Gas drilling protests held in US, other countries

Sep 22, 2012, 11:43 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Demonstrators in the United States and other countries protested Saturday against the natural gas drilling process known as fracking that they say threatens public health and the environment.

Participants in the “Global Frackdown” campaign posted photos on social media websites showing mostly small groups.

But organizer Mark Schlosberg said Saturday afternoon he thought the protests were going well and he pointed to photos showing larger demonstrations in South Africa and France as well as higher turnouts in cities in California, Colorado and New York.

“I think it’s really the communities all over the world coming together to say, `We want to protect our water, we want to protect our air, and we want to safeguard our climate future by getting off dirty fossil fuels and saying no to fracking. We need to invest in a renewable energy future,'” said Schlosberg, who is national organizing director for Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that developed the GlobalFrackdown website and campaign.

The immense volumes of natural gas found by fracturing underground shale rock around the country has spurred a boom in natural gas production that has been credited with creating jobs and lowering prices for industry and consumers.

But scientists disagree on the risks of hydraulic fracking, a process that injects large volumes of water, sand and chemicals underground to break rock apart and free the gas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many state regulators say fracking can be done safely, and the American Lung Association says it can help reduce air pollution.

Opponents say the process can pollute water and sicken residents.

At a park in Pittsburgh, protesters signed a petition calling for a moratorium on shale gas drilling. In Buffalo, N.Y., demonstrators called upon Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Jennifer Krill, executive director of Earthworks, said about 50 San Francisco demonstrators marched along the waterfront to the Golden Gate bridge, carrying signs and banners. She posted a picture of a 30-foot-long white banner stretched out on the grass that listed chemicals used in fracking.

“I thought it was a very eye-catching way to display one of the key problems with fracking, which is that the public does not know _ unless the company chooses to disclose it _ what chemicals are involved in hydraulic fracturing,” she said.

Kathy Hanratty of Frack-Free Geauga said about 30 to 40 people turned out at a demonstration in the northeast Ohio county, which she said was not bad considering “it’s a small county and a rainy morning.”

“It is an affected area,” Hanratty said. “We just had the seismic test trucks go past my house on Monday.”

In Ohio, an injection well used to hold wastewater from the fracking process has been tied to a series of earthquakes in the Youngstown area.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

A hiring sign is displayed outside of a restaurant in Arlington Heights, Ill., Monday, Jan. 30, 202...
Associated Press

Job market still hot, December openings rise to 11 million

U.S. job openings rose to 11 million in December, delivering a setback to the Federal Reserve's effort to cool a hot job market.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/John Locher)...
Associated Press

Is pumping Mississippi River water to the west a solution or dream?

Amid a major drought in the Western U.S., a proposed solution comes up repeatedly: large-scale river diversions.
1 day ago
US Vice President Kamala Harris (R) greets friends and family of Tyre Nichols during his funeral se...
Associated Press

Emotional calls for police reform at Tyre Nichols’ funeral

Vice President Kamala Harris delivered an impassioned speech calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
1 day ago
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at...
Associated Press

Fed lifts rate by quarter-point but says inflation is easing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve extended its fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate a quarter-point, its eighth hike since March. And the Fed signaled that even though inflation is easing, it remains high enough to require further rate hikes. At the same time, Chair Jerome Powell said at a […]
1 day ago
The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Jus...
Kevin Stone

Arizona leaders call out California on Colorado River water negotiations

Arizona politicians are calling for more cooperation from California in negotiations over Colorado River water supply distribution.
1 day ago
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, left, wants to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayor...
KTAR.com

Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona aims to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona is pursuing articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over his handling of border security.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Gas drilling protests held in US, other countries