In his first year as Governor, Josh Shapiro forged alliances with the natural gas industry, angering environmentalists who once supported him

This story originally appeared on Inside Climate News.

In June 2020, then Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro appeared at a press conference in Harrisburg to announce the findings of a two-year grand jury investigation into the state’s fracking industry. The 235-page report concluded that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Health had failed to protect residents from the worst effects of unconventional drilling.

Many of the details in the report were chilling; witnesses who lived near well pads described their pets dying, their livestock giving birth to “deformed” babies and their children suffering from rashes, stomach pains, lethargy and ulcers. One woman talked about her four-year-old’s chronic nosebleeds, which happened so frequently that her daughter’s princess bedspread was “ruined,” and she found herself trying to clean blood out of the carpet with hydrogen peroxide.

The report noted that there was a clear relationship between the appearance of these symptoms and the arrival of nearby fracking operations, and medical and environmental testing confirmed the presence of chemicals and contaminants from the industry in residents’ bodies and homes.

  • February 7, 2024
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