Harrisburg, PA– Today, Jan. 9, farmers from around Pennsylvania took to the Pennsylvania Farm Show to deliver a letter signed by over 140 Pennsylvania farmers to Governor Tom Wolf, urging him to protect farms by stopping hydraulic fracturing (“fracking.”).
Several farmers ventured inside the Farm Show arena as Gov. Wolf spoke at the Farm Show opening ceremony, unfurling a banner reading “Farms Not Fracking” to ensure the Governor heard their call to protect farmland from fracking.
The farmers were joined by dozens from around the state converging for a rally hosted by the statewide coalition Pennsylvanians Against Fracking, which took place directly outside the Farm Show Complex. Over 100 attendees participated in the rally, which celebrated farming and mourned the lives lost and damage done to the agricultural industry by fracking in Pennsylvania. Attendees were joined by actor James Cromwell, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a farmer in the 1995 film Babe.
“This letter outlines serious concerns from Pennsylvania’s agricultural community that cannot continue to be ignored,” said Jenny Lisak a leader of Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air, which is a member of the Pennsylvanians Against Fracking Steering Committee. “[Gov.] Wolf must not only protect Pennsylvania farmland and farmers, he must lead us into a renewable energy economy. I vehemently protest my farm being contaminated by toxic industrialization, and I share those sentiments with farmers across Pennsylvania.”
“Fracking destroyed my business and my life,” said Maggie Henry, who has been forced to abandon her organic pig farm. “Fracking and related industries made it impossible to call my produce organic. Fracking-related earthquakes destroyed the integrity of my basement foundation and cracked my chimney flute pipe. I can’t farm on my land- I can’t even live on my land.”
"Fracking cannot be made safe,” said Stephen Cleghorn, PhD, a farmer from Jefferson County who helped draft and deliver the letter. “Regulations simply enable the industry to proceed with an industrial experiment that could forever ruin the aquifers critical to the life of my organic farm. The industry cannot prove that they will not ruin my water source. That is why I implore Governor Wolf to stop it. In addition to the farmers signed on to this letter, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture representing 6,000 farmers has called for a moratorium on fracking. Why does Governor Wolf ignore the voices of farmers?"
About Pennsylvanians Against Fracking
Pennsylvanians Against Fracking is a statewide coalition of organizations, institutions, and businesses calling for a halt to fracking in the Commonwealth. Learn more about Pennsylvanians Against Fracking.