Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Corbett's Pet Frackers

Thanks for this go to PennLive, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Clean Water Action Pennsylvania.

According to a recent report by Clean Water Action Pennsylvania and an analysis of violations from the Department of Environmental Protection, eight of the drilling companies with representatives on the Pennsylvania governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission were cited with environmental violations last year. The companies represented on the governor’s commission accounted for 42 percent of all drilling violations last year — 514 out of a total 1,227.

Those companies also donated more than $790,000 to Corbett's campaign.

When you cross-reference the list for violators and campaign-contributors, you find that every one that meets those two criteria is on the Governor's Pet Frackers Commission -- I mean, the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.

One member of the Commission, Acting Secretary of Community and Economic Development C. Alan Walker, has a track record of environmental problems at mines operated by three of his companies in Clearfield and Centre counties.

Mr. Walker was the first cabinet member Mr. Corbett selected. In the governor's budget plan, he also was given the unusual authority to place permit applications on the fast track when job creation is involved.

The DEP's then-secretary David E. Hess had this to say about Mr. Walker back in 2002, in reference to an injunction forcing him to pay for environmental cleanup from his mines:

"We have to take strong action against some folks who just don't get it when it comes to fulfilling their environmental obligations. And that's exactly what happened this week to a mine operator who told us he wasn't going to spend a dime treating over 173 million gallons of polluted mine water," Mr. Hess wrote. "It's unfortunate with all the discussion nationally about corporate irresponsibility that we have a homegrown environmental example right here in Pennsylvania."

I think possibly Governor Corbett just doesn't get it.

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