On Saturday November 23rd in Philadelphia a coalition of labor groups in partnership with the Working Families Party hosted
‘Philadelphia Speaks! Gubernatorial Candidates Forum’ at Temple University to put questions about education, jobs, health care and the future of Philadelphia to the frontrunner PA Democratic candidates for Governor.

The debate was briefly interrupted when activists from the Moratorium NOW! Campaign took the stage holding a banner that read "Good Governors Don't Frack Their People" and were joined by audience members in chanting, “Ban fracking now!” Candidates Allyson Schwatrz, Rob McCord, Katie McGinty, and John Hamger were all confronted after the debate about their failure to support the PA Democratic party platform that calls for a moratorium on fracking.

During the forum candidates adamantly professed their commitment to fighting the privatization of public education, the expansion of Medicaid with federal dollars that Corbett has refused, and promised to be strong advocates for healthcare and pensions. The candidates were focused on pleasing the audience. They did very little to help voters understand how their positions on each issue may differ.

Remarkably absent from the debate was the issue of fracking. The debate topics were provided by the debate organizers, and thus primarily reflected concerns of working-class Philadelphians. The absence of fracking and the planned future of Philadelphia as an energy hub might indicate that Philadelphians don’t realize how much these issues will affect them. It might also be a sign of the degree to which Democratic candidates are running scared from the fossil fuel industry and its well-funded opposition to those who’d limit its profits. The industry has already attacked several candidates for their support of a meager 5 percent tax on fracking profits, even though all five candidates support expanding fracking and related industries. A 5 percent tax would not be a net financial gain for PA due the costs associated with the irreparable harms and long-term impacts of this dangerous extraction method.

 In private discussion after the debate, a couple candidates indicated that they would consider taking stronger positions on regulation or slowing fracking’s expansion—if they didn’t know that the gas industry would immediately pour money into attacking them. The democratic integrity of PA politics is as hard a hit by gas industry money as are families who can no longer drink their water. Besides money, candidates use public opinion to determine their positions. Without the gas industry’s billions to influence candidates, the anti-fracking and pro-renewables movement needs to educate the public to educate the candidates.

For more information about the Moratorium NOW! action at the Philly Dems forum contact:
Elizabeth Arnold


Chadds Ford Green Drinks will be holding their chapter meeting at a different location this November 13th. This month's meeting will be held at:

Paradocx Vineyard Tasting Room
@The Market at Liberty Place
148 W. State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Special Wine Down Wednesday offer of $2 off selected Wine & Cider by the glass! Various food vendors are avaialble throughout the Market.

Join your fellow green, environmentally conscious and eco-friendly peers every second Wednesday of the month for friendly conversation. No commitment needed, no dues, no requirements; just bring along a new idea, a new friend and the willingness to engage in conversation! Questions? Contact Kim Engstrom, Chapter Head at