Two city conventions targets of fracking protestors

The “Stop the Madness” rally and march attracted about 100 protesters from 11 organizations seeking to bring attention to what they said was the potential for unhealthy air and water pollution from the Shell ethane-cracking plant that will be built in Beaver County.
They also are against the ongoing development, drilling, hydraulic fracturing and piping of shale gas in southwestern Pennsylvania.
“The fracking industry misrepresents its impacts on the lives of its workers and our communities,” the Rev.
Dai Morgan, coordinator for United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania, said to the crowd gathered at Station Square.
“This is our Standing Rock,” said Briget Shields, a founding member of Marcellus Protest, an anti-fracking group.
“Maryland, New York and Vermont banned fracking because they all saw what was happening in Pennsylvania.
We need to do that here.” At 6 p.m., the rally morphed into a march, commandeering the inbound lane of the Smithfield Street Bridge.
They were followed by two police vehicles with lights flashing, and two policemen on bicycles were at the front of the march, stopping rush hour traffic at intersections to allow the marchers to pass.
At the convention center, there were additional speakers, including Gabe McMoreland, executive director of the Thomas Merton Center, which he said opposes all fracking, an industrial process that pumps water, chemicals and sand deep underground to crack open the shale formation and release the natural gas it holds.
This is not a science problem, it’s a power struggle.” The protestors didn’t shock Frank Mull, a salesman with Keystone Drill Services, who had attended the DUG conference at the convention center Tuesday and watched from the 10th Street sidewalk.

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