AS I followed Alex Higbee’s stance of observing from the fringes of the crowd on Saturday at the Occupy Movement, I was quite amazed to see the different issues that Wal-Street (hundreds of miles away) has created. I stumbled into a group of Bucknell students from the environmental college and found out that they were here protesting the Marcellus Shale issue that has plagued Pennsylvania’s environment.
“It’s amazing to see the kind of damage that the drilling has done in the area and the kind of environmental destruction that is merely a few miles from campus.” mentioned a junior who was an alumnus of the college. Whole ecological habitats have been wiped out due to the extensive infrastructure, chemicals, and machinery that has been used over the years to extract the precious materials that are held within the shale. In addition, sink holes have been reported to have been developing over 14 years according to the student. And while the community suffers the consequences of the drilling, more and more contracts are being handed out to companies with promise of jobs which are all temporary.
The most concerning problem for the students is the waste that is produced from the drilling which is not only affecting those who are working on site, but poor disposal of the waste water has seen it enter water systems that run into communities and has slowly become a problem. The Marcellus Shale Initiative has been taken up by the environmental college who have incorporated focused courses on the topic for the students in the college; “We have seminars that are focused on educating us on the issue while also helping us develop a project that will have an impact on the movement,” mentioned a freshman member of the group.
The students want their voices to be heard and they felt that the Occupy Movement was a perfect opportunity to meet some people who shared their views in an area where this issue is so pertinent.
- Harrisburg-area anti-drilling group wonders if it’s time to employ civil disobedience (pennlive.com)