As he prepares to take office, a petition signed by over 3,000 was delivered to Governor-elect Josh Shapiro demanding that he reverse a decision by the Wolf administration that would allow fracking to resume in Dimock.
The DEP decision came as a shock to environmentalists across the state, and to residents of a town that made international headlines due to water contamination linked to drilling by Cabot Oil & Gas. The company has since merged with another drilling company, and re-branded under the new name Coterra.
The DEP’s quiet decision to lift the drilling moratorium came on the same day in late November that Coterra was in court to plead no contest to charges that it was responsible for the damage in Dimock – a case brought forward by Shapiro during his tenure as Attorney General.
The petition echoes a demand delivered in a December letter to Governor-elect Josh Shapiro decrying the decision to once again put the people of Dimock in harm’s way. That letter – signed by Food & Water Watch, Better Path Coalition, Earthworks, 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 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 Pennsylvania Director Megan McDonough. “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.”
“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.