Carolers sing to Wayne National Forest: “Oh, Give Us a Ban on Drilling…and Do it Right Now!”
Nelsonville, OH, Dec. 21, 2015 –– With signs reading, No Consent!, Ho Ho Ho…We say NO!, Do the research!, We want NEPA for Christmas!, and Tis the season..,There’s a reason to keep it in the ground, a group of festively dressed carolers visited the Wayne National Forest Headquarters on Monday. Dubbing themselves the Waynettes, they sang several carols, including Jingle Bells with the words, “Protests start to ring, Making spirits sing, Oh what fun it is to be In a forest fracking free.” In their “We Wish You a Frack-free Christmas” they sang, “Oh give us a ban on drilling, and do it right now!” concluding the song with “We won’t stop until we get one, Our earth is too dear!” Giving credit to another fractivist group, Marcellus Protest, they sang Fracking Wonderland, lamenting, “Gone away is the bluebird, they’re all dead, ain’t no new birds. The pipes that they laid sent the wildlife away, living in a fracked up wonderland.” The carolers left a letter with the receptionist to deliver to Wayne Forest Supervisor, in which they noted the thousands of petition signatures and letters delivered to the Wayne over the past four years calling for an environmental impact study as required by federal law before the Wayne even consider leasing any land for fracking.
The carolers’ message to Mr. Scardina states in part, “In order for the Bureau of Land Management to proceed with any lease sales of mineral rights under our National Forest, federal law requires that the Forest Service (FS) first formally consent. If the FS does not consent, the proposal is dead. For the reasons below among others, we demand that the FS withhold consent.
- Fracking was not considered in the 2006 Wayne National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Plan). The Wayne’s inadequate 2012 Supplemental Information Report, undertaken after community opposition got the 2011 lease sale canceled, violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by not including public input. The FS must undertake a full NEPA-based environmental review of the impacts of fracking on our forest, community, and climate before considering consent. This review must take into account all the new information – from peer-reviewed studies, the EPA fracking study, NY’s evaluation of fracking, and incident reports of the explosions, fires, and toxic, radioactive releases that have occurred at frack sites and frackwaste operations in Ohio and elsewhere, contaminating air and water and threatening drinking water supplies.
- Doing this research will make it abundantly clear that fracking will have significant negative impacts on our community’s air, water, and local economies as well as on the climate and must be rejected for these reasons.
- Climate change is a crisis with no equal. It demands immediate and decisive action. We support legislation recently introduced into the U.S. Congress that would ban the development of all publicly owned fossil fuels, such as those underneath Wayne National Forest. #keepitintheground
- Our community has said loudly and clearly, over and over, “We say NO! Do the research. No consent!”