Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thousands to march today for stronger DNC enviro stance

 

Environmentalists from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states will arrive by buses this morning--on the eve of the opening of the Democratic National Convention--to join in the ‘
March for a Clean Energy Revolution.’

The Record's Scott Fallon focuses on the contingent from Bergen County, New Jersey for the following report:

When hundreds of New Jersey environmentalists decided to march at a major political convention this summer, they did not choose Cleveland where Republicans gathered in support of Donald Trump and a platform that calls coal a “clean” energy source.

When hundreds of New Jersey environmentalists decided to march at a major political convention this summer, they did not choose Cleveland where Republicans gathered in support of Donald Trump and a platform that calls coal a 'clean' energy source.

They will instead be in Philadelphia on Sunday as Democrats gather for their convention to criticize party leaders for failing to ban fracking. They are calling on the Democrats to adopt a more aggressive plan to shift the nation away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

“We recognize that sometimes people compromise, but this was very disappointing,” said Eric Fuchs-Stengel, executive director of the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, many of whose members will be heading to the march in Philadelphia.

Criticizing the party that more often champions their issues is not new among environmentalists: They have routinely condemned President Obama’s support for the oil and gas industry that have expanded significantly under his tenure.

But the organizers of the March for a Clean Energy Revolution said their best chance at getting their message across is with the Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

“The Republican platform is so far away from where we need to be, we thought we would have a better opportunity to actually change people’s minds by being in Philadelphia,” said Jim Walsh, mid-Atlantic region director of Food & Water Watch, one of the advocacy groups organizing the protest.

Like this? Use form in upper right to receive free updates
See popular posts from the last 30 days in right column --- >>

Fracking, the process by which fossil fuels are extracted from underground rock formations, resonates with many New Jerseyans, who have seen their state become a major transportation hub in recent years for natural gas fracked in Pennsylvania along with crude oil fracked in North Dakota.

Several pipelines have been built or expanded to handle the glut of Pennsylvania natural gas, including one by Tennessee Gas that cuts through some of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the New Jersey Highlands. Chemicals, discharged water, drill fractures and other waste from Pennsylvania fracking is transported to several sites in New Jersey to be processed.

In addition, up to 35 trains every week haul millions of gallons of volatile Bakken crude oil through some of the most densely populated areas of New Jersey, including Bergen County, on their way to East Coast refineries. The oil trains, which didn’t exist before North Dakota’s oil boom six years ago, have raised concerns from local firefighters and emergency management leaders after several fiery derailments elsewhere in the U.S.

Both Democrat and Republican lawmakers have come out in force against a proposal to build the Pilgrim Pipeline that would transport millions of gallons of fracked oil each day from Albany, N.Y., to the Bayway Refinery in Linden.

Democratic leaders have long viewed natural gas as a bridge fuel between coal — which produces much greater air pollution as well as greenhouse gases — and renewables like solar and wind power. The platform, which will be adopted at the convention, calls for the U.S. to be run entirely on clean energy by mid-century, to eliminate special tax breaks for fossil fuel companies and to extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and renewables.

That did not go far enough for some including many supporters of Bernie Sanders who called for a ban on fracking and fought to include it as the platform was being hashed out this month.

Fossil fuel lobbyists and local labor leaders say the pipeline projects created hundreds of temporary construction jobs in New Jersey while oil trains have helped resuscitate refineries. And they say that fracked fuels have made the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil and have brought down gasoline and home heating costs. The price, opponents say, is worse air pollution, contaminated well water and the risk of a catastrophic fire.

Fracking was long thought to be impossible in New Jersey because the gas-rich Marcellus Shale rock formation barely crossed under the Delaware River from Pennsylvania. That changed in 2012 when a report by the U.S. Geological Survey said an underground formation stretching from Trenton to Bergen County may contain more than 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. No energy companies have yet expressed interest in drilling in the state.

Like this? Use form in upper right to receive free updates
See popular posts from the last 30 days in right column --- >>

Anti-fracking advocates to march down Market Street

 

Subscribe here to view all our YouTube videos

Repost this article