Responsible Drilling Alliance

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ELECTION INFO and GAS DRILLING in RIDER PARK – Nov. 1st 2010 Newsletter


RDA believes hydrofracking for gas in the Marcellus shale is the most critical issue in the upcoming election. In light of that, we offer the following facts regarding the political races that will most impact the majority of RDA’s members. This information has been sourced from Common Cause, the League of Conservation Voters, LWV, various newspapers, and the candidates themselves. RDA does not officially endorse or oppose any political candidate. We offer this information for the benefit of members interested in the issues.


Gubernatorial campaign contributions from the natural gas drilling industry stand at $826,520.00.  Republican candidate Tom Corbett has received $752,220.  Democrat Dan Onorato has received  $119,300.  Onorato supports a severance tax. With 91% of the gas money coming his way, Corbett has promised the industry he will keep PA severance-tax-free.


83rd District (Williamsport area and townships in western Lycoming County)

Rick Mirabito (incumbent) voted in favor of the severance tax that was approved in the PA House last month. Mirabito states:  “Thirty-eight states have a severance tax on gas drillers, and if PA doesn’t approve the tax, we are in danger of losing $1.9 billion over the next few years. We can’t have families and local taxpayers footing the bill for whatever problems result from the Marcellus region.”

Dave Huffman responded to RDA’s request for his position on Marcellus drilling as follows: “Throughout the course of this campaign, I have been accumulating information about all the issues concerning the Marcellus gas drilling.  It is a comprehensive list that includes but is not limited to various and sundry public environmental responsibility and the private leasing contracts in regard to gas drilling.  If I am elected, I would ask everyone to check out my web site at no later than Nov. 4 for an open meeting that I will have already scheduled within one week after the election.  Yes, I am communicating a sense of urgency on this matter!”

110th district (Sullivan and Bradford Counties)

Tina Pickett (incumbent) voted NO on the severance tax bill that passed the House last month. Out of a possible 100, Pickett has been given a score of 40 by the Sierra Club and 50 by the League of Conservation Voters.

John Trallo is a write-in candidate and self-proclaimed Constitutional Conservative.  Trallo supports a severance tax on existing wells and promises to channel funds to environmental protection and local communities impacted by drilling. Trallo favors a moratorium on new gas drilling.

76th District (Clinton County)

Daryl Schafer did not reply to RDA’s request for information, and there is no mention of Marcellus issues available on Schafer’s website.

Mike Hanna (incumbent) voted in favor of the severance tax that was approved in the PA House last month. Both the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters have given Hanna a score of 100.


Joe Sestak has joined Senator Bob Casey as a sponsor of the FRAC Act, which would restore Safe Drinking Water Act protections for Marcellus gas drilling operations. The bill would also require full disclosure of the composition the fracking fluid being injected into the ground to recover the gas. After a blowout and explosion at a drilling site in Clearfield County Pennsylvania, Congressman Sestak wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to urge improved safety measures to protect Pennsylvanians from the potentially detrimental effects of hydraulic fracturing noting that oversight was inadequate and putting workers at risk. Sestak rates a 96 on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard.

Pat Toomey has consistently opposed proposals to expand federal or local oversight of drilling. Toomey’s lifetime score on his votes on environmental issues is 11.  He has had the dubious honor of being selected for the “Dirty Dozen” list compiled by the League of Conservation Voters.


Rider Park is a treasure selflessly donated to the people of Lycoming County from the late Thomas J. Rider. This park has been in existence for over twenty years. The park is used by schools to educate children and by colleges to demonstrate biodiversity. Mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, cross country skiers, birders, gardeners, and many other clubs, organizations and individuals enjoy the park in every season.

Rider Park’s 868 acres of beautiful vistas and diverse forests are now threatened by development from the gas companies. The park has already been surveyed for gas development, and adjacent land plotted for a pipeline. This would mean the destruction of forests and meadows, the construction of well pads and roads, the noise and pollution from thousands of diesel trucks going up and down the park entrance road and new access roads (est. 4400 truck trips per well – in and out). Trucks run 24/7 carrying gravel, toxic chemicals, water, sand, etc, glaring flood lights illuminate the night sky, pipeline construction and a possible compressor station are inevitable. The park as we know it would virtually cease to exist.

The current owner of Rider Park is the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFPA). The Partnership is entrusted with stewardship of this much-loved and utilized land within our community.
The Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on signing the gas lease on November 8th.  The window of opportunity to save the park is extremely narrow.

Please join the Friends of Rider Park today.
There are several ways you can help.

  1. Visit the Friends of Rider Park website by clicking here.
  2. Sign the “Save Rider Park” petition by clicking here.
  3. Write a letter to the Sun Gazette (or another local paper)
  4. Send a letter or email directly to the FCFPA. Email: Address: 330 Pine Street, Suite 401 Williamsport, PA 17701
  5. Post the “Friends of Rider Park” website on your Facebook page, Twitter and other networking sites
  6. Forward this message to everyone who may be concerned about this violation of public trust

Help STOP the industrialization of Rider Park. 
The online Petition will be presented to FCFPA on November 8, 2010.
Take Action Today!
Thank you.

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