In response to a well written article in the Cville Weekly, Heidi Dhivya Berthoud wrote a letter to the editor, published in the August 12-18 edition. No link was available, thus the text is copied here:
Erika Howsare wrote a great article [“Hallelujah, What’s next?”], 7/29, celebrating the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) cancellation and mourning her ancestry in Washington County, southwestern Pennsylvania, home to the largest number of fracking wells. Truly, Pennsylvania is one of the most abused areas by fossil fuel and extractive industries, but they also are the proud ‘rebirth’ place of the Community Rights and Rights of Nature movement.
Despair not! Over 100 communities in Pennsylvania have joined a state, national and global rights-based movement, targeting the roots of abusive assaults. Corporate and government interests claim superior rights to local communities, treating them as resource colonies and sacrifice zones; forcing communities to accept harmful projects against their will. That paradigm is being shifted by asserting rights to self-government and the inalienable rights to clean air, water, land, sustainable food, living wages, and more.
Take heart! The Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed the first Community Bill of Rights banning fracking in the United States in 2010. In March 2020, Grant Township, northeast of Pittsburgh, won a 7 year battle to stop a frack waste injection well. We are frontline ACP activists, not resting, but bringing this work to Virginia as Virginia Community Rights Network. Together we win. Join us!