Another Green Presence at Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade

Environmental groups added a new shade of green to this year's St. Patrick's day festivities. Marcellus Shale drilling protesters joined Pittsburgh's big parade. The Allegheny Front's Kate Malongowski lets us know how that went over with viewers of one of the country's largest such parades.

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HOST OPEN: Environmental groups added a new shade of green to this year's St. Patrick's day festivities. Marcellus Shale drilling protesters joined Pittsburgh's big parade. The Allegheny Front's Kate Malongowski lets us know how that went over with viewers of one of the country's largest such parades.

The Sierra Club and other environmental groups struck gold in terms of finding a big audience for their causes. There were tens of thousands of spectators at Pittsburgh's parade. Amid dozens of floats and groups of people throwing green beaded necklaces, about 75 protesters marched, handed out fliers and created awareness about drilling.

(Chants lead through megaphone like 'No more fracking in our land.' and 'What do we want? Clean water...Yeah')

MALONGOWSKI: Jet Miskis, with the group Peters Township Marcellus Shale Awareness, said she lives in Washington County and there's drilling taking place all around her home.

MISKIS: We're very concerned about the health risks nobody seems to be addressing....I'm personally not against drilling. They want to put it out on 100 acres, I don't have a problem, but it doesn't belong in a single-family residential community.

MALONGOWSKI: But not everyone agreed that a parade was the right venue for the cause. Like Matthew Ziegenhine, visiting from Erie...

ZIEGENHINE: I think the Sierra Club could go about it in a different way. A lot of times when you do that style protest, it gets completely overlooked because people view it as going above and beyond...being almost outlandish. It's not always good to get attention any way you can get it.

MALONGOWSKI: Other parade watchers said that the environmentalists' participation made them more informed. Chrissy Scott of McKeesport skimmed a flier handed to her. She's not sure quite where she stands on drilling.

SCOTT: We gotta do what we gotta do to survive as human beings, but I don't support it and I'm not fully against it. (laughing) If that makes any sense.

MALONGOWSKI: Donna and Terry Tressler of South Park, said they approved of the Sierra Club's involvement in the parade, but, they said,

T. TRESSLER: I don't think it's going to make a difference.
D. TRESSLER: It's going to ruin our environment. Ruin our environment.
T. TRESSLER: If there's more complaining like this, maybe at least there will be less drilling done.

MALONGOWSKI: At Pittsburgh's St. Patrick's Day parade, for the Allegheny Front, I'm Kate Malongowski.