Budget legislation approved this week in the state Senate effectively gives the legislature veto power over permitting decisions entrusted to the Department of Environmental Protection. And that’s only one of several amendments that would severely weaken DEP’s ability to enforce environmental regulations.
As you are well aware, the environmental community along with everyone who thinks we should breathe clean air and drink clean water are now facing some of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. Both the Pennsylvania Legislature and the United States Congress are in the hands of those who value corporate profits over public and environmental health. We must act with urgency as they attempt to weaken the protections that are in place.
The NRA has been very effective in getting their members to respond on gun issues. Their members have been far more responsive than the environmental community when called to act. We have a more difficult job since the range of environmental issues is far broader, but we must get in the ears of our political leaders and stay there. It is far too easy to be fatigued by the challenge, but we must stand up now and meet the challenge.
The Otzinchson Group is forming a rapid response group to contact our officials regarding environmental legislation or other government actions. When an issue arises we will email those who sign up with what is needed to contact government officials. A short phone call is all that is needed. It only takes a couple of minutes to call a representative’s office, give your name and location, and urge them to support or oppose a specific bill using the bill number and/or name, and maybe a sentence of why you are requesting the action. This is a very simple but important action.
If you would like to join in this effort please email me at email@example.com. You can leave the list at any time if you find in necessary.
Maryland just banned fracking! It’s time Pennsylvania follows suit!
Call Governor Wolf and tell him it’s time for a ban on fracking in Pennsylvania, too! We are not a sacrifice zone!
Call and keep calling!
Governor Tom Wolf
It’s looking like Maryland will ban fracking by the middle of next week! Theirs will be the first legislated ban in the country. Last Friday, their Republican governor announced his support for a ban. This is HUGE!
Meanwhile, here in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf issued a report promoting the building of even more cracker plants in the state. That comes on the heels of his full-throated support of the Mariner East II pipeline. And that comes after his announcement of the PIPE program that moves $24 million from an alternative energy program so he can build that last mile of pipeline that will connect schools, hospitals, and business parks to natural gas service. That comes while his DEP approved the majority of the 47 new natural gas power plants proposed for the state. And while that was happening, Wolf’s DEP chief was leading a Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force with the stated goal of building public acceptance of the industry. And that comes as his DEP approved new drilling permits at the rate of 1 every hour and a quarter. We could keep going, but you get the idea. Governor Wolf is doing everything he can to EXPAND the natural gas market in Pennsylvania.