State of the Fracking Union: To win Ohio and Pennsylvania, Obama must oppose fracking.

by Alexander Lotorto,

President Obama has committed to losing his re-election bid by embracing fracking during his State of the Union speech. As I discussed in my last piece, key swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, where grassroots organizers are in a pitched battle against the drillers to save their home values, traditional industries, and public health, will have desolate campaign offices and fewer volunteers to re-elect the traitorous Democrat who has thrown us under the bus to live in fracking hell.


I invite everyone to join me in educating Obama campaign volunteers about the major mistake he’s made while encouraging them to send the fracking warning up the Democrat Party chain of command in any way they can. It’s not too late for Obama to apologize and reverse his policies that have enabled drilling to exponentially increase throughout his presidency Continue reading


THE PAPER TIGER [standing up to industry bullies works]

Today I’m passing along a story from the former mayor of Dish Texas to some local organizers who are taking heroic steps to fight the industry while also having to worry about their family’s safety from contaminated wells.

The Paper Tiger

by Calvin Tillman
Mayor, DISH, TX

To those of you who have children, you have no doubt seen the movie, The Jungle Book.  In this movie the villain is played by the dreaded tiger Shere Khan. Shere Khan was feared by all in the land except for the young child Mogli, who exposed Shere Khan’s weakness, which was fire. Shere Khan was of course what we call a paper tiger,which appears to be powerful, but is actually powerless and ineffective.

When I started dealing with the natural gas industry, I was initially intimidated by the size and wealth of the industry.  I soon learned that negotiating with them in this frame of mind, I would come up short.  The industry is poised to prey on those who are intimidated by them, and I had began to hear a number of horror stories regarding the industry and how they would threaten and intimidate those who would dare to question them. Frankly, I found the initial approach to be friendly… friendly like a car salesman, not friendly like neighbor.  However, after being sold a bad used car a couple of times, you quickly learn that maybe you should question what is going on.  That is when you start seeing the threats begin; first the sales pitch, and then the threats.

When growing up everyone had to deal with a bully.  Maybe is was the ugly kid at school whose parents didn’t like them much and who never learned to get their way without using force.  But eventually the skinny kid punches them in the nose, and the secret is out that they bleed like everyone else.  The skinny kid does that when it seems likely the only option.  If you figure out that you are going to get your butt kicked either way, you may as well go down swinging and this is when the paper tiger’s weakness gets exposed.

This is very similar to the story in DISH.  At some point we knew that there would be nothing left if we did not make a stand; nothing more than an eventual statistic.  We went through the sales pitch from the paid liars, and the constant threats from the industry sociopaths.  I knew we were likely going to lose, but why not go down fighting?  I quickly learned that this industry was nothing more than a paper tiger, and began finding and exploiting their weaknesses.  I found with a little strategy, it does not take much to get ahead of this industry.   Continue reading

Organizing in Youngstown: Ban the Whole Fracking Enchillada! [Day 2]

Today I’m speechless.  Last night a collection of activists have formed Frack Free Mahoning to empower citizens to take back local control and establish citizens rights to clean air and water and Ban Fracking!

Then in the morning I went to a hearing by the Senate Agriculture Committee where we held signs and booed and cheered to make our voices heard.   It was gratifying to see that even the media picked up on the dog and pony show of having only industry “experts” and representatives give advice to their legislative tools on camera.

But the real meeting was tonight in North Lima, cite of an injection well nearly nobody knew about and where residents were fed up with industry and ODNR talking at them and not allowed to speak or ask questions.  Julia Fuhrman Davis gave a fracking facts 101 to over 200 people.  Not knowing what response she’d get, Julia announced that the only safe thing to do to fight the corporation, corruption, and cancer coming to N Lima was by BANNING FRACKING.  The crowed erupted in applause!!!!

Do you want clean water?  YES!
Do you want clean air?  YES!

She also left me with my quote of the day:

“We need to write a community rights resolution protecting our healthy water, and local property values…. I want to ban the whole fracking enchillada”

After her, Patti Gorcheff said, “This is our America, not the gas industry’s America.  Have we been beaten down so much that we can’t stand on our own two feet?  Stand up.  STAND UP and say ‘NOT IN MY BACKYARD'”

So from the two meetings today I saw one where only industry spoke and the public remained silent.  And that’s exactly what the industry wants because otherwise citizens realize that they can do exactly what the industry never counted on just like they did in the second meeting in North Lima: organizing and fighting back, refusing to be set against their neighbors and be picked off one by one, and demanding real answers.  The power wasn’t at the Senate Subcommittee hearing with elected officials and millionaire industry reps, it was in the High School Gymnasium.  And if I was one of those industry reps right now, I’d be terrified.

Organizing in Youngstown: Planning [Day 1]

Hello everyone.  This week I’ve headed to Youngstown to work with local organizers  to help define what they want to work on and how we as a larger network can help.   I got in last night and had fun learning about Youngstown’s efforts to redevelop their city to be carbon neutral with a group called “Resettling Youngstown.”  Then I had some locally grown brunch with friends and hung out downtown and heard John’s new anti-fracking single:  “Hit the road, Frack” which I’ll have up on our site ASAP.  I’m ready to plan with the organizers here how we’re going to Sttop Fracking! in Youngstown and all Mahoning.

But why here?… Continue reading

…and Dr. King said

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today.  We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The “tide in the affairs of men” does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on…” We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Where Do We Go From Here

What are they Selling? It’s not gas, but maybe a gas bubble.

Hi activists.  We’re trying something new here.  Reader’s of this blog are already familiar with the deeply disturbing ecological impacts of fracking, the heartbreaking stories of people’s lives deeply affected by contaminated air and water, and especially we try to highlight how people fight AND WIN against these companies so we are emboldened to protect our communities and ban fracking.

Well today we’re going to talk about something equally important: the economic context of shale drillers.  David Huck looks at how the high-pressure sales tactics, ballooning debt, financial wizardry and real estate speculation may be exaggerating the economic sustainability of shale gas production. With natural gas prices seemingly permanently depressed and the costs of wastewater disposal, legal battles and drilling rising we wonder “what are they really selling?” It’s not gas.

“Recent experiences in the fragility of our financial system and the ease with which irrational exuberance gives way to bubble mania should encourage us to take any ‘this time is different’ story with a grain of salt.”  Read the full story…

*If you’d like to write a guest article for, please contact us!

Kasich and Fracking Industry Shaking from Earthquake Outrage: NBC, CNN, Maddow, NPR, EcoWatch, NYT, Huffington…

Clearly the nation wants to hear about us winning when we fight back against fracking.  After local pressure forced an early closure of the Youngstown D&L Injection well, Johnny “fracking is a Godsend” Kasich realized that his no regulations are good regulations approach wasn’t going to play too well and wisely ordered the closing of 4 more wells.

Now the nationals top media is in on the story and they’re getting our message: Continue reading