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Article published July 19, 2013
Lou Hancherick Jackson Township
President Obama, in delivering his climate action plan, rehashed all the key edicts we’ve heard from administrations for the past four decades: cut carbon emissions, increase fuel efficiency; clamp down on coal; develop alternative energy, and so on. Yet, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere continue to climb. It’s obvious the fossil energy industry’s grip on our elected representatives has allowed the continued pollution of our environment, particularly when it comes to unconventional gas development enjoying exemption from major environmental protection laws. The one bright spot was Obama’s challenge: “What we need in this fight are citizens who will stand up and speak up and compel us to do what this moment demands ... speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings; push back on misinformation, speak up for the facts, broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future.” Those words suggest that the president anticipated many of us would not be overjoyed with his plan, but we should not take it lying down. We need to spring into action to counteract the lies with facts and compel our governments to protect the health and safety of our citizens and save the planet. Marcellus Outreach Butler (MOB), a grassroots group from Butler County, is sponsoring the Fossil-free Energy Fair from noon to 5 p.m. July 27 in the Carousel Shelter at Alameda Park, Butler. Admission is free. The fair’s theme is “Energizing for a Sustainable Future.” Patricia DeMarco, former director of the Rachael Carson Institute, and others will speak on energy conservation and viability of wind, solar and hydro power for energy generation. The economic benefits of job creation, business development, and energy independence will be presented by Paul Scanlon and John Golden from the Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator at Slippery Rock University.