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Pennsylvania Limits Authority of Oil and Gas Inspectors

A leaked memo says oil and gas inspectors can no longer issue violations to drilling companies in the Marcellus Shale without first getting the approval of top officials.

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A Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site is seen near Burlington, Pa., in Bradford County. (Ralph Wilson/AP Photo)

Oil and gas inspectors policing Marcellus Shale development in Pennsylvania will no longer be able to issue violations to the drilling companies they regulate without first getting the approval of top officials.

That’s according to a directive laid out in a series of emails received by the Department of Environmental Protection staff last week and leaked to ProPublica. The emails say the new edict applies only to enforcement actions related to Marcellus Shale drilling and that failure to seek prior approval “will not be acceptable.”

The memos require that each of the hundreds of enforcement actions taken routinely against oil and gas operators in Pennsylvania each month now be approved by the department’s executive deputy secretary, John Hines. The memos are raising concerns that the state’s environmental inspectors can no longer act independently and that regulations could be overridden by the political whims of the state’s new governor, Tom Corbett.

“What this apparently is saying is that before any final action, the inspector must get approval by two political appointees: the secretary and the deputy secretary,” said John Hanger, who headed the DEP until January under former Gov. Ed Rendell and worked to strengthen the state’s oil and gas regulations. “It’s an extraordinary directive. It represents a break from how business has been done in the department within the Marcellus Shale and within the oil and gas program for probably 20 years.

“It’s on its face really breathtaking and it is profoundly unwise. I would urge them to rethink and rescind.”

Corbett has made no secret of his support for drilling and has stated repeatedly that regulatory reforms can help spur job creation. Last month he gave C. Alan Walker, a former coal industry executive and longtime opponent of environmental regulations, authority to overwrite permitting decisions at the DEP in order to encourage economic development.

A spokeswoman for the DEP told ProPublica Wednesday that the initiative is not political, will not interfere with enforcement, and is intended to clear up confusion and inconsistency in the agency’s regional offices. The spokeswoman, Katy Gresh, said there is no connection between the DEP directive and Gov. Corbett’s economic initiatives.

“It isn’t meant to be an interference,” Gresh said. “It’s meant to be a benefit to our constituents and would quite frankly streamline operations.

“There are times that NOVs (violations) have been issued when there is a pop can lying on a site. Yet maybe other things are being missed, thing that are truly detrimental to the environment that we want to take action on.”

Hanger, however, says that DEP inspectors need to have breathing room to do their jobs and that forcing a senior review of their actions will only increase skepticism about their enforcement decisions.

“It will cause the public to lose confidence entirely in the inspection process. The oversight process must be professional and independent,” Hanger said. “Inserting this level of review means the secretary, if he is going to take this seriously, probably has no time to do anything else.

“I do not believe this is coming from John Hines,” Hanger continued. “This is an enormous change in policy and it’s impossible for something like this to be issued without the direction and knowledge of the governor’s office.”

Gresh disagreed.

“The governor’s office is not behind this,” she said. “The governor charged (DEP) secretary (Michael) Krancer with bringing about consistency in his agency. This was a decision made at DEP in order to affect positive change.”

Looks like the Department of Enviromental Protection wanted to lower the number of violations issued to Marcellas Shale drilling.  If this is the response to negative press, keep typing ProPublica!  Maybe these crooks will drill thier own graves.  I can’t wait to here more.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, as they say, money talks, bull shit walks. Look at it in a way of population control. The water and the land gets poisoned, the population gets reduced. All those Nuclear reactors all along the east coast that store all those spent fuel rods, they are in for their own Japanese event. Probably the only bright spot in all of this, is that Wall Street and Washington D.C., along with the various Government departments too, will get sucked down the drain, once and for all.

Is it POSSIBLE for the new Governor to be any more in bed with these drilling companies? I’m surprised we don’t have a DEP division dedicated to driving the trucks for them and running the drill bits. He will probably have a press conference to address it and then bar the press from attending.

unreceivedogma

March 30, 2011, 8:04 p.m.

“There are times that NOVs (violations) have been issued when there is a pop can lying on a site.”

If this isn’t a wtf moment, I don’t know what is.

As it is, the notices of violation and accompanying fines don’t seem to be changing the gas industry’s bad behavior. Now, even that small check may be removed. This is crazy—it’s like something from an implausible disaster movie, in which the over-the-top villain shows complete disregard for human life. Except this isn’t a movie.

GOVENOR WHOREBITT IS AT IT AGAIN.WHY NOT NAME THE DEP THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY PROTECTION.WHAT A SCHMUCK,I HOPE HE FALLS INTO THE BIGGEST ,DEEPEST FRAC POND AND COMES OUT SMELLING WORSE THAN HE DID GOING IN.REPEAL THE IDIOT

I just want to personally thank the person that leaked the memos. Thank you for trying to help out the clearly unrepresented citizens of this state.

This is outrageous!  How long will the citizens of this state tolerate this ‘takeover’ by Corbett and Co.??  I remember Katy Gresh telling me that John Hanger was a really ‘good’ guy ..concerned about the environment and water contamination from the drilling.  She did communicate how bad she wanted to keep her job after he was gone, though.  I can see just ‘how bad’ now, Katy, when they prop you up as ‘comment bearer’ for them..AND YOU COMPLY!  I see how little it takes for someone to sell their soul for a measly job.  There are other jobs out there that won’t demand that you compromise integrity to keep it.  That is unless you really have no integrity to begin with.  I would rather be out of work than be someone’s ‘puppet’.....DISGRACEFUL…..People like you keep these demons in business!

Communities located on the Marcellus are being treated as ‘sacrifice zones’. Corbett, Cawley, and Krancer have got to go! Pennsylvania will not be able to sustain four years of this bullshit.

I simply do not understand this decision.  Why is the state of PA disempowering the few inspectors that they do have?  The remark about the soda can is very telling…most Pennsylvanians who respect the environment would NOT leave a soda can in the wilderness…outsiders do that…I remember well cleaning up the beer bottles and cans along Masten Road in McNett Twp, Lycoming County, after every hunting season.  If there’s a citation written up for litter in a drilling zone, I support it, because litter is indicative of a larger attitude.

Michael Ostroski

March 31, 2011, 8:52 a.m.

I think that any regulatory action by any state agency would require the approval of the management of the agency.

If the inspectors can not issue NOV’s and have to get approval prior to them being issued, why have inspectors in the field at all.  Lets rethink the entire process of monitoring.  You could have a well site monitor like many states have asbestos project monitors (PA does not use this job for asbestos).  It would be a new job and a way for more people to be employed with regards to any drilling activities in PA.  The problem I see is who pays or hires the monitors for each well or well pad.  This would let the inspectors spend more time off the rigs and in the office apporving permits.  Who would issue the licence for the monitors, what training would be required and would any prior experience in environmental or engineering activities be needed.

first and most important is the effect on DEP and it’s inspectors. this undermines DEP! I have mixed feelings about Hines as well from past experiences and I am not sure how “independent” he is. What a sorry mess.

INACTIVITY IS CONSENT! If you are good to go with the changes in policy and law, keep on mildly talking about it and do nothing. Have you ever considered e-mailing your legislators about what ails you?

By the directive itself I bet they will cut down 50% of any possible NOV’s from the fear individual inspectors have of sending stuff infront of the top brass.  This is just the way the world works, low level people fret about what the top brass thinks and in one swoop the new management have now put the fear of god into the entire workforce.  Even if the top brass approves every “as is” they have still succeeded with their mission.

I suggest propublica follow up on this story a month from now and look at how many NOV’s have been issues per month for the past 24 months and compare that with how many gets issued between March 24 and April 24.  THATS the story

fracking is a crime against the inhabitants of pennsylvania, as well as the environment and ecosystem. i’m amazed and disgusted with how little some care about the world (whithout which, we wouldn’t even exist). so…who voted for this? this isnt democracy or the will of the people…sometimes i feel that half the people are asleep on their feet, or in their suvs or in fron of their tvs, stuffing their faces with boat loads of potato chips and their brains with enough reality tv to make one shit one’s own brain out of both ears simultaneously. The peolple are asleep, so apperently its the dirty scumbag politicians’ game.

What a slap in the face of these dedicated inspectors. They go out with a directive to protect the environment and the Secretary doesnt give a crap about the environment buy making this change. Why should they even bother if they are trusted to do the right thing?

I don’t think that troopers, or police, should be able to give out speeding tickets, seat belt tickets etc, nor should parking violations be given out without review by the Commissioners of those respective departments.

Let’s just get rid of all enforcement.  Everyone carry weapons.  Get rid of the court system too…

I have to laugh though, when John Hanger states that citizens will “lose confidence” in PA DEP’s fairness and enforcement capabilities.  Newsflash to Sec’y Hanger, there never was confidence under his leadership either.  The people suing in Dimock still have no solution to their water contamination, 2 1/4 years later!

On the other hand, Corbett makes everyone else look transparently honest, and earnest.  Oh, my, what next?

toyotabedzrock

March 31, 2011, 3:40 p.m.

Would ProPublica check the claim about Violations being issued for a can of soda?

“There are times that NOVs (violations) have been issued when there is a pop can lying on a site. Yet maybe other things are being missed, thing that are truly detrimental to the environment that we want to take action on.”

If a soda can on the ground IS a violation of the regs then it should be written up, and noted. If the DEP chooses to not pursue that violation that’s one thing, but to have an upper level person in a political position make the call as to whether the violation should even be filed is just wrong.

Hell, let’s just be honest about the entire process.  Let’s just fire all of the regulators and hire the natural gas companies to write our environmental protection laws.  Let’s have the governor come out and be honest that the $350,000 he took in campaign contributions from the natural gas industry was a bribe.  Do politicians in Harrisburg and CEO’s’ of the Natural Gas industry really think we are that stupid? Let’s call things for what they are - a take over of our government and natural resources by private industry for greed and big profit margins.  If people were just honest about the whole thing, I might have an ounce of respect for them…well, probably not since I highly value clean drinking water and a government that actually represents the interests of the common good. :)

David Ira Kagan

March 31, 2011, 9:18 p.m.

Yet another move towards changing the PA Wilds into PA Wells.

Terrific. Now we just make inspector positions patronage jobs, and we’re set for some old fashioned Tammany Hall style politics.

“I don’t think that troopers, or police, should be able to give out speeding tickets, seat belt tickets etc, nor should parking violations be given out without review by the Commissioners of those respective departments.”

Fine point. 

It is ironic. Just as the worst suspicions of the most ardent environmentalists and scientists are being documented—about what is vomited back up as “frac-back” in the form of radioactives.  This issue might affect not only Pennsylvanians but water drinkers all along the Chesapeake estuary. 

There is an answer due from the DEP to the EPA’s letter concerning these issues in just a few days…seems they are trying to decrease reports of violations so they can make their enforcement appear better than it really is.

You are all really missing the point, the industry has been politically hijacked by DEP inspectors and regulators with an agenda other than environmental protection. Basically they are stopping millions of dollars of economical development with meaningless violations, but thats just the tip of the iceburg. If the result of their political activism has taken authority from them it is of their own doing.

The letter from the EPA is just what came out recently.  The problem is the 2000 Toxicity aggreement for the Chesapeake Bay, the TDML for the bay, the Watershed Implementation Plan for PA that also includes other drainage area other than the Susquehanna river that flow from PA into the Bay, Executive Order 13508 and it’s Plan issued 10 May 2010.  Then there is the Act 167 Stormwater requirements that have been unfunded since 2009 and was identified by the EPA for helping to reduce sediment loads.  Right now with very limited funding all these agreements, laws, and Presidental Executive order are not going to get the funding they need.  Then in 2017 when we need to be at 60% of the goal for making the 2025 TDML for the Chesapeake Bay, PA will fall short.  Then there are the Two year monitoring periods that end in 2011, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, and the final 2025.  At any point the EPA can come in and say you are not maintaining a reduction to meet the TDML so the requirements for the NPDES permits and CAFO’s will need an increase in standards or will redirect any federal funds to projects that will produce the biggest reductions.  That will hurt sewer plants, stormwater systems for municipalities, farmers, construction projects and restrict any new building developments.  Then guess who has exemptions to the NPDES permit systems, the drilling industry at least for now.

The worry over just drinking water is bad, but I hope Maryland, and Virgina know that the blue crabs and oysters are even lower than that in PA.  In fact I believe now they do not even register.  My felling is that PA will have to be sued either by the Bay executive council or the executive order council or even one of the other states to make reductions now.

LETS SEE NOW PENNSYLVANIANS-

Tom Corbetts campaign was funded by the gas exploration industry which have made billions poluting the water that you drink.

Why in the world would you now think this same crooked politician would change his stripes. He was a crook before he was governor, why would he change after being elected?

After you finish watching “Dancing with the Stars” try to find the documentary “Gasland” somewhere on your box and spend an hour watching this dull movie that told you about the future.

I suppose after you or your families die from cancer, you’ll come to realize that the entire gas exploration debacle was funded by Haliburton (there the ones owned by VP Cheney that made billions on the Iraq debacle) and others that with the help of Tom Corbett destroyed your home and diseased your families for generations.

Pennsylvania will return to what it was like in the 1930’s. Lights on at noon because the smoke and air pollution is so bad. The rivers will have no life in them. All for a short term gain of a few bucks.

If more than 43% of PA voters would have voted, Corbett never would have been elected. He barely won as it was.

The EPA and DEP are the only things protecting the environment from industry. And now they are being stripped of any power they had.

On March 31, 2011, Clean Air Council Executive Director Joseph O. Minott, Esq. wrote a letter to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Secretary Michael Krancer urging the repeal of a March 23, 2011 PA DEP Directive. The Directive states that any Marcellus Shale enforcement, permitting or air plan approval action will not be finalized unless approved by Deputy Secretary for Field Operations, Dana Aunkst and Executive Deputy Secretary John Hines and cleared by Secretary Krancer. The Council’s letter to Secretary Krancer is available at: http://www.cleanair.org/program/outdoor_air_pollution/marcellus_shale/clean_air_council_urges_pa_dep_repeal_marcellus_shale_

I work as a regulatory representative for the DEP.  I was just informed of this.  My hands are tied.  Please help.

As you can easily see, our politicians are bought and owned by corporations, especially the corporations that kill us and the earth.
The corporate boys and their political allies want to roll America back to 1890, when the robber barons ruled and there were no child labor laws, no environmental laws, and a general air of criminality pervading the land. What happened to change that? A progressive revolution that used direct action to stop the corrupt elites and their goon squads. We need similar actions today. Read the book What We Leave Behind, and take action. Otherwise, our entire country will be an environmental wasteland.

Working for an exploration & production company for 27 years let me make a few comments on this situation;
1.  Just becasue a soda can is on location durring drilling operations does not meen it won’t be picked up before the rig is moved off.
2.  Fracing the target shale zone 8,000 feet below the surface cost’s hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. If the target zone is not fraced the well won’t be succesful. The zone to be fraced must be mechanically isolated so the frac goes where it needs to be to allow the rock to give up its gas. If the frac was somehow leaking near the surface (which is protected by two or three casing strings to protect the water) the job is a mechanical and economic failure. Advances in fracing technolgy is what is responsible for the massive amounts of Natural gas now available to the consumers.
3. Gas wells once completed and hooked up to pipelines are the most begnign form of hyrocarbon extraction there is. It is very clean and safe neighbor.
4. The People of Pennslvania forget the first comercial oil well was drilled righ there in there in Titusville by Col Drake. Look up the history of Quaker State Oil, it was initially produced and refined in there backyard.

i have seen gasland, and i don’t understand why people don’t see the connection—-‘fracking’ is like initiating a miniature earthquake—-it ‘shakes all the sediment it is forced into—and then the seepage logically begins—
why do you think the arkansas drillers had to stop???  but there again, the geology there is different than it is in pennsylvania——-i am no expert, but if i lived where you folks do—-  i sure would study the geology and bone up on being a lawyer, cause you governor is NOT going to help you———  and i do wish all of you the best of luck—

Worried about fracking?  cleanenergy.harvard.edu

Do something about it.

Louise, it will take more than luck.

    The chemicals so neatly presented by pro gas advocates is only part of what is found in frack backflow fluids. The naturally occuring radioneuclides with the other biocides that are brought to the surface along with gases which pass through shale, such as radon, methane, benzene, etc, are showing up in large quantities in close proximity to newly drilled gas wells.
    As for quakes, in the 70’s when the Army Corp of Engineers was pumping waste water into shale above Denver, Colorado, we had tremors which subsided after the activities seized. PENNSYLVANIA IS BECOMING A HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFILL.

If you thought these chemicals (WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION) being put into our watersheds by Al-Quaida or other terroristic groups would you still just talk about it? Consider these companies…most are hughely funded by foreign monies.

I thought that federal law superceded state law! What ever became of that? How did the Repubs get around that one?

Of course, people are NOT stupid and will know the Repubs well enough from their actions to NOT vote for them in 2012….or are memories that short? If so, some people get what they deserve!

Well drilling is under State legislation - the thought was the state government has a better understanding of local matters. It does make sense. Look at the voting records to see who voted how. It is all there.

If you watched what has been happening for the last 20 years, you will see a methodical trend to oust all pro-healthy environment politicians out of office - follow the campaign money - most blatant in the 2010 elections. Also look at the news media. Whose money pays for the outright lies to sway public opinion? Had it not been for Fox News “debunking” GASLANDS, I may have never seen it, or researched for the truth. The misinformation and lethargy at the polls is what has gotten us to this place in history and I predict it will take a united/one mindedness of sane people to correct the problem, mostly because the gas industry has bought itself into every facet of control and has their puppets eating the swill out of their gas wells. Not an easy task!
Thank You Pro Publica

I guess now when all those deformed babies are born from the chemical poisoning from the fresh water supplies, that the republicans will be able to come up with the health care programs to support those children all their lives. After all, the republicans have not yet decided what the size of the body count will be as acceptable “for collateral damage”, before the public gets fed up with the immoral and inhumane behavior of government and business.

ToyotaBedZRock

April 2, 2011, 5:34 p.m.

You guys should switch over to Disqus, it allows replies and likes.

What is government?

Yes, Pennsylvania has been logged, drilled for oil and strip mined for coal.  We contend with acid mine waste damage and fragile ecosystems to this day from that onslaught.  The shallow well drillers have continued to produce oil and natural gas, and their drilling (brine) waste is of a much smaller volume and much less toxic than the new onslaught of high-volume waste from the new Marcellus shale drilling.  While a portion of the toxic fluids is recycled for the Marcellus drilling, the rest of it has swamped any and all treatment/disposal facilities, rendering it almost impossible for the small independent shallow well producers (who have been here for decades) to be able to have their brine waste treated there.

It is my understanding that these shallow well drillers may be forced out of business by the present circumstances, leading to more unemployment in PA.  Further, because we are not taxing the Marcellus gas drillers and our state budget faces a huge deficit, now Corbett & Co plan to halve the state funding to state-funded colleges and universities, causing further massive layoffs and, since these same institutions will have to cut programs to survive, they will be less attractive to students, which leads to a downward spiral, potentially causing some colleges to go belly-up in short order.  Is this what PA residents want?

The Marcellus shale gas drilling was supposed to be an economic boon.  To date, taxpayers must cover the costs of the roadwear from all of the heavy truck traffic from the drillers, shoulder the cost of more unemployed PA residents and probably shoulder the cost of trying to save our freshwater in the future.

According to horticulture specialists, the present, in most cases tertiary, tree growth in PA is slow and sickly.  Our trees are not healthy, and our ecosystems are highly stressed from acid rain damage in addition to soil and water contaminants.  Insect and disease damage to trees is increasing.  What will it take to put the system over the brink?  Ecosystems can and do suffer major collapse.  The beauty of Pennsylvania is only superficial… our state has many battle scars and festering wounds that have yet to be dressed properly.

How much natural gas is presently being wasted?  Burned off as a useless by-product?  How much natural gas do we really need right now?  Do these companies provide accounting to our state for how much natural gas they are recovering and what they are doing with it?  Is this truly a patriotic operation or the kind of surgery that just pads the wallets of the surgeons?  Can we slow down this massive drilling onslaught and temper it with what is really necessary until we understand better how to properly treat these waste fluids that threaten our state’s freshwater supply (surface and subterranean)?  Has anyone done an analysis of the embodied energy of all of this to see if we’re at any kind of net energy gain or are we just wasting what precious little petroleum we have left to eek out a little more since the economics do not reflect the energetics?

And to Mr. Corbett: PA does NOT want to be the next Texas.

The current proposal is to continue drilling and re-fracturing for the next 30 to 40 years, which will make our Pennsylvania very similar to the Barnett site and oil wells in Texas. What once was range lands filled with flowers and grasses in Texas is now dirt, dead trees and stinky oil wells. No one lives there anymore. Allowed, this is the fate for PA.

Gasses pass through shale, hence the radon requirements for new home construction to automatically have ventilation pipes and fans to draw the gasses out of these homes. This means radioneuclides underground being brought to the surface with half lives of up to 4.4 billion years and NY Time findings of contamination at well sites of levels up to twice lethal levels. No one will be able to live anywhere near the water sheds from Pa, NJ, DE and any other area who has water resources drawn from the Marcellus drilling sites locals.

I have no idea why Tom Corbett wants to destroy this state.

This is ridiculous. Can you imagine if a police officer had no authority in the field? If they couldn’t arrest someone without the expressed permission of the Chief of Police? Same thing here. They’ve effectively destroyed regulation and enforcement of the LAW by making everyone go through only 2 people, the head of the DEP and the Governor himself. NOTHING destroys democracy faster than a concentration of power. Instead of people following the enforceable rules, all they have to do is control 1 or 2 people financially or be in bed with them politically and they can get away with literally anything they want.

The race to the bottom isn’t just a Southern thing. Wisconsin, Maine and now Pennsylvania have more in common with Arizona, Texas and Georgia than I ever thought possible.

So, let me guess…in 6 months there will be an article stating the DEP has made the Marcellus Shale development safer and will point to a decrease in violations as proof?

WE’RE NOT STUPID!*


* Unfortunately most Americans ARE stupid.

Bob Carlson

April 4, 2011, 2 p.m.

“Pennsylvania Switches to Bottled Water”
(Who doesn’t expect Joe Barton to get into the act?)

Natural gas doesn’t melt. It explodes.
Plus fracturing soil to get at it can cause
Fracturing fluids to enter the water, and
Earthquakes when everything’s not left as it was.

So it’s just a matter of time till Joe Barton
Advocates drilling for more natural gas:
“Fracture the soil underneath Pennsylvania.
Tap water be damned. Bottled water’s first class.”

Looks like a view shared by Governor Corbett,
Who’s sold his soul to C. Alan Walker,
Campaign contributor and “permit approver”
Where the gas drilling applicant’s an EPA blocker.

The Congress exempted the fracturing process
From blame for polluting our underground water.
Who’s paying them off? Who bought the Congress
So they won’t change the law the way that they oughter?

Why, the C. Alan Walkers who have fought regulations
For treating the polluted waste water they dump.
What makes them think the law shouldn’t affect them?
Do they owe the banks as much as The Donald Trump?

How many earthquakes do you think it will take
Until Governor Corbett faces recall?
Arkansas’s shaking but New Jersey is banning.
At least Poland Springs didn’t get to them all.

Bob Carlson
http://www.politicalboondoggles.com
On Twitter @PBoondoggles
3/14/11
To ‘PA Governor Gives Energy Executive
    Supreme Authority Over Environmental Permitting’
To ‘Broad Scope of EPA’s Fracturing Study
    Raises Ire of Gas Industry’
To ‘Former Bush EPA Official Says Fracking Exemption
    Went Too Far; Congress Should Revisit’
To ‘Politics Seen to Limit E.P.A.
    as It Sets Rules for Natural Gas’
To ‘Arkansas Quake Is Its Most Powerful in 35 Years’
To ‘Lawmakers Declare New Jersey a No-Fracking Zone’
To ‘Embattled EPA Verses’
To ‘Just Plain Nutjobs’

3/14/11

Well, less good education for the masses means more people will accept the lies told by the politicians they will vote into offices everywhere. The masses already have no clues what is really going on.

We are told the truth is in plain sight. Yet we have to have those special glasses to see through the smoke and mirrors, plus, dig through the piles of bull manure as an archeologist would dig for bones to find these truths.  Then, if we do find the truth, the masses don’t believe it and label those of us who are paying attention and bringing things to the surface as “loonies” or Chicken Little. People are way too interested in television shows depicting “real” people doing foolish things. Just what the politicians want.  No one paying attention in any numbers to worry about. Most just can’t be bothered. How many times have you heard “My show is about to come on, I can’t talk now.” They trust their politicians to be honest, (“Oh, they wouldn’t lie to us”).  Then they allow their representatives a free rein to run things while they change channels while sitting on the sofa. We haven’t all been blind to how we got here, but, like the DEP employee commenting above, our hands are tied by in inattentive minds those who haven’t been off their couches for years except to chase the plastic carrot on a stick in front of them or go buy a big mac. Meanwhile, those of us with eyes that see must suffer the consequences of this inaction while we scream “the sky is falling” to an unresponsive bunch of lemmings.  Maybe the Mayans are right.  Life as we know it may be on the chopping block for our species as well as the rest, sooner than we may realize. Obviously, these politicians holding onto the reins can’t see past their bank statements. WE’RE ALL SCREWED.

We are all screwed if we do nothing! We are Americans after all and our legacy is to take action when it is needed. It is needed.

Tom Corbett formed a new cabinet placing C Alan Walker as favored leader without going through congress. He is declaring law without discussion. He is funneling money slated for other programs developed to help Pennsylvanians into funding this new cabinet. This sound like a dictatorship to me. WE DID NOT ELECT A DICTATOR, but that is what we are dealing with!

Worse! The laws that give freedom to inject chemicals of unknown origin, by the gas industry into our ground can be anything. This weakens our boarders to freelance terrorist. Most of these companies drilling in our state are not American and the stateside ones get financing from foreign investments too. Chesapeake Energy received $130 million from China. In itself, not a bad thing, but it is common for companies to be controlled by investment monies.

Horizontal drilling bores can extend to two miles. What is the protected zone around our nuclear plants? It only take a teeny tiny bomb to compromise the balance. The Technical abilities of our times and the irresponsibility at the state level have put this entire country in severe jeopardy.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Fracking

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat

The promise of abundant natural gas is colliding with fears about water contamination.

The Story So Far

The country’s push to find clean domestic energy has zeroed in on natural gas, but cases of water contamination have raised serious questions about the primary drilling method being used. Vast deposits of natural gas, large enough to supply the country for decades, have brought a drilling boom stretching across 31 states. The drilling technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, shoots water, sand and toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock and release the gas.

More »

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