Posts Tagged ‘Corbett’

Exercise Your Franchise!

October 28, 2014

Voting Is Good For You images-1

Politically, Pennsylvania is in a race to the bottom.

On one hand, we have incumbent Governor Tom Corbett [R], the devious idiot who has been giving away the farm, both literally and figuratively, to Marcellus shale drilling special interests, to whom he is totally beholden.

Corbett is not only the most reviled governor in the nation, he’s also the highest paid. And that’s on top of all that gas funding. Little wonder democratic challenger Tom Wolf is trouncing “One Term Tommy” in the polls, yet it’s been decades since anyone has unseated an incumbent Republican governor in Pennsylvania, and no one is willing to call this race just yet. In the end, it could all come down to voter turnout. (more…)

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Damned Data! PA DEP Still Withholding Vital Water Test Results

November 23, 2012

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has held out long enough.

It’s time for the state to release the full test results from a Washington County, PA water well near a Range Resources fracking operation. It is, after all, the taxpayers who pay for such testing, and these taxpayers ought to know what pollutants have been identified in their drinking water. It’s perfectly reasonable to want to know to which toxic chemicals you have been exposed, especially when those chemicals have been intentionally omitted from your well water report by the DEP.

Now that the infamousSuite Code 942” has been revealed, the jig is up. Am loathe to moralize, but it sure seems like the right thing to do.

Many groups across Pennsylvania are calling for the release of these results. In Fracking’s Toxic Secrets: Lack Of Transparency Over Natural Gas Drilling Endangers Public Health, Advocates Say, Huffington Post, November 21, 2012, Lynne Peeples reports:

Critics suggest the purported ‘filtering’ of testing data is just one of the ways people are left in the dark about the assortment of heavy metals and other toxic contaminants that may be in their air and water as a result of drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other phases of natural gas production. Recent studies have identified more than 600 chemicals used throughout the process of natural gas production, and often left undisclosed by companies. Additionally, natural but equally hazardous substances can be released from the wells.

Doesn’t DEP get it yet? Dismissing the drumbeats of concerned citizens only makes them louder.  

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is asking people to please send this letter via the link on their site, or write you own, to those directly responsible for keeping this vital health information a secret. Addresses below.   (more…)

Jesse White 4 Prez

September 11, 2012

Jesse White [D-146th] isn’t afraid of the Pennsylvania GOP. Quite the contrary. He regularly wrangles with state republicans and Corbett’s DEP. According to a recent press release from his office, “White Legislation Would Make DEP Boss An Independently Elected Position,” he believes this key post ought to be on par with our state Attorney General, accountable to the highest possible authority. In a democracy, that’s the voters.

White Wants YOU!  (To Elect The Next DEP Chief) 

At first, White just wanted answers.   (more…)

Harrisburg Emits Toxic Gas Data

August 24, 2012

PA DEP’s Sharply Criticized, Incomplete Marcellus Production Report

A clean up effort is underway to address a serious data reporting error at The Department of Environmental Protection in Pennsylvania. The overburdened state agency has been cited several times for insufficient records-keeping, yet this latest DEP misinformation incident is proving difficult, if not impossible, to contain. As a result, reliable Marcellus production figures, eagerly sought by both those opposed to fracking as well as those seeking to profit from it, are in dangerously short supply. According to BloombergBusinessweek, Associated Press: Critics Say PA DEP Gas Data Has Serious Flaws.

In what appears to be the PA DEP equivalent of valve failure, the department recently released an incomplete Marcellus production report which, in turn, was derived from sloppy gas driller input. As a result, the official DEP report was missing key information from Chesapeake’s wells in Bradford County – the largest operator in the state’s most heavily drilled county.

Fracts Still Emerging
This isn’t the first time DEP screwed up on important Marcellus production data.

(more…)

Rachel’s Rant

July 26, 2012

Don’t Frack Me, Bro!

A single sane voice in the lamestream media? As early as 2010, msnbc‘s Rachel Maddow has been asking the seemingly obvious questions no one else wants to ask.  (more…)

That’s What She Said…

June 16, 2012

Listening to Pro-Drilling Landowners in Northeastern PA

Since Tim Darragh’s article, Pennsylvania Lobbying for DRBC Fracking Rules appeared in The Allentown Morning Call on thursday, there’s been a surprising dirth of Comments on the topic. StateImpact gave Darragh’s piece a shout out yesterday, and hopefully that will help raise awareness that the Delaware River is still very much endangered. Maybe it’s an apathetic readership? Or perhaps Patrick Henderson is effectively skirting media radar detection in their outright determination to drill in the Delaware right now, literally at any cost. (more…)

Pennsylvania’s Fracking Governor

June 15, 2012

What Did The Delaware River Ever Do To Tommy Corbett?

PA Governor Tom Corbett wants to drill the iconic Delaware River Watershed… Y’know, the river George Washington crossed to win American independence, the river that currently sustains 15.6 million people and countless species, the river that already generates $22 BILLION for the Pennsylvania economy each year, according to the University of Delaware. Our guv’na is the poster child for greed, corruption and neo-con ignorance. He looks (and acts) like a stupid frat boy, yet when it comes to shale gas, he’s devious as all hell. It’s like he’s date-raping every river, meadow, forest and mountain in the state.

Tim Darragh gets us up-to-speed on the behind the scenes machinations of Patrick Henderson, Corbett’s state-funded Energy Executive, in Pennsylvania Lobbying for DRBC Fracking Rules in The Allentown Morning Call:

“‘That’s been a frustration since the November meeting was canceled,” said Corbett spokesman Patrick Henderson. ‘We have been having discussions with the DRBC staff as recently as this week’ ” (more…)

New Rules! For Marcellus Drilling, Explained

April 26, 2012

PennFuture Presents Just The Fracts on PA Act 13, The Marcellus Shale Act

Of the major environmental organizations opposed to Fracking in Pennsylvania, few push harder than Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, or PennFuture. This vibrant non-profit has been fighting for environmental justice since its inception, and in 2009 the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) named PennFuture as its official representative in Pennsylvania. Their tagline, “Every environmental victory grows the economy” resonates because sustainable energy must also be economical in order to generate sufficient demand. PennFuture has a long, distinguished history but it’s more interesting, perhaps, to know what the group is doing right now.

According to George Jugovic Jr., President & CEO:

  • We’re working to replace old, outdated dirty sources of power with clean, renewable Pennsylvania-made electricity.
  • We’re fighting factory farm pollution.
  • We’re helping to stop damage from mining and drilling.
  • We’re protecting watersheds from sprawl and pollution.
  • We’re reducing global warming pollution.
  • We’re watchdogging state government.
  • We’re providing $2 million per year of free legal services to protect the environment.

Putting ACT 13 In Layperson’s Terms (Thank You)

On April 23, 2012, Susan Philips posted a link to a pdf of PennFuture’s new Fact Sheet in Plain Language Version of Pennsylvania’s New Drilling Law Published. The Fact Sheet covers the highlights (lowlights, really) of the new Marcellus Shale Law. I found it very helpful in my attempt to understand just how badly Governor Corbett has undercut the Commonwealth with the bill he and Senator Joe Scarnati strong-armed Philadelphia area democrats to vote for. So here it is, in its entirety: (more…)

PennEnvironment’s Winning Attitude

March 11, 2012

No matter how powerful and well-heeled the gas industry lobbyists may be, when people come together to defend our environmental values, we almost always find a way to win.

                       ~ David Masur, PennEnvironment State Director

(more…)

Shale Gas Fuels The War on Science

February 8, 2012

The Fracking Studies Drillers don’t want you to see…

On February 14, 2012 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed the Marcellus Impact Fee bill (Act 13), which was on his desk before his new state budget address, as requested. Act 13 was his valentine to the Gas Industry. With it, state majority leaders carried Corbett’s methane torch, illuminating the notion that while Harrisburg may not sit atop the Marcellus Shale, it’s central to the nation’s Fact-Free Zone.

We will restore Science to its rightful place,” stated President Obama in his 2009 inaugural address. A few days later, Stephen Colbert glibly asked Chris Mooney, author of The New York Times bestseller, The Republican War on Science in an interview, “Should we tax and spend our way to knowledge?” Unfortunately, in the ultra-polemic Marcellus, where gas drilling is ramping up at a sickening pace, state research budgets continue to be cut and science has yet to gain much of a foothold.

Good Science vs. “Bad” Studies
Republican lawmakers repeatedly dismiss published, peer-reviewed studies while citing industry-friendly economic figures freely, as if their business acumen somehow compensates for a stunning dearth of facts. Because good science should never be dismissed by bad lawmakers, here’s the shortlist of landmark fracking studies that the Gas Industry would rather you didn’t see: (more…)

Liquified Natural Gas Stinks More Than Pipeline Gas

October 10, 2011

The Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) supply chain is generally more energy and greenhouse gas intensive than the supply chain for pipeline gas because of the extra processing steps. If Pennsylvania becomes a major LNG exporter, we will essentially be exporting the primary benefit of using this cleaner burning fossil fuel while bearing all the nasty environmental hazards and downsides of drilling for, processing and transporting it. (more…)

DRBC Set to Vote on Fate of The Delaware

September 27, 2011

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is the only government entity standing between industrial shale gas drilling in the “Special Protection Waters” of the Delaware River watershed region and the 15.6 million people living downstream in Southeastern PA who rely on this river for drinking water. In September, the DRBC held its final public hearing on the issue of rules for horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware Basin in West Trenton, NJ. At least they held it, right? The hearing was called for 1:30pm, but Food & Water Watch, Protecting Our Waters, and other water action groups had a protest going by noon. The upshot: The DRBC is currently scheduled to vote on whether to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin on November 21, 2011. (more…)

Frack U.! Governor Corbett Supports Drilling on PA State College Campuses

September 19, 2011

UPDATE [November 8, 2011] On Sunday, November 6, Bill Schackner reported in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that the Cal U Student Association had been quietly negotiating a mineral lease deal. Read the details in his article, Drilling on Campus: Marcellus Shale boom puts colleges at crossroads It’s the first of two parts. Here is Part II: Corporate funding of Marcellus Shale studies at universities raises alarms by Reid R. Frazier and Olivia Garber

ORIGINAL POST:

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett [R] first spoke of leasing state college and university land to gas drillers, he was addressing a meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees at Edinboro University in March, 2011. He was suggesting a way to soften the economic blow of $650 million in proposed cuts to Public Higher Education, cuts which amounted to a stunning 50% off the prior year’s budget. Cuts that were in addition to the universally repellant $550 million already slashed from Basic Education funding. When Corbett made his seemingly casual suggestion, however, he wasn’t grasping at political straws. He was sowing the seeds of new fiscal policy. (more…)

Toxic Floodwaters In Pennsylvania Raise New Questions About Fracking – Updated

September 10, 2011

UPDATE, September 23, 2011:

Since posting below, PA DEP officials have gone on record insisting that “no chemicals” used in hydraulic fracturing or toxic wastewater produced were spilled during the recent catastrophic flooding in Pennsylvania, which occurred as a result of back-to-back hurricanes Irene and Lee. State officials have also suggested that the photo linked in the initial post (below) is inauthentic. Okay. But the fact is, we have only their word for it. Scott Detrow reports in StateImpact that gas drillers weren’t required to report any incidents due to a “loophole” in state regulatory policy. I know, right? How dumb is that? And these are the guys who are going to protect The Delaware River Watershed, drinking water source for 15.6 million people. (more…)

Corbett Plans to Reshuffle PA Department of Environmental Protection

September 1, 2011

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. (more…)

Marcellus Shale Coalition Report Out Today, Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission Report Due Tomorrow… Same Difference?

July 21, 2011

According to a Reuters article by Dave Warner, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a gas drillers advocacy group, commissioned a Penn State study which was released today. It concluded that Marcellus wells are more productive than anticipated, and that jobs in Pennsylvania are falling from the sky. Immediately, the PA Budget and Policy Center, a liberal-leaning think tank, disputed their findings, stating that the Coalition’s estimated $1 billion in 2010 tax revenue was overstated by at least $781 million, (more…)

Corbett’s Marcellus Commission Votes for Impact Fees, Forced Pooling

July 15, 2011

More Study, But Mostly Cement

Governor Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission voted today to include 96 measures in their final report today. Populated heavily by drilling advocates with a token sprinkling of environmentalists, the group will file its final report on July 22, at which time it will be made public. Not surprisingly, their recommendations are more about making sure gas happens than making sure it happens right. (more…)

Will The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission Recommend More Study or More Cement?

July 14, 2011

Regardless of how you feel about fracking taxes, it’s obvious that when it comes to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale, the Corbett administration puts far too much faith in corporate good intentions, a few hundred DEP inspectors and cement. We need to come together on this complex and divisive issue, yet the upcoming July 22 report from the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission promises to further deepen the ideological fractures among citizens and stake-holders.

(more…)

Clean Water Action Calls on Lawmakers to Reject Cuts to DEP

July 3, 2011

State lawmakers are set to vote on  $160 million in budget cuts to the PA Department of Environmental Protection

In Pennsylvania this week, the Republican-controlled PA senate approved a new budget without a gas tax or impact fee. PA remains the only gas drilling state without one. Anti-gas-tax Governor Tom Corbett’s administration is issuing drilling permits (primarily in the Upper Delaware) with mercurial speed. At the same time, they are cutting funding to the Department of Environmental Protection. Regulation is one thing, enforcement quite another. And fracking’s cumulative impacts are already accumulating.

Corbett would like to table the frack-tax debate indefinitely, but even a steadily increasing number of house Republicans are growing impatient with all the lost revenue. On July 22, the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission’s final report is due on Corbett’s desk. Until then, he’s promised to veto any gas tax or impact fee. Maybe he figures drillers can afford to regulate themselves? (more…)

Governor Corbett “Proposes” Fracking To Cover State University Funding Shortfalls

May 10, 2011

Governor Tom Corbett’s 2012 budget includes steep cuts to education and a 50 percent reduction in aid to colleges and universities. Corbett suggests our state schools alleviate their fiscal shortfalls by fracking for gas on their campuses. Mansfield University, Lock Haven University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and California University of Pennsylvania all sit atop the gas-producing Marcellus Shale. Two others, Clarion University and Slippery Rock are “within range.”

On May 13, 2011, Penn State University President Graham Spanier announced tentative plans to create a new Center for Natural Gas Engineering, (more…)