Gov. Corbett declares war on PA's environment
Gov. Tom Corbett wants to use nearly $60 million dedicated for two popular environmental programs, the Growing Greener and the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation funds, to fill holes in the state's 2012-13 budget. Details about the transfers emerged during two House Appropriations Committee budget hearings held Tuesday. Democrats quickly assailed the proposal. Rep. Greg Vitali, a member of the Appropriations Committee, stated, "This is nothing but a shell game. It's a way to use Growing Greener bond money for the General Fund. Using bond money for operating expenses is bad public policy."
This development is just the latest in a string of debate surrounding the safety and protection of PA's environment and land.
On Feb. 27th experts warned about the growing threat of air pollution from Marcellus Shale gas drilling. The experts testified at a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church that was co-hosted by Vitali, (D-Delaware) and state Rep. Tim Briggs, (D-Montgomery) and attended by about 75 people. Communities across PA are worried about the negative consequences from unsafe drilling procedures.
Additionally, on Feb. 29th Rep. Jesse White, (D-Washington/Allegheny/Beaver) asked Marcellus Shale drillers to pledge their commitment to creating local jobs and protecting communities through a resolution he recently introduced in the House of Representatives. White's H.R. 593 would encourage Pennsylvania natural gas drilling companies to adopt the "Marcellus Shale Principles," which include providing family-sustaining jobs for local, Pennsylvania workers; being responsible stewards of the environment; and building open communications with the community on its actions.