Pennsylvania Limits Authority of Oil and Gas Inspectors

Pennsylvania Limits Authority of Oil and Gas Inspectors

And the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote today:
Pennsylvania environment chief now must approve any shale-drilling citations

In an unprecedented policy shift, inspectors in Pennsylvania have been ordered to stop issuing violations against drillers without prior approval from Gov. Corbett’s new environmental chief.

The change, ordered last week in response to complaints by the drilling industry and its supporters in the Pennsylvania legislature, dismayed ground-level staff in the Department of Environmental Protection and drew a chorus of outrage from environmental advocates.

“I could not believe it,” said John Hanger, the last DEP secretary under Gov. Ed Rendell. “It’s extraordinarily unwise. It’s going to cause the public in droves to lose confidence in the inspection process.”  The order applies only to enforcement actions in the Marcellus Shale….

read more: fully story =  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/118971044.html

This outrageous news follows hard on the heels of President Obama’s speech indicating his support for natural gas extraction, which means fracking with all its environmental destruction and harms to public health.  Natural gas stocks rose overnight.  But read this cogent analysis of the President’s “non-plan”:
Protectors, this news is a call to action.
1.  HOLD THE DATE: Saturday April 23rd, “River to River” march here in Philatelphia (Schuylkill to Delaware) to protect our waters — to reclaim our democracy and express our outrage about horizontal hydrofracking and the “Gasocracy” trying blatantly to take over our state.  We the people need clean air, water, earth: we won’t stand for this!
2.  USE TODAY’S NEWS AS AN ORGANIZING TOOL:  don’t “read it and weep,” get angry and organized.  Make your personal plan to get five, fifty, or 500 more people, businesses, and organizations to comment to the DRBC between now and April 12th using our new letter HERE: (Finally, it’s easy)! http://tinyurl.com/46lbsg6
Forward widely!  We will print and HAND DELIVER ALL E-LETTERS directly to the DRBC as long as they come in by April 12th midnight.
We can then galvanize all these letter-writers to speak out in an organized way to protect the whole state and region!
3.  FYI: where POW will be tonight, 7 pm, Drexel: (you can pick up lit. from our table here if you want to do outreach):  http://www.revbilly.com/events/drexel
Closing thought for the day from Protecting Our Waters organizers Gerald Kaufman, a former Pennsylvania legislator himself:
“This is important. Reading this [Obama’s non-plan] and the morning Inky regarding the DEP shale inspectors needing to get permission from the Secretary’s office to issue a violation is energizing me. I think back to the 60s and 70s and how we were able to impact the direction of the country because we were so well organized. We had mass involvement in the civil rights, anti war and women’s movements and it was the beginning of the environmental movement. Now we have a country ruled by the oligarchs and the only movement involving large numbers is the Tea Party. So instead of feeling depressed I feel energized and and am happy to be part of a larger movement that POW represents. I think the DEP article today is a great organizing tool.”   –Gerald Kaufman


Iris Marie Bloom
Director, Protecting Our Waters
www.protectingourwaters.com

c (215) 840-6489
protectingourwaters@gmail.com

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