- Denying climate change;
- Subsidizing fossil fuel production;
- Ignoring hazards to communities from fossil fuel production;
- Prioritizing jobs in a dying industry rather than training for a new generation of jobs in clean, renewable energy; and
- Talking about cutting greenhouse gas emissions while ramping up fracked-gas extraction, production and pipelines.
While those concerned citizens were lobbying for their environmental rights, which are guaranteed by the PA Constitution, a smaller group concerned about the environment and government corruption took direct action to impress the PA General Assembly with the need for urgent attention to the climate. Below is the account of one of the ten demonstrators who were arrested because -- rather than hear the truth -- the PA Legislature chose to arrest people.
Our issue with Yaw was his conflict of interests. Yaw is handsomely paid as a FULL TIME legislator, but more to the point, Yaw is chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. In that role, he oversees legislation that impacts the oil and gas industry. Unfittingly, Yaw is also a lawyer with a firm in Williamsport which says on its website, “With top-to-bottom knowledge of the energy industry, our attorneys work with the gas companies to advise on all legal aspects of development and operation.” Moreover, Yaw's top ten donors to his campaign include eight oil and gas related entities. Because PA allows gifts to legislators and most of those gifts go unreported, we have no idea how much money Yaw is raking in from the oil and gas industry.
The police recognized members of the first action team, but the team was able to get up to Senator Gene Yaw's office. When the eight of us went inside this office, we were told that the Senator wasn't in, that he was already at work in the Senate. But . . . but . . . but . . . our people on the outside saw him SPRINTING out of the office when he found out we were there to see him. Better still, his staff insisted that outside jobs, campaign contributions, and gifts weren't bribes -- and then they called to have us arrested.
- Beyond Extreme Energy,
- Green Party of Pennsylvania,
- Marcellus Outreach Butler,
- March On Harrisburg,
- Occupy Biden,
- Ohio Valley Environmental Resistance,
- Veterans For Peace,
- XR Philly,
- XR Delaware, and others.