To: Governor Tom Wolf

Gov. Wolf: Don't raid alternative energy funds to finance more pipelines

I urge you to cancel your newly announced Pipeline Investment Program. The program takes $24 million in taxpayer money - which should be spent to benefit the public good - and uses it to only benefit the fracking industry.

Fracked gas pipelines are inherently dangerous. Earlier this year, a pipeline exploded in in Westmoreland County, causing severe injury and property damage. In October, a gasoline pipeline operated by Sunoco ruptured in Lycoming County, leaking 55,000 gallons into the Susquehanna River.

The Pipeline Investment Program purports to help schools and hospitals by connecting them with fracked gas energy. New fracked gas pipelines would only put these institutions and our communities at grave risk. Many schools and hospitals are already negatively impacted by fracking and associated infrastructure. In fact, parent groups have been forming across the state to keep wells away from schools because children are more vulnerable to the pollution they cause than adults. The infirmed are another vulnerable population. A program that encourages more fossil fuel infrastructure around schools and hospitals, perpetuating the same industry that is putting their populations at risk, is unacceptable.

Why is this important?

Governor Tom Wolf recently announced the new PIPE program that takes $24 million from an alternative energy program to further incentivize construction of natural gas pipelines in the state. This program would connect schools, hospitals, municipalities, manufacturing plants, and industrial parks to natural gas distribution lines, creating even more customers for the industry that is putting our communities and our most vulnerable populations -- children, the elderly, and the infirmed -- at risk. Building more pipelines when we should be transitioning away from fossil fuels is irresponsible. Asking the very populations that are most vulnerable to the immediate health and safety impacts to contribute to their own potential undoing is completely unacceptable.