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Pennsylvanians Against Fracking - So-Called Religious Leaders Ask Gov. Wolf to End All Fracking


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A group of fringe activists passing themselves off as religious leaders have asked PA Gov. Wolf to end all fracking in the state--a bizarre request given fracking leads to less carbon in the atmosphere. These people have replaced their love of God with a love of socialism, and their warped philosophies have tainted their thinking.

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Pennsylvanians Against Fracking - So-Called Religious Leaders Ask Gov. Wolf to End All Fracking

  1. 1.     September  17,  2015     The  Honorable  Tom  Wolf   Governor   Commonwealth  of  Pennsylvania   225  Main  Capitol  Building   Harrisburg,  Pennsylvania  17120     Dear  Governor  Wolf,       We,  the  undersigned  faith  leaders  from  across  the  Commonwealth,  are  writing  to  you  in   anticipation  of  Pope  Francis’  visit  to  Pennsylvania  later  this  week.  Pope  Francis  began  a   dialogue  about  our  common  home  in  Laudato  Si.  It’s  a  dialogue  he’s  sure  to  continue  as  he   speaks  before  Congress  and  the  United  Nations  and  worships  with  families  in  Philadelphia.     “It  is  possible  that  we  do  not  grasp  the  gravity  of  the  challenge  now  before  us,”  the  Pope   cautions  us  and  reminds  us  that  “the  human  environment  and  the  natural  environment   deteriorate  together.”  Although  his  encyclical  is  widely  regarded  as  a  statement  on  the   urgency  of  addressing  climate  change,  it  is  truly  a  much  broader  statement  about  our   interdependence  and  responsibility  to  the  earth  and  each  other.       Pope  Francis  understands  that  our  current  path  is  unsustainable  and  that  the  poorest   among  us  are  already  witnesses  to  that  fact.  He  challenges  political  leaders  to  “leave  behind   a  testimony  of  selfless  responsibility”  and  the  rest  of  us  to  “embark  on  new  paths  to   authentic  freedom.”     Our  Pennsylvania  Constitution  states  that  the  people  have  a  right  to  clean  air,  pure  water   and  to  the  preservation  of  the  natural,  scenic,  historic  and  esthetic  values  of  the   environment.  Pennsylvania’s  public  natural  resources  are  the  common  property  of  all  the   people,  including  generations  to  come.  As  trustee  of  these  resources,  the  Commonwealth   shall  conserve  and  maintain  them  for  the  benefit  of  all  people.  This  statement  encompasses   2  basic  principles:  Pennsylvanians  have  a  right  to  a  decent  environment;  and  Pennsylvania   government  has  a  trustee  responsibility  to  protect  the  environment  on  behalf  of  future   generations.  We  join  together  to  call  on  you,  Governor  Wolf,  to  be  the  leader  who  will  help   our  state  chart  a  sustainable  course.     The  consensus  among  climate  scientists  is  that  we  must  leave  80%  of  fossil  fuels  in  the   ground.  Continued  reliance  on  them  to  simultaneously  provide  energy  and  drive  our   economy  is  no  longer  a  realistic  option.  Pennsylvania  ranks  third  behind  Texas  and   California  in  total  emissions.  The  shale  gas  boom  of  the  past  decade  has  reinvigorated  the   energy  industry  in  the  state,  but  not  without  profound  and  far-­‐reaching  consequences.     We  know  you  served  as  a  Peace  Corps  Volunteer  in  the  Indian  State  of  Odessa.  This  place   where  you  once  dedicated  yourself  to  serving  has  been  dubbed  that  nation’s  “disaster   capital”.  Some  scientists  have  called  what  is  happening  there  a  “dress  rehearsal  for  the  
  2. 2.   meteorological  mayhem”  climate  change  will  cause  everywhere  on  earth.  Cyclones  and   floods  where  they’d  never  been  seen  before,  heat  waves  killing  thousands,  and  severe   droughts  that  have  had  profound  impacts  on  agriculture  are  just  some  examples  of   dramatic  effects  Odessa  is  experiencing.  We  must  not  ignore  cautionary  tales  like  Odessa’s   that  are  becoming  all  too  common.     The  localized  impacts  of  shale  gas  development  have  been  occurring  throughout  the  shale   fields  of  Pennsylvania  for  more  than  a  decade.  They  are  profound  impacts  that  command   our  attention  and  call  us  to  action.  Air  quality  is  poor  near  drilling  and  related   infrastructure.  Children,  infants,  and  the  in  utero  are  exposed  to  risks  to  their  health  and   development  as  gas  wells  and  compressors  are  located  perilously  close  to  their  schools  and   homes.  Frontline  residents  of  all  ages  are  experiencing  a  range  of  symptoms  that  started   after  gas  drilling  came  to  their  communities.  New  research  out  of  Northeastern   Pennsylvania  shows  that  hospitalization  rates  are  higher  in  heavily  fracked  areas.  Property   values  have  diminished,  as  has  quality  of  life.       To  make  matters  worse,  many  Pennsylvanians  are  living  without  clean  water  in  their   homes  because  it  has  been  fouled  by  gas  drilling  activities.  Hydraulic  fracturing  poses  an   even  broader  threat  to  our  water  supply.  Each  fracking  consumptively  uses  millions  of   gallons  of  that  essential  and  finite  resource.       Water,  a  sacred  medium,  used  in  our  religious  and  spiritual  practices,  water  that  fills  our   bodies  and  is  essential  for  all  life  on  the  planet,  is  rapidly  being  depleted.  We  need  to  look  at   practices  that  will  conserve  and  preserve  it.  We  can’t  support  energy  extraction  that   intentionally  poisons  and  permanently  removes  large  amounts  of  precious  freshwater  from   the  hydrologic  cycle.  We  can’t  permit  an  exchange  of  life-­‐giving  water  for  climate  damaging   fossil  fuels.     If  the  industry  has  its  way  then  shale  gas  development  is  only  in  its  infancy  in  Pennsylvania.   The  problems  Pennsylvanians  are  already  facing  will  multiply.  The  effects  of  climate   change  will  be  much  more  pronounced  and  irreversible.     Governor  Wolf,  you  have  the  opportunity  and  the  obligation  to  act.  Shale  gas  development   is  not  only  putting  us  in  an  increasingly  precarious  position,  it  is  also  keeping  us  from   making  the  necessary  and  urgent  transition  to  clean,  renewable  energy.  Pennsylvania  has   long  been  a  leading  energy  producer.  It  still  can  be  by  leading  the  transition  to  clean,   renewable  energy.  We  are  all  called  to  stewardship.       Pennsylvanians  are  eager  to  embark  on  a  better  path.  Many  have  enacted  or  are  working  to   implement  a  statewide  moratorium  on  fracking.  We  are  looking  to  you  as  our  Governor  to   lead  the  way.     Sincerely,        
  3. 3.   Sister  Pat  Lupo,  OSB,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Reverend  Dr.  Leah  D.  Schade,  United  in  Christ  Lutheran  Church   Lewisburg,  PA     Penny  Colgan-­‐Davis,  Clerk,  Philadelphia  Yearly  Meeting  of  the  Religious  Society  of  Friends   Philadelphia,  PA     Reverend  Sandra  L.  Strauss,  Pennsylvania  Council  of  Churches   Harrisburg,  PA     Reverend  Kim  D.  Wilson,  Unitarian  Universalist  Association   Stroudsburg,  PA     Father  William  Pickard,  Catholic  Diosece  of  Scranton   Scranton,  PA     Reverend  Lisa  Keppeler,  Episcopal  Church  of  the  Holy  Nativity   Wrightstown,  PA     Prioress/President  Anne  Wambach,  OSB,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Sister  Mary  Lou  Kownacki,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Sister  Mary  Claire  Kennedy,  SSJ,  Sisters  of  St.  Joseph  NW  PA   Erie,  PA     Reverend  John  Creasy,  Presbyterian  Church   Pittsburgh,  PA     Reverend  Mark  Hayes,  Unitarian  Universalist   State  College,  PA     Sister  Ann  Muczynski,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Therese  Glass,  OSB,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Sister  Margaret  Zeller,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA      
  4. 4.   Reverend  Loretta  Vasso,  Circle  of  the  Sacred  Earth   Meadowbrook,  PA     Reverend  Dr.  Neal  Jones,  Mainline  Unitarian  Church   Devon,  PA     Colette  Korn,  OSB,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Sister  Norma  Jean  Kingsley,  OSB,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Reverend  Jerry  Lee  Miller,  Church  of  the  Brethren   Lancaster,  PA     Reverend  Paul  Otruba,  Universal  Ministries   Mansfield,  PA     Reverend  David  Reppert,  United  Church  of  Christ   Philadelphia,  PA     Sister  Joan  Chittister,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  Pa.,  PA     Reverend  Dr.  Renee  Waun,  East  Suburban  Unitarian  Universalist  Church   Murrysville,  PA     Sister  Mary  Egan,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Reverend  Bryant  Brown,  Thomas  Paine  Unitarian  Universalist  Fellowship   Collegeville,  PA     Reverend  Scott  Rudolph,  Unitarian  Universalist   Pittsburgh,  PA     Sister  Judith  Trambley,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Reverend  Melinda  Hall,  Holy  Trinity  Episcopal  Church   Brookville,  PA     Rabbi  Arthur  Waskow,  The  Shalom  Center   Philadelphia,  PA      
  5. 5.   Rabbi  Phyllis  Berman   Philadelphia,  PA     Rabbi  Linda  Holtzman   Philadelphia,  PA     Rabbi  Shawn  Zevit,  Mishkan  Shalom   Philadelphia,  PA       Rabbi  Yael  Levy,  Mishkan  Shalom   Philadelphia,  PA     Sister  Charles  Marie  Holze,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Reverend  Anne  Mason,  Unitarian  Universalist  Church  of  Lancaster   Lancaster,  PA     Rabbi  Mordechai  Liebling,  Reconstructionist  Rabbinical  College   Wyncote,  PA     Reverend  Dr.  Thomas  J.  Bodie,  Ginger  Hill  Unitarian  Universalist   Slippery  Rock,  PA     Reverend  Mark  Terwilliger,  Countryside  Community  United  Methodist  Church   Clarks  Summit,  PA     Sister  Mary  Miller,  Director,  Emmaus  Ministries,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Sister  Mary  Ellen  Plumb,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Sister  Stephanie  Schmidt,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie   Erie,  PA     Rabbi  Joshua  Waxman,  Congregation  Or  Hadash   Ft.  Washington,  PA     Rabbi  Vivian  E  Schirn   Fort  Washington,  PA     Reverend  Cheryl  Pyrch,  Summit  Presbyterian  Church   Philadelphia,  PA    
  6. 6.   Jasmine  Spence,  Newtown  Friends  Quaker  Meeting   Newtown,  PA     Malinda  Harnish  Clatterbuck,  Spiritual  Director,  Community  Mennonite  Church  of   Lancaster   Lancaster,  PA     Reverend  James  Hamilton,  United  Methodist   Ambridge,  PA     Reverend  Chris  Stillwell,  Christian  Church  (Disciples  of  Christ)   South  Park,  PA     Lorraine  L.  Smith,  MAPC,  Methodist   Warrington,  PA     Rabbi  Linda  Holtzman,  Reconstructionist  Rabbinical  College   Philadelphia,  PA     Reverend  Dr.  Donna  Giver-­‐Johnston,  Presbyterian  Church  (USA)   Pittsburgh,  PA     Reverend  Dr.  Richard  S.  Armstrong,  Minister  of  Worship,  Pennswood  Village   Interdenominational  Congregation   Newtown,  PA     Behzad  Zandieh,  Baha'i  Faith   Harrisburg,  PA     Reverend  Dr.  Jean  Richardson,  Presbyterian   Bangor,  PA     Gretchen  Plotkin  and  James  C.  Barton,  Co-­‐Clerks,  Chambersburg  Monthly  Meeting  Religious   Society  of  Friends   Chambersburg,  PA     Janet  Lamborn,  Representative,  Peace  &  Social  Concern  Committee  of  Reading  Meeting   Reading,  PA     Reverend  Kathleen  Lockwood,  One  Spirit   Stroudsburg,  PA     Janice  Etchison,  Oblate,  Benedictine  Sisters  of  Erie  PA;  steering  committee,  Benedictines  for   Peace   Erie,  PA    
  7. 7.   Reverend  Bill  Thwing,  St.  Pauls  United  Church  of  Christ   Johnstown,  PA     Rabbi  Linda  Potemken,  Reconstructionist  Rabbinical  Association   Wynnewood,  PA     Edwina  Gateley,  Roman  Catholic   Erie,  PA       Barbara  Roseborough,  Benedictine  Oblate,  Benedictines  for  Peace   Erie,  PA     Sister  Maria  Lucia  B.  Serano,  RSM,  Sisters  of  Mercy   Erie,  PA     Kathleen  Kutz,  Director  of  Religious  Education,  Benedictans  for  Peace   Erie,  PA     Fr.  Bernard  Survil,  Roman  Catholic  Diocese  of  Greensburg   Greensburg,  PA     Reverend  Bebb  Wheeler  Stone,  PhD,  Presbyterian  Church   Mechanicsburg,  PA     Reverend  Daniel  W.  Hinkle,  Episcopal   Atglen,  PA     Reverend  Michael  Walker,  Unitarian  Church  of  Harrisburg   Harrisburg,  PA     Rabbi  Elliot  Strom   Yardley,  PA     Reverend  Darcey  Laine,  Unitarian  Universalist   Athens,  PA     Rabbi  Marcia  Prager,  P'nai  Or  Jewish  Renewal  Congregation  of  Philadelphia   Philadelphia,  PA     Rabbi  Yael  Levy,  Mishkan  Shalom   Philadelphia,  PA     Tom  Hocking,  UCC  Penn  Central  Conference  Environmental  Justice  Ministry   Lebanon,  PA    
  8. 8.   Rabbi  Linda  Holtzman     Philadelphia,  PA     Rabbi  Rebecca  Alpert,  Pikkunolam  Chavurah     Philadelphia,  PA     Rabbi  Shawn  Zevit,  Mishkan  Shalom   Phialdelphia,  PA     Rabbi  Yaacov  Kravitz,  Center  for  Spiritual  Intelligence   Elkins  Park,  PA     Rabbi  Meryl  Crean,  Reconstructionist  Rabbinical  Association   Philadelphia,  PA     Rabbi  Rayzel  Raphael,  Temple  Israel  of  Lehighton   Melrose  Park,  PA     Rabbi  Doris  Dyen,  Makom  HaLev  Minyan   Pittsburgh,  PA     Rabbi  Carl  Choper,  Interfaith  Alliance  of  Pennsylvania     Harrisburg,  PA     Rabbi  Julie  Greenberg   Philadelphia,  PA     Reverend  Greta  Browne,  Unitarian  Universalist   Bethlehem,  PA     Pastor  John  Woodcock,  Church  of  the  Loving  Shepherd   West  Chester,  PA     Reverend  Charlotte  H.  Whiting,  United  Church  of  Christ   Lancaster,  PA     Rabbi  Alanna  Sklover,  Germantown  Jewish  Center   Philadelphia,  PA     Pastor  Beth  Lyon,  Glenside  United  Church  of  Christ   Glenside,  PA     Rabbi  Elisa  Goldberg,  Kol  Tzedek   Philadelphia,  PA      
  9. 9.   Tom  Hoopes,  Head  of  Religion,  George  School   Newtown,  PA     Reverend  Cynthia  Crowner,  Presbyterian  Church  USA   Stroudsburg,  PA     Carolyn  Belle  Lyday,  M.Div.,  George  School  Religion  Department   Newtown,  PA     Reverend  Michael  W.  Beynon,  United  Church  of  Christ   Harrisburg,  PA     Reverend  Randy  Philip  Orso,  The  Universal  Life  Church  Monastery   Hawley,  PA     Sister  Diane  Bardol,  Social  Justice  Coordinator,  Grey  Nuns  of  the  Sacred  Heart   Yardley,  PA     Sister  Mary  E.  Looby,  Grey  Nuns  of  the  Sacred  Heart   Yardley,  PA     Sister  Julia  C.  Lanigan,  Grey  Nuns  of  the  Sacred  Heart   Yardley,  PA     Reverend  Patricia  Pearce,  Presbytery  of  Philadelphia   Philadelphia,  PA     Reverend  Catherine  de  La  Vigne,  Universal  Life  Church  Monastery   Spokane,  PA     Lorrainee  Kennedy,  Grey  Nuns  of  the  Sacred  Heart   Yardley  Pa.,  PA     Rabbi  Nathan  Martin   Philadelphia,  PA     Rev.  Andrea  Brown,  United  Methodist   Lancaster,  PA     Laurie  Stuart,  Upper  Delaware  Unitarian  Universalist  Fellowship   Beach  Lake,  PA     Director,  Sister  Nora  M.  Nash,  OSF,  Sisters  of  St.  Francis  of  Philadelphia   Aston,  PA      
  10. 10.   Rev.  Greg  Kammann,  Ph.D.,  Trinity  United  Church  of  Christ   Telford,  PA     Association  of  Pittsburgh  Priests   Pittsburgh,  PA       Sister  Mary  Elizabeth  Clark,  Director,  Sisters  of  St.  Joseph  Earth  Center   Philadelphia,  PA