Home Nonviolent defense Green Party candidate Digiulio slams ‘Company Party’ candidate Shapiro on energy policy

Green Party candidate Digiulio slams ‘Company Party’ candidate Shapiro on energy policy


By Chris Woodward, Delaware Valley Journal

March 21, 2022

As an anti-fossil fuel activist, Christina “PK” Digiulio has worked side-by-side with politicians like State Senator Katie Muth (D-Montgomery County) and State Representatives Danielle Friel Otten (D- Upper Uwchlan) and Rep. Dianne Herrin (D-West Chester). Now she hopes her political allies will back her as the Green Party’s candidate for governor.

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“I agree with the Green Party’s ten key values,” Digiulio told the Delaware Valley Journal (DVJ). “I especially love that the Green Party first called for a ban on fracking for gas in 2008, when it was instituted by a Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania, (and) the Green Party provides a contrast to the gubernatorial candidates of both corporate parties, who have been silent on our fossil fuel issues, particularly the health and environmental impacts.”

Digiulio has been a fixture in the fight against the now-completed Mariner East pipeline, an outspoken ally of Democrats like Friel Otten who used the pipeline issue to launch his political career. Like Muth and Friel Otten, Digiulio still wants the pipeline shut down and opposes increased power production in Pennsylvania even as gas and honey prices soar.

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“I want this to stop,” she told NPR. “I know too many people who have been hurt, so let’s stop this.”

Digiulio, who has a BA from Lock Haven University and previously worked as an analytical chemist for the Department of Defense, has never stood for election before. But she was active on the ground. “Most of my time during the election season was spent in the field, touring candidates and bringing them together with the affected residents I advocate for, to hear their stories, from their perspective,” said said Digiulio. “These candidates were from all parties and all levels of government: Greens, Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats.”

She says the candidates of the main parties are not taking any real risks in order to protect the health and safety of the people.

“We are grassroots activists, environmentalists, social justice advocates, nonviolent resisters and ordinary citizens who are tired of corporate-dominated politics,” Digiulio said. “Government has to be part of the solution, but when it’s controlled by the 1%, it’s part of the problem. The longer we wait for change, the harder it becomes.”

Digiulio’s other “lawyers,” Muth and Otten, declined to respond to requests for comment on his candidacy.

The likely Democratic nominee for governor, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, includes climate change and the environment among his priorities. But Digiulio expressed disappointment with its handling of the Mariner East pipeline.

“I appreciate Josh Shapiro addressing these topics. However, solutions for a just transition are either unclear or missing some key issues,” Digiulio said. “It sounds familiar to me, another centrist position or a compromise with the [fossil fuel] industry lobby.

Shapiro criticized Gov. Tom Wolf’s efforts to get Pennsylvania on board the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), saying it’s unclear RGGI will tackle climate change while protecting energy jobs and ensuring affordable energy.

“We must take real action to fight climate change, protect and create energy jobs, and ensure Pennsylvania has reliable, affordable, and clean energy for the long term,” Shapiro said in a statement. a statement in October 2021. “As governor, I will implement an energy strategy that passes this test, and it is not clear to me that RGGI will pass.”

Digiulio said actions speak louder than words.

“I and other community watchdogs have spent the last 5-6 years documenting this on the Mariner East Plastics Pipeline Project,” Digiulio said. “[Shapiro’s] position is not enough, his action is what we need to examine, (and) I wonder if he considers compromise or settlement with a serial offender of human rights abuses, human rights violations environment and our state and federal laws, as bringing justice to those harmed?”

Digiulio wonders what Shapiro was doing back when he was Attorney General.

“Did he ever realize that he needed more data to do his duty, which is to protect the people affected in Pennsylvania and the environment?” said Digiulio. “For example, some ideas that I know are available: a groundwater impact study, large-scale hydrogeological studies, or maybe bringing in a forensic geologist? Let people defend themselves (in terms of of data) against two entities that have a history of bad behavior and a lot of money, still places people with far less money and resources, against a Goliath.”

Digiulio added that Shapiro “seems to be playing a political goal of pleasing voters with an environmental perspective while pleasing the industry by settling out of court against the wishes of affected residents.”

The Shapiro campaign dismissed Digiulio’s criticism.

“Throughout his career, Josh Shapiro has worked to uphold the constitutional right of Pennsylvanians to clean air and clean water,” spokesperson Will Simons told DVJ. “As governor, he will continue that work by investing in clean energy and clean transportation, adopting (the) recommendations of the 2020 grand jury report to minimize health risks from fracking, plugging orphan oil and gas wells and addressing lead contamination to keep Pennsylvania’s environment safe.”

Highlighting his time as a state representative, the campaign said Shapiro fought hard for passage of the Pennsylvania Energy Independence Fund, a $650 million spending package aimed at growing the energy industry. alternative Commonwealth energy and to meet the rising cost of utilities.

“As attorney general, Shapiro called on the Trump administration to end its rollback of environmental regulations, including winning a court ruling requiring the US Department of Energy to publish national efficiency standards. energy after the Trump administration refused to implement the standards,” the Shapiro campaign said. “Shapiro also released a grand jury report on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s failure to protect public health from the effects of fracking.”

Shapiro is the only Democrat currently running for governor. Nine Republicans filed paperwork to run. The primary is May 17.

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