For Immediate Release
Food & Water Action, the political arm of the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, is endorsing Bethany Hallam, Liv Bennett, and Christine Allen for Allegheny County Council.
In the face of significant and ongoing public health threats posed by the fossil fuel industry, the three women represent a stark departure from the pro-industry status quo of County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, his negligent county health department, and a County Council that has failed to hold this industry accountable.
“Liv, Christine, and Bethany are committed to standing up for the health and safety of our communities,” said Megan McDonough of Food & Water Action. “Electing these women would provide a check on our frack-friendly County Executive.”
Allegheny County is facing significant public health issues stemming from pollution. The number of new fracking wells has increased 54% since 2017; for the second year in a row, the American Lung Association gave Allegheny County’s air quality an ‘F’ grade; and pipelines and newly proposed petrochemical facilities threaten to drastically increase the region’s carbon footprint.
In contrast to the incumbents they are challenging, Bennett, Hallam, and Allen have committed to taking steps necessary to reverse these troubling trends. They have each committed to:
-Banning the leasing of county lands for fracking.
-Holding Allegheny County Health Department accountable for failure to enforce permits at facilities such as the Clairton Cokeworks, where the department took two weeks to notify residents of dangerously high air pollution levels.
-Deploying county resources to block new fracking pipelines.
-Creating a county fracking lease registry so municipalities and community leaders can better understand when they are being threatened by new fracking.