Marcellus Shale – A Blessing or a Curse?

In banking, clean renewable energy, divest, no fossil fuels, pipelines, solar, transition on March 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

Our state has been blessed, some say. Possibly cursed, say some others. I’m talking about the abundant gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale. Cursed because of issues during Extraction, Transportation & Consumption.

Extraction is also known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. When chemicals are forced into the ground, they contaminate the water table, affecting the well water of rural townships. As the gas is forced out & captured, there are leaks. Leaks that affect the local air quality and detrimental to the health & property values. The same methane leaks are an important contributor to climate change, worse even than carbon dioxide. 

Transportation of fracked gas is typically by pipelines. Pipelines that are known to leak or explode, with cleanup expenses left to the taxpayers. Rights for these pipelines, going thru wetlands, woodlands and private property, are gained via eminent domain in the name of public utility.  but are really for private gain by fossil fuel companies. Permit applications are shoddy, and fragmented construction begins in communities with the least resistance. Communities are not compensated for the devastation, nor the liability.

There are several pipeline developments, all headed to or through the greater Philadelphia area – the Mariner East 2 pipeline slated to carry fracked gas liquids from west to east, ending up in nearby Delaware County, and destined for export, to be made into plastic bags in Europe. How does this qualify the pipeline builders to claim in the courts that they’re a public utility? 

Then there’s the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline destined to travel north to south, going through farmland in Lancaster County. And the PennEast pipeline thru Bucks County into New Jersey. And smaller segments across the Delaware River (which supplies the drinking water for 15M people), and into the Pinelands in South Jersey.

gas burning from a kitchen gas stove

Which leads us to …Consumption. The pipeline going thru the Pinelands is headed to a gas power plant, where the fracked gas will be burned to generate electricity. Much like the SEPTA gas plant locally in Nicetown that 350 Philly and others are fighting. Advertised as clean burning at point of ignition, the industry ignores the devastation left in its wake. 

Once you realize that natural gas is the same as methane, and that methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than even carbon dioxide (86 times), you’ll agree, it’s no longer clean burning.

Who’s doing this extraction, transportation & building up the large scale demand for fracked gas? The same companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline:  

Sunoco Logistics, Williams Company, Energy Transfer Partners

Who’s funding these companies?

Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, Citizens Bank, HBSC Bank, TD Bank

And many of us thru our personal accounts, our investments and our retirement plans.

It’s time to #divest and #reinvest all of our funds into clean energy from #solar and #wind, and leave the Marcellus Shale reserves resting safely underground.

Initially presented at Indivisible NW Philly meeting on March 12 2017.

Ask the electors

In no fossil fuels on December 5, 2016 at 3:20 pm

I just went to, and wrote the following. Please write in your own words why they shouldn’t select Donald Trump as our President.

Subject: please consider the popular vote and vote with climate awareness

Dear Elector,

My name is Meenal Raval from Philadelphia, PA.

A presidential election like the recent one is exactly why our forefathers created the electoral college. Please consider the popular vote when you select our next president.

As the Dalai Lama said: “We are the generation with the awareness of a great danger. We are the ones with the responsibility and the ability to take steps of concrete action, before it is too late” to act on climate.

The wrong president will truly spell doom for our entire planet.

Thank you for your time and consideration, I appreciate and respect the role you serve in our electoral process.




Call DOJ to audit 2016 presidential vote

In democracy on December 5, 2016 at 2:36 pm

The Department of Justice is tallying phone calls regarding those who want the 2016 vote audited.

  • Tollfree: 1-800-253-3931 (press 5)
  • DC: 202-353-1555 (leave message)
  • email:

Suggested script: “My name is _____, calling from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m asking for the November 2016 vote to be audited; I sense there’s been voter suppression and interference with the 2016 presidential election. Please issue an injunction until a thorough investigation can take place.”

Even shorter: “My name is ___, calling from City, State. Please add me to the list requesting the investigation of the 2016 presidential election.”

The point is to provide the DOJ with numbers so they can say X number of Americans want an injunction. Calling preferred over email. I just called the 800 number.