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Published on Apr 24, 2012
Bill Belitskus, Board President of the Allegheny Defense Project gave this presentation in Canastota, NY on April 17, 2012. The host organization was the wildlife advocacy group: Beavers Wetlands and Wildlife. For the past 15 years, Belitskus has been monitoring forest fragmentation, water degradation, air pollution, and the loss of recreational opportunities in the Allegheny National Forest caused by oil and gas drilling. He spoke from the unique perspective of a Pennsylvanian "whose state has jumped into shale gas drilling and fracking, feet first with eyes closed." Bill has been sounding the alarm about the riparian rights of landowners to protect waterways and the dangers of consumptive water withdrawal from rivers, streams and groundwater by the oil and gas industry. In this presentation he address the Pennsylvania Legislature's recent passing of Act 13, called the most anti-democratic, anti-environmental law in the nation, because it elevates the rights of gas companies above the civil rights of people and communities. This legislation gives gas companies the right to drill anywhere, overturn local zoning law, seize private property and muzzle physicians from disclosing specific health impacts upon patients from drilling contamination.