Delawareans take a stand against fracking at the gubernatorial debate, October 17, 2012
Outside of the gubernatorial debate on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 the Delaware Sierra Club greeted Delawareans as they entered the debate with signs and flyers about fracking. Once dark, we held a candlelight vigil in solidarity with communities and waterways impacted by fracking. This event was held with the support of several other groups concerned about fracking, including Occupy Delaware, who had several members in attendance.
The goals of this action were to raise awareness around fracking, the existence of the DRBC and Governor Markell’s previous decision not to support drilling regulations that would fracking the Delware River Basin and to show the next Governor that this is an important issue to Delawareans. We also wanted to get both candidates to publically take a position on fracking. This goal was accomplished thanks to UD sophomore and Student’s for the Environment member, Becky Bronstein!
Becky asked the candidates “Do you support Hydraulic Fracturing for natural gas?” Cragg, Republican Candidate for Governor, responded “I support fracking” and went on to say that he thought appropriate safeguards were already in place. Governor Markell responded “This is not an ideological issue”; he mentioned his decision last Fall on the DRBC and continued, “Once you turn this proverbial faucet on, you can’t turn it off…this has to be driven by the science.” He did say that in the future he may be in support of fracking should he think the appropriate safeguards were in place, but qualified this by ending “at this point I’m not there”.
Watch the debate here; forward to 43:52 to see Becky’s question and the candidate’s responses.
At the end of the day we had 11 people and two dogs participate in our event and talked to several UD Students and Delawareans about fracking. We distributed lots of “Don’t drill the Delaware” flyers and had a great time. Some people thanked us as they exited the debate and told us of what the candidates had said inside. Overall this event was a big success thanks to those in who came out, Gail Heath who took the pictures and of course Becky Bronstein who asked the question.