Across the United States, energy extraction and production—from coal mining to oil drilling to fracking to petrochemical manufacturing and more—impact communities and the environment. Energy and agriculture often intersect, whether it’s a frack pad located close to a farm, a wind farm adjacent to agricultural fields, or offshore drilling and its impacts on fish stock.
Western Pennsylvania is a microcosm of many of these energy production industries. On this field trip, we’ll head south of Pittsburgh into northern Appalachia and the coalfield region, taking winding mountain roads through a historic (and currently active) coal-producing area in which hundreds of fracking wells and refining and processing sites have also been installed over the last decade. Today, about 75% of the residents of Washington County and nearly 90% of residents in neighboring Greene County live within two miles of a frack pad. We’ll hear directly from community members, a farmer, and other experts about how extreme energy extraction, processing, and waste related to longwall coal mining and shale gas fracking in southwestern Pennsylvania affect rural communities, agricultural lands and ecosystems, and air and water quality.
Learn from the deep expertise of community members as well as staff and board members of the Center for Coalfield Justice and other organizations. This memorable and impactful day will leave you with a deeper understanding of how extractive industry affects a place, landscape, people, and animals—and how funders and other partners might support avenues for environmental justice.
Note: This tour will involve a great deal of driving on winding mountain roads. If you tend to get carsick, we recommend that you use anti-nausea preventives such as medication and/or acupressure bands.
Host organizations include:
• Breathe Collaborative
• Center for Coalfield Justice
• Earthworks Pennsylvania
• Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project