Following reports that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will allow fracking giant Coterra (formerly Cabot Oil and Gas) to resume drilling operations in Dimock, over 50 groups delivered a letter to Governor-elect Josh Shapiro today decrying the decision to once again put the people of Dimock in harm’s way.
The letter – signed by Food & Water Watch, Earthworks, Better Path Coalition, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Friends of the Earth and others – specifically calls for Governor-elect Shapiro to undo the decision when he takes office next month.
“The people of Dimock have suffered long enough, and no one knows better than Governor-elect Shapiro that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) cannot be trusted to make the practice safe. He has prosecuted several cases involving the DEP’s complete inability to regulate the fracking industry,” said Food & Water Watch organizer Ginny Marcille-Kerslake. “The simple truth is that no amount of regulation can make fracking safe, and subjecting the people of Dimock to the dangers of the oil and gas industry again is an outrageous betrayal. It’s up to Shapiro to set this right.”
Pennsylvanians are up in arms about the decision to re-open Dimock to fracking, with close to 2,000 quickly signing on to a petition this week from the Better Path Coalition demanding that Shapiro reverse the decision.
“Josh Shapiro promised to go after the polluters as Attorney General. His job is about to change; as Governor, his job is to prevent pollution, an outcome all but guaranteed if Coterra is allowed to drill anywhere near Dimock. Governor-Elect Shapiro must reinstate the ban on day one as governor,” said Karen Feridun, Co-founder of the Better Path Coalition.
“Just as we saw with Mariner East, the situation in Dimock shows how our regulatory agencies have been captured by oil and gas interests. In addition to reinstating the fracking moratorium in Dimock on his first day as governor, Shapiro should prioritize putting in people who will actually take seriously the missions of the DEP and PUC, as well as enforcing the green amendment to Pennsylvania’s constitution, which guarantees us clean air and water,” said George Alexander, Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety.
“On his first day in office, Governor Shapiro must undo the damage left by his predecessor’s cynical decision to allow new fracking in Dimock,” said Edward C. Ketyer, M.D., F.A.A.P. President, Physicians for Social Responsibility. “ Fracking in Dimock should be prohibited, and Governor Shapiro must ensure that clean drinking water returns to a town decimated by fracking, to townspeople who have suffered long enough.”