photos of the rally here. And if you want to watch the whole event, Ustream has it here.

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