Corbett Plans to Reshuffle PA Department of Environmental Protection

In case you haven’t heard, Governor Tom Corbett thinks he’s “getting gas right.” The rest of Pennsylvania, including many Republican lawmakers in the Republican-controlled State House and Senate, tend to disagree. In the environmental equivalent of Redistricting, the administration has a plan to restructure the DEP and, in particular, its Bureau of Oil and Gas Management. In other words, they don’t like their cards, so rather than play the hand they’ve been dealt, they’re reshuffling the deck. Anything to “get gas done” – “getting it right” would simply be a bonus. The most objectionable of the rumored significant changes: several of the department’s renewable energy and energy conservation programs have been reassessed, scaled back or eliminated.

Of course, official DEP spokesperson Kathy Gresh asserts that the reorganization will to enable DEP personnel do their job better, and the agency to function more efficiently. The last thing I would ever call the DEP is efficient, so perhaps the questionable new structure will have the DEP running like a well oiled-machine? Don’t count on it. Already, many environmental groups are crying “foul.”

Consider this one more complicated facet in an already complex upcoming legislative session.

Read Don Hopey’s article, Major changes ahead for state DEP, published yesterday’s Pittsburg Post-Gazette for the complete story.

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