FIRST STEP: PA DEMS PASS FRACKING MORATORIUM

dem-moratoriumTHE PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY STANDS UP FOR THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA with the passage of a resolution for a Statewide Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing.   The standing vote tally was 115 in favor and 81 opposed.

The resolution calls for a moratorium on fracking until it can be done safely.

CLICK HERE TO READ STATEWIDE MORATORIUM ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

AFL-CIO President, Rick Bloomingdale stated “The Labor Caucus has no official position on fracking other than it supports the jobs of those who work within the industry.”

“There are jobs being developed, but not nearly as many as were promised to us,” said Karen Feridun founder of Berks County Gas Truth, also an attendee at the state committee meeting.

NOT IN MY COUNTY

Vice Chairwoman Penny Gerber opposed the resolution.

“This bill as it currently stands says it is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, but it specifies that the moratorium will last until the practice can be done safely. Because no set period of time is provided it truly is a ban on fracking, and this is a thriving industry. It is for that reason I cannot support this bill,” she said.

Gerber is from Montgomery County.  A fracking moratorium in parts of Montgomery county, Bucks, Chester and Berks counties was enacted in June 2012  following the release of an assessment report by the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Berks counties lie above the South Newark Basin –  not the Marcellus Shale.

Please note:  Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, former DEP Secretary Michael Krancer, CEO of Aqua America Nicolas DeBenedictus, CEO of Penn-Virginia Resourcs (PRV) William Shea , among other “important” people  live and/or have headquarters in these areas.  The South Newark Basin moratorium could last up to 6 years or until 2018, which ever comes first.   Coincidentally, 2018 is also a gubernatorial election year.

usgs-newark2014 DEMOCRATIC DECLARED AND POTENTIAL CANDIDATES – GOVERNOR

The passage of the statewide resolution by the PA Democratic Party is the first sane political step we have seen in Pennsylvania to actually protect people and our environment.

Will it go further?  This depends on the 2014 election outcome in Pennsylvania and the amount of political will to resist the gas industry’s lobbying money and campaign donations.

PA Governor Tom Corbett (R) trails two Democratic challengers according to a June 7 Quinnipiac University Poll.   US Representative Allyson Swartz leads Corbett by 10 percentage points, and State Treasurer Rob McCord leads by 8 percentage points.

Overall, 52% of Pennsylvanian’s polled said Corbett does not deserve reelection, 35% think he does.

Speaking at the Ephrata Chamber of Commerce in Lancaster County this week, Corbett spoke about his low polling numbers and stated:

“There are a lot of tough decisions that need to be made, and it would be easier to deal with them, but I made a promise to voters that I would, I’m not looking at things in a two or four year election cycle. I’m looking down the road 10 and 12 years.”

The question for Pennsylvanians is can we afford the Corbett policies which cut vital state services, and education while increasing tax breaks and subsidies to corporations with nothing to show for it?

According to data compiled by Arizona State University, Pennsylvania was 49th out of 50 states in job creation in March 2013. The same numbers show Pa. was 7th back in January 2011 when Tom Corbett took office.

Pennsylvania’s Unemployment rate in April was at 7.6% which is slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.5%.   Corbett blamed it on drugs.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) on Monday addressed some worrisome employment figures in the state’s March jobs report, saying that job applicants who couldn’t pass drug tests are “a serious problem” for Pennsylvania.

“There are many employers that say, ‘we’re looking for people, but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test,’ a lot of them,” Corbett said during an interview on Radio PA’s “Ask the Governor” program. “And that’s a concern for me because we’re having a serious problem with that.”

Corbett addresses the “serious concern” by cutting health care services which would include drug and alcohol treatment.

Currently  Declared Democratic Candidates:

  • John Hanger, former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Robert McCord, Pennsylvania Treasurer
  • Kathleen McGinty, former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Max Myers, businessman and former pastor
  • Allyson Schwartz, U.S. Representative
  • Tom Wolf, businessman and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

Potential:

  • H. Scott Conklin, State Representative and nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in 2010
  • Dan Onorato, former Allegheny County Chief Executive and nominee for Governor in 2010
  • Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown
  • Tim Solobay, State Senator
  • Michael J. Stack III, State Senator
  • Jack Wagner, former Pennsylvania Auditor General, candidate for Mayor of Pittsburgh in 2013

Former Rep. Joe Sestak has ruled out a campaign for Pennsylvania governor, but he said he is seriously exploring another run for the Senate, possibly setting up a rematch against Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in 2016.

RESPONSIBLE DRILLING

A number of the declared and potential Democratic candidates have trumpeted the phrase “Responsible Drilling” and barely define it by saying the gas industry needs to employ “best practices”.

Who determines what the “best practices” are?  The gas industry does.

The term “BEST” is a relative one, best compared to what?  According to the gas industry, they already are using best practices.   For anyone following the news, these “best practices” fall very short in protecting people, the air, land and water of Pennsylvania.   Best Practices seem to be defined as what is best for the gas industry and not what is best for Pennsylvanians.

There can not be “responsible drilling” until the gas industry is held responsible and accountable.

As the Former DEP Secretary, Michael Krancer once stated “At the end of the day, my job is to get gas done.”

Is this “best” for Pennsylvania?

©2013 by Dory Hippauf

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