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Thousands Heading to Philly for Clean Energy March

New York state has banned fracking, but dozens of gas and oil pipelines are planned. (Beyond Coal and Gas/flickr.com)
New York state has banned fracking, but dozens of gas and oil pipelines are planned. (Beyond Coal and Gas/flickr.com)
July 22, 2016

PHILADELPHIA - Thousands will be marching in the streets of Philadelphia on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, calling for a Clean Energy Revolution. Convened by Americans Against Fracking and Food and Water Watch, the march has been endorsed by more than 800 organizations.

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, with Green Justice Philly, said the Democratic Party platform will be finalized on Monday, and environmentalists want delegates to strengthen the environmental plank.

"We'd like the Democratic National Committee to have no fracking in its platform, a strong endorsement of fighting against climate change, and strong backing of renewable energy," he said.

Thousand of wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania alone, making it one of the top five producers of natural gas in the country.

New York State has banned fracking and is committed to getting half of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030. But Greta Zarro, an organizer with Food and Water Watch in Brooklyn, points out that the switch could happen at a much faster pace.

"There's really no reason why we can't implement it right now and instead we see more fracking infrastructure, the continuation of Indian Point, and the promotion of other nuclear plants upstate," she said.

Zarro said so far there are 480 people signed up for buses traveling to Philadelphia from all over New York state for Sunday's march, and many more will be going on their own.

Globally, 2016 is on track to be the hottest year on record. Liebling maintains it's no longer a choice, switching to clean energy needs to be the top priority. And that's what is drawing thousands to Philadelphia to march Sunday for a climate revolution.

"These 800 organizations understand that the greatest crisis facing humanity is global climate change," he added.

The march will begin with a multi-faith service at Philadelphia's City Hall.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY