Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Former state health employees say they were silenced on drilling

Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling.

Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY

Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling.

Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling.

One veteran employee says she was instructed not to return phone calls from residents who expressed health concerns about natural gas development.

“We were absolutely not allowed to talk to them,” said Tammi Stuck, who worked as a community health nurse in Fayette County for nearly 36 years.

Another retired employee, Marshall P. Deasy III, confirmed that.

Deasy, a former program specialist with the Bureau of Epidemiology, said the department also began requiring field staff to get permission to attend any meetings outside the department. This happened, he said, after an agency consultant made comments about drilling at a community meeting.

In the more than 20 years he worked for the department, Deasy said, “community health wasn’t told to be silent on any other topic that I can think of.”

Companies have drilled more than 6,000 wells into Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale over the last six years, making it the fastest-growing state for natural gas production in America.

Amid the record-breaking development, public health advocates have expressed concern that Pennsylvania has not funded research to examine the potential health impacts of the shale boom.

Doctors have said that some people who live near natural gas development sites – including well pads and compressor stations – have suffered from skin rashes, nausea, nosebleeds and other ailments. Some residents believe their ill health is linked to drilling, but doctors say they simply don’t have the data or research – from the state or other sources – to confirm that.

A state Department of Health spokesperson denied that employees were told not to return calls. Aimee Tysarczyk said all complaints related to shale gas drilling are sent to the Bureau of Epidemiology. Since 2011, she said, the agency has logged 51 complaints, but has found no link between drilling and illness.

“A list of buzzwords”

Tammi Stuck has been retired for just over two years. She still remembers a piece of paper she kept in her desk after her supervisor distributed it to Stuck and other employees of the state health center in Uniontown in 2011.

It was not unusual, Stuck said, for department brass to send out written talking points on certain issues, such as the H1N1 or “swine flu” virus, meant to guide staff in answering questions from the public.

This was different.

“There was a list of buzzwords we had gotten,” Stuck said. “There were some obvious ones like fracking, gas, soil contamination. There were probably 15 to 20 words and short phrases that were on this list. If anybody from the public called in and that was part of the conversation, we were not allowed to talk to them.”

Normally, when fielding calls, Stuck would discuss the caller’s problem, ask about symptoms, and explain what services the department or other agencies could offer.

However, for drilling-related calls, Stuck said she and her fellow employees were told just to take the caller’s name and number and forward the information to a supervisor.

“And somebody was supposed to call them back and address their concerns,” she said, adding that she never knew whether these callbacks occurred.

Sometimes, Stuck said, people would call again, angry they had not heard back from anyone from the department.

Stuck did not usually answer the phone at the Uniontown office. But on the few occasions when she did pick up and the caller was making a drilling-related complaint, she never found out what happened after she passed the information on to her supervisor.

Stuck said she has spoken to employees working in other state health centers who received the same list of buzzwords and the same instructions on how to deal with drilling-related calls.

“People were saying: Where’s the Department of Health on all this?” Stuck said. “The bottom line was we weren’t allowed to say anything. It’s not that we weren’t interested.”

Marshall Deasy worked in the Bureau of Epidemiology in Harrisburg for more than 20 years, retiring last June. Deasy was a primary investigator of food- and waterborne outbreaks and his work put him in contact with community health nurses across the state, such as Tammi Stuck.

He said some nurses told him they were not allowed to respond to complaints about gas drilling.

In his office in Harrisburg, Deasy said the subject of natural gas development was considered “taboo” and was not openly discussed among fellow employees.

However, he was aware that a colleague in the Bureau of Epidemiology was maintaining a list of drilling-related calls. When reached by StateImpact Pennsylvania, that person declined to comment.

The Department of Health confirmed that all complaints related to natural gas drilling are sent to the Bureau of Epidemiology where they are logged in a database.

Spokesperson Aimee Tysarczyk said that a “buzzwords” list was never circulated and disputed Stuck’s account that nurses were instructed not to return calls.

“Typically, the protocol is that when a call comes in, they log the information and they contact the Bureau of Epidemiology here who follows up directly with that individual,” Tysarczyk said. “If there’s a physician involved, then they will follow up with the physician.”

Putting the lid on meetings

Both Marshall Deasy and Tammi Stuck recall an incident that had a chilling effect on employees.

In 2011, a consultant for the department was attending a community meeting in an official capacity. The subject of gas drilling came up and her comments on the matter got back to officials in Harrisburg.

According to Deasy, the consultant still works for the department, but she “was made plain that wasn’t going to be repeated, that nobody’s going to be out discussing shale or drilling from the Department of Health.”

Not long afterwards, the agency instituted a new policy: To attend any meetings, on any topic, all nurses, consultants and other employees of state health centers and district offices would have to get permission from the office of the director of the Bureau of Community Health in Harrisburg.

“There was a form that had to be filled out at least a month ahead of time,” Stuck said.

For instance, to go the meeting of the local diabetes task force, a community health nurse would be required to submit a form detailing the topics to be discussed, who would be attending and the role of the nurse at that meeting.

Stuck said another nurse she knew was forced to step down from the infection control committee at a local hospital. She was no longer allowed to attend the meetings.

Tysarczyk, the department spokesperson, said employees are not required to fill out a form to get permission, but “it’s not unusual to know where our staff is going to ensure that the appropriate resources are being allocated and that they’re speaking on behalf of the department and our priorities from a public health standpoint.”

Sneaking the topic through

That did not stop Marshall Deasy from bending the rules.

Last spring, just a few weeks shy of his retirement, Deasy invited Dr. Bernard Goldstein, professor emeritus with the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, to speak to more than 100 employees at their Quarterly Epidemiology meeting about his work on shale drilling and health.

Deasy gave Goldstein one condition:

Dr. Bernard Goldstein, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.

Katie Colaneri/StateImpact Pennsylvania

Dr. Bernard Goldstein, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.

“He needed to make sure that we had a title [for the presentation] that didn’t say ‘shale gas,’” Goldstein said. “If it did, he was concerned that the Pennsylvania Department of Health political leadership would cancel the meeting because they didn’t want this kind of topic on their agenda.”

Goldstein agreed. He gave a talk about lessons learned from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to environmental epidemiology.

He also spoke about the need for the state Department of Health to monitor the impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling.

“And no one said, “No, no, Dr. Goldstein, you’re wrong. We’re actually doing it.’”

No health registry

Goldstein has criticized Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration for not giving the Department of Health a bigger role in overseeing the growing shale gas industry.

A spokesman for Gov. Corbett declined to comment for this story.

Act 13, the 2012 overhaul of the state’s oil and gas law, created an impact fee, which has generated more than $630 million over the last three years. The money goes back to local governments and to various state agencies involved in regulating drilling, including the Department of Environmental Protection.

“Not one penny goes to the Department of Health,” Goldstein said.

By contrast, Goldstein said, New York has put large-scale hydraulic fracturing on hold until Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration completes environmental and public health reviews.

Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is also overseeing a study of the potential health impacts of Marcellus Shale development that is supported by state funding.

The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission that Gov. Corbett convened in 2011 recommended that the Department of Health create a population-based registry. This initiative would monitor over time the health of residents who live within one mile of natural gas production sites.

The commission also recommended that education programs be offered to health care providers and the public, and that the department should establish a protocol for investigating complaints.

Earlier versions of Act 13 called for $2 million to fund these initiatives, but were ultimately cut from the final legislation.

Tysarczyk said her agency is still committed to creating a health registry.

“I think that we would have liked to see it happen a bit faster,” she said. “At the same time, from what we’ve seen, we’re not seeing a definitive health link to drilling based on the investigations that we’ve done.”

“A model state”

Corbett’s former health secretary Eli Avila told StateImpact Pennsylvania he was not aware of the policies described by the two former department employees. He was leading the department at the time when, according to Stuck and Deasy, the “buzzwords” list was handed down and employees needed permission to attend meetings.

Avila said it would have been possible for one of the deputy secretaries in the department or the governor’s office to have taken such a step without his knowledge.

Avila resigned in October 2012 amid a lawsuit from a Harrisburg restaurant owner stemming from an argument over an egg sandwich. He is now health commissioner for Orange County, New York.

Avila is disappointed that the health registry, an idea he endorsed before the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, has not yet been carried out.

“Pennsylvania was poised to be the model state when it came to fracking,” he said. “That’s how I saw it. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.”

 

Click here to read part two of this story: Pa. confirms drilling “buzzword” list; says it’s meant to guide, not silence employees

 

Comments

  • John

    Corbett’s administration is corrupt and totally under the influence of the gas drillers. His DEP and EPA have been politically co-opted and those people have actively interfered with citizen complaints and directly covered up evidence of health issues and pollution. The GOP controlled legislature is also to blame. Troubling to say the least, I PRAY that PA throws out this corrupt Gov in Nov and we can get on with fixing this mess ASAP…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522786448 Scott Cannon

      Democrats have sold out too John. Their focus is on taxing, not fixing the problems. That’s a recipe for disaster.

    • WhoaisUS

      Scott is right John.Their all pocketing money from the Gas Lobbyist’s.Exp.Dominion Energy donated $500,000.00 to Repubs.+$415,000.00 to the Dems..Win.Win.Win!Also lookup leg.bill 411 of 2/13/13′ signed by all Senators.It amended the clean water act of 1964,Amended the mining act of 1946(to have fracking not deemed mining+escape its regulations.It made all Pa.Property available to fracking except for all Pennstate lands who will receive millions in fed.grants to tell you their studies prove fracking doesn’t pollute ground water or make people sick.It also makes Gas Co’.s Immune to being sued for contaminating your ground water.Note it states especially if your downstream from a fracking site.DEP?EPA?Their all headed by the same Senator who helped pass this bill+our pocketing major bucks from the gas co.’s lobbyists.Please wakeup people!Before they destroy this state.This is only the tip of the iceburg!There’s billion’s in federal grants for fracking under Obama’s clean energy,Smart Growth Initiative.

    • Rex

      Praying is such a waste of time. That’s what the politicians want you to do. Why don’t you do some political organizing instead.

      • Nicko Thime

        The answer is always, “No one home”

    • BinaryTruth

      As Republicans are so fond of saying, elections have consequences. Here’s what they mean.

    • L Dougherty

      This is why we need to send this article to Tom Wolf’s campaign!!

    • johnward154

      Corporations live or die by whether they can sustain growth. On this depends relationships to investors, to the stock market, to banks and to public perception. The growth imperative also fuels the corporate desire to find and develop scarce resources in obscure parts of the world.

      This effect is now clearly visible, as the world’s few remaining pristine places are sacrificed to corporate production. The peoples who inhabit these resource-rich regions are similarly pressured to give up their traditional ways and climb on the wheel of production-consumption. Corporate planners consciously attempt to bring “less developed societies into the modem world” to create infrastructures for development, as well as new workers and new consumers. Corporations claim that they do this for altruistic reasons to raise the living standard—but corporations have no altruism.

      Theoretically, privately held corporations—those owned by individuals or families—do not have the imperative to expand. In practice, however, their behavior is the same. Such privately held giants as Bechtel Corporation have shown no propensity to moderate growth.

      *

      Competition and Aggression: Corporations place every person in management in fierce competition with each other. Anyone interested in a corporate career must hone his or her ability to seize the moment. This applies to gaining an edge over another company or over a colleague within the company. As an employee, you are expected to be part of the “team,” but you also must be ready to climb over your own colleagues.

      Corporate ideology holds that competition improves worker incentive and corporate performances and therefore benefits society. Our society has accepted this premise utterly. Unfortunately, however, it also surfaces in personal relationships. Living by standards of competition and aggression on the job, human beings have few avenues to express softer, more personal feelings. (In politics, non-aggressive behavior is interpreted as weakness.)

      *

      Amorality: Not being human, corporations do not have morals or altruistic goals. So decisions that maybe antithetical to community goals or environmental health are made without misgivings. In fact, corporate executives praise “non-emotionality” as a basis for “objective” decision-making.

      Corporations, however, seek to hide their amorality and attempt to act as if they were altruistic. Lately, there has been a concerted effort by American industry to appear concerned with environmental cleanup, community arts or drug programs. Corporate efforts that seem altruistic are really Public relations ploys or directly self-serving projects.

      There has recently been a spurt of corporate advertising about how corporations work to clean the environment. A company that installs offshore oil rigs will run ads about how fish are thriving under the rigs. Logging companies known for their clearcutting practices will run millions of dollars’ worth of ads about their “tree farms.”

  • Victoria Switzer

    I witnessed DEP in action- making a joke of a woman’s concern and questioning about what chemicals were being used in gas operations. This article sickens me-makes my stomach turn. Yes, you can add nausea to the list of health complaints related to gas drilling…….among the many others real people have complained about and been ignored.

  • Jim Foster

    Still more evidence that the Corbett Administration is under the thumb of the drillers.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/veraduerga Vera Scroggins

    I called the Pa. Dept. of Health several times with concerns and issues and my own heavy nosebleed the past few years; they took the info , asked some questions and said it was being logged; nothing further done; and since a year ago , our rural health depts. have been conveniently closed down ; a bunch of them, including ours in Susquehanna County, where major drilling is going on for years.. Where’s all the gas wealth? Our Pa. State can’t even keep all the Health Depts. open, and we only had one for the whole county, and claimed funding issues….!!

    • Charliefoxtrot

      I recently saw a bright light in the sky at night, had an idea my cough was related to it, and can you believe the corruptocrats at the Health Dept did nothing???!!!!

      • ARealPerson

        If you’re going to shill, at least put some effort into it.

        • Charliefoxtrot

          Well, I’d retort that correlation isn’t causation, and because we believe that things like vaccines causing autism and fracking causing nosebleeds, doesn’t mean it’s true. A million gullible lefties ohhhhed and ahhhed at water being lit on fire in Gasland, not knowing of course that it’s been that way for 60 years.

          • UNvested

            Correlation isn’t causation, you’re correct, but where are the studies that show causation? Why isn’t the PA Health Dept out there funding the science to debunk all the lefties instead of trying to muzzle anyone who might stand behind a lectern.

          • Charliefoxtrot

            I think all this is, frankly, is them adopting a measured response to prevent more antivaxxer-like panics in the public sphere. Any study like this would take decades as well.

            There’s a huge danger in taking anecdotal evidence and presenting it as evidence, and to expect these memos to turn out to be a conspiracy of Jason Bourne levels is pretty laughable.

          • Trippin McZoink

            There’s also a huge danger in suppressing the evidence as part of a conspiracy to cover up for the industry.

          • Rocky Racoon

            Your out of step with Alex Jones on the vaccines what is going to happen to the Libertarian movement now???

          • vrk

            You’re right, its not. But certainly correlation warrants a further look, right? PA government was stonewalling and refusing to take that look, almost as if they were scared of what they’d find, but I’m sure that’s not the case.

          • Charliefoxtrot

            Listen, anyone saying that fracking is making them sick just has to find the nearest Shylock personal injury lawyer and file suit, they don’t need anything but a phone to do it, since with millions on the line, surely lawyers are lining up to get in on the action…..right? Or maybe the negative findings by lifetime crusading leftists who donated 99% to Obama in the EPA on groundwater contamination in PA might temper the lawyers enthusiasm?

          • Chrystal Myghty

            Charlie….Which fracking company do you work for, troll?

          • tamarque

            And listen Charlie–Pa is not known for its left leaning population. It is conservative working people who are seeing the correlation. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Remember that one?

          • Rocky Racoon

            The saddest part of this whole drama is that shale gas is nothing more than a Wall Street pump and dump-it will be over in 5 years but the damage will be permanent.

          • Rocky Racoon

            Amid Calls for EPA to Reopen Fracking Investigations, States Confirm Contaminated Groundwater

            Republican Sen. James Inhofe said it. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said it. Even former Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson said it.

            For over a decade, oil and gas executives and the policy makers who support them have repeated a single bold claim: there has never been a single documented case where fracking contaminated groundwater.

            But a blockbuster investigative report by the Associated Press offered up new evidence earlier this month that the shale industry’s keystone environmental claim is simply not true.

            Multiple states confirmed that drilling and fracking contaminated groundwater supplies, the investigation found. There have been thousands of complaints from people living near drilling over the past decade, the AP reported, and
            three out of the four states from which the AP obtained documents
            confirmed multiple instances where oil and gas companies contaminated
            groundwater.

          • FrackDaddy

            Could provide a crediable link to you claims? As usual!

          • vrk

            Yo’re right, its not. But certainly correlation would require a further look by a responsible government, right? PA government is clearly stonewalling such a look. Almost as if they are hiding something, but I’m sure that’s not the case.

          • Rocky Racoon

            if it walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck….it must be a sparrow!

          • Trippin McZoink

            And I’d retort that a state government beholden to the industry who willfully censors public servants and bars them from providing the very services they’re hired to provide is corrupt, as is any right wing shill moaning about “lefties” who defends that corruption.

            By your own logic, just because something’s been that way for 60 years doesn’t mean fracking isn’t causal in Gasland, either, Einstein.

          • BeliTsari

            Slickwater fracking began in PA & WV in 2006. CFT’s a sadly typical troll on all the blog aggregators, repeating K Street big lies, obfuscatory pleonasm & red herrings sufficient to restock every dead estuary in LA & TX. H+K & Berman’s trolls cut and paste the exact same used with tobacco, Beryllium, Asbestos, PCB/ PCC poisoning, since before P. J. Gobbles was born?

          • FrackDaddy

            Funny comment, I like how you can call names and make wild accusations, But of course have no proof and facts to back you crazy stories. Just like all the Anti propaganda.
            Ignore the facts the author is making? If you look again, there is no facts, no references to look up, just a story, that’s all. With a lot of unanswered questions, Why wait 3 years to tell anyone? How were the 51 complaints logged, if they are instructed not speak to these people? The woman admits, she does not know if the were called back or not, because they were passed on to a different agency? Why did they refuse to go on the record? The one thing this story is lacking more than facts is answers?

            Slick water frac’n just uses a lubricant (similar to dish soap) that helps the water move faster and in turn makes it take less pressure, which in most cases also means less water. I have attached a link to work by you own paid scientist Fast Tony, who says slick water HF was done long before you claim. Now he is a know liar, with a science for sale sign in his front yard. But you follow all the other junk science he puts out, so why not that? I assume its because you are to lazy, to do actual research and just depend on what Park, Heinz, sierra tell you.

            http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDMQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hydrorelief.org%2Ffrackdata%2Fnew_nov%2Fmy_discussion_information.doc&ei=FhurU4G6JoORyAS024KABw&usg=AFQjCNFDNIM2aKmOBrQCqqaPY7JOCtKLQA&bvm=bv.69620078,d.aWw

            Also here is your link if you would like to be paid to be a paid troll! But then maybe you already are?
            http://ithaca.craigslist.org/npo/4427242546.html

          • Teresa Roberts

            I don’t want to drink dish soap either, thank you.
            It gives me the runs.

          • FrackDaddy

            Agreed, I just wish my mother felt the same way! I had a steady diet of it form 11-14..lol.

            But it surely won’t cause cancer, birth defects or any other aliments they claim…..

          • Rocky Racoon

            No wonder China’s solar panels are cheaper. In fact, as indicated by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the “clean
            energy sector is now an annual $250 billion component of the world
            economy”. And the world’s leader in clean energy investment is clearly
            China. The director of Pew’s clean energy program Phyllis Cuttino said as much
            when she maintained that “[n]o other clean energy market in
            the world is operating at that scale”, referring to the Chinese endeavors
            in the field. For instance, in 2013, China increased its solar energy output
            almost fourfold to 12.1 GW, or 12,100 MW. Whereas, the Chinese drive in the
            field of wind energy was increased to more than 10 GW. Pew indicated that
            Chinese investment in wind was $28 billion and in solar $22.6 billion, leaving
            the US behind in second place for investment in wind energy and third for solar
            investment.

          • Rocky Racoon

            Koch Brothers’ $67M to Climate Denial (E38)

            … Why are the Koch brothers
            funneling over $67m to climate change
            denial. Coming up. Annoucer: A new UN report foretells
            “Biblical …

          • FrackDaddy

            Why are the Saudi’s, Russians, and Qatar (the largest producers of NG) funneling money to stop HVHF? Are they concerned with the environment or their profits? Ask Ed Bagley Jr…!
            No one disagrees that special interest groups funnel money into causes and interests. The only difference is the anti crowd won’t admit to it, when the proof is right there!

            Just like you can’t ever back up you wild claims with facts or science, Just “The Sky is Falling” fear mongering.

            You have to think when every producer and seller of NG says, American gas is bad. And is trying to shut it down, I don’t think GasProm cares to much about the environment, But the do care about using NG as a political weapon, and won’t stop! Or maybe you agree with the Middle Eastern country’s? They have always proved to be stable………

            P.S. global warming is not real!

          • Rocky Racoon

            Colorado Regulators Halt Fracking Wastewater Injection Operation After Earthquake Strikes Area For Second Time in One Month

          • MM

            typical Repuke, always comment on what’s it’s not or how wrong everyone is but never capable of stating the facts.

          • Dennis O’Connor

            As soon as you start that “leftie” garbage, you lose credibility. If Ideology is driving your rhetoric, you start from a biased position, one not based on fact, but emotion.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Seems like most geologists in the area are not familiar with the “common” flaming faucets. While methane in water has been around before Marcellus drilling, it is rare to have that type of common event. Even the Indians (that kept the Salt Springs Park location secret due to its rare occurance) seemed to be more informed over 100 years ago than the Tea party apologists in here.

      • nil

        Love canal

      • Rocky Racoon

        That was a drone you dummy and it has a missile with your name on it-just for posting here!

    • Iris Marie Bloom

      Right, and probably “lack of funds” is also going to be the excuse for the PA DOH to suppress information about those 51 complaints which made it into their call logs through sheer persistence? One can only imagine that scores or hundreds of others gave up, because DOH made it almost impossible for anyone with health impacts to actually get through to a DOH employess who would even log that phone call, let alone call back or follow up in any way.

      I know for sure, from my own experience working to help people impacted by shale gas drilling operations, that DOH refused to consider helping get impacted people with their most basic needs, i.e. clean replacement water, medical testing, monitoring and access to appropriate care. Good work, StateImpact, unearthing this suppression of compassionate, appropriate and professional responses to impacted people in shale country.

      This is a public health coverup and it’s utterly unacceptable. Coverups make people angry. In Pennsylvania, the people are angry and getting angrier because we care about health, we care about justice, we care about transparency, we care about our communities and we will not allow our Commonwealth to be stolen by corporate greed.

    • MM

      The best way to keep the people quiet is to take away their healthcare, that’s why the Gop wants to get rid of Obamacare, they don’t want to “poor” (which are becoming the majority) to have access to public healthcare of any kind.

      • Pamela Landon

        The GOP does not want to deny anyone health care. They don’t want Government busybodies to have control over who lives and who dies. Remember the IRS and how they targetted the Conservatives and Tea Party people. These are the people that Progressives want to put in charge of who gets medical treatment and who doesn’t.

    • Finkster

      Your Rural Health Services are being forced out of business because of Obamacare and Crony corporations investing in Healthcare Industries. It has nothing to do with the Gas Company and their money. The State is over stocked with employees that do nothing and these Bureaus need closed down to quit wasting money.

    • FrackDaddy

      This reminds me of a story…… Something about a boy and a wolf!

  • wendylynnelee

    Tremendously sad it is then that Breathe Easy Susquehanna County advocates only for “best practices” and not a halt to drilling. If silencing healthcare workers is a “best practice,” and clearly it is the best were gonna get from this corrupt industry and it’s pimps in the Corbett administration, what else is there to demand but a BAN? Groups like “Breathe Easy” actively contribute to the dark reality exposed in stories like these by providing cover for the industry that creates these risks. By making it appear that the industry can be “reasonable,” that they are willing to work with potentially affected citizens–all the while healthcare workers are being silenced–such groups help the industry to create a false sense of safety and comfort–at the cost of the health of the rest of us. Ms. Switzer can decry industry wrong-doing until the cows come home–or drop over dead–but it is profoundly disingenuous when she sits across the table over coffee with Cabot asking them to play nice.

    http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/2014/01/realism-is-frack-speak-for-so-long-as-i.html

    As for throwing out Corbett and pinning our hopes on Tom Wolf–his Democrat challenger, it’s hard to imagine a sadder state of affairs. Wolf is not not pro-drilling, his plan to tax the gas companies will:

    1. institutionalize drilling by making social programs dependent on the revenue stream, and

    2. in so doing make already weak regulation even weaker. After all, less regulation = more drilling = more tax revenue.

    Corbett may well be the Wolf in the Wolf outfit–but Tom Wolf is the Wolf disguised as the sheep. Perhaps folks from Breathe Easy Susquehanna County will throw in their support for Tom Wolf–but if they do, claims like Switzer’s will continue to just be more….Crying Wolf!

    • Tom Frost

      Wolf is not disguised as a sheep, Wendy. You are. And any of our valued readers who might have been on the fence, have just seen, once again with your renewed ad hominems on fractivists who have forgotten more than you’ve learned about how to control the gasmen, that the best reason to hold our nose and vote for Wolf is that he’s the lesser of THREE evils.
      Good luck again (in the hypothetical situation of you and Glover winning) when it comes time for you and your hero Glover (or are you STILL saying, as you did a short while ago, that he’s NOT your hero?) to sit down with your own cup of Joe with the big boys to sort out WHICH 20,000-or-whatever-it-is fracs YOUR administration will be rubber-stamping, per the Glover/Lee “where contracts can’t be broken” exception to its purportedly-purer-thou ban.

      • Steve Todd

        Wendy:

        I call myself a fracktivist. And I support a tax. Because I know the entire world is not going to march lockstep to my edicts. I admire your work (we have attended numerous events together, are FB friends and have met several times). I am on your side. And Alex Lotorto’s side. The same Alex I had to unfriend on FB because of his relentless and very personal attacks on my positions. I am backing Wolf, being a Dem Committeeman (Dauphin County), but I wish you and Glover all the best. But if you do win, I am 100% certain you will be a little disappointed. Winning a political office does not mean you march in and everyone shuts up, and prepares their pens for orders. Folks like Victoria and Tom (with whom I am also acquainted and have worked) are on our side…yours, Alex’, Vera’s, Rebecca’s and mine. It should shock no one to learn that none of those folks march lockstep on the issues of the day…it would be a scary world in which we did.

        • CitizenSane1

          Good for you Steve. Call yourself a ‘fractivist’ who wants to stop fracking, but is willing to settle for a tax that will institutionalize it and give permission to the industry and the legislature to continue to ruin people’s lives, destroy the environment, and maybe only a few people will have to die… but at least we’ve got a tax which will inspire the already inadequate regulations to become even more lax. You have the makings of a real “politician”. My condolences. Personally, I couldn’t live with myself if I were willing to accept selling some people out for a tax.You’re as “pragmatic” as you need to be. I just wonder how “pragmatic and realistic” you’d be if you had to watch someone in your family suffer and die needlessly because of this industry. Q: How much of a tax would make that acceptable?

          • Steve Todd

            You do not have the makings of real “politicians”. And neither do others who take your approach. That was my point. Lashing out and insulting those who agree with you most of the time doesn’t make them wake up and say “why didn’t I realize he is always right?” It just alienates. For issues like this where there are valid benefits and valid harms, you need consensus to sway things your way. The civil rights issues you hold up (slavery, women’s rights and child labor) are like today’s marriage equality and medical marijuana: ALL know deep down there is no good and all wrong in the status quo. Fracking doesn’t rise to that level for most informed folks. The handful who feel that way are going to need allies if you wish to succeed. Whether you want them or not. Peace, man.

          • CitizenSane1

            “You do not have the makings of real “politicians”. Thank you for the compliment. A real politician is someone who makes a career out of compromising. Compromising their values, their beliefs, their principles, and in some cases compromising to the point of allow some to be harmed for the possible benefit of others, or political gain. You’re correct. I am proudly, NOT a real politician. My conscience wouldn’t allow it.

          • Steve Todd

            Then your conscience won’t allow you to win on any issue which requires compromise. You will not achieve any significant protections against fracking without working with some folks who don’t agree with you 100%. You will need some of us who agree with you 80-90%. It is wise to not alienate all of them.

          • CitizenSane1

            I’ve been watching people “compromise” for six years now, and have accomplished nothing, save for some who managed some personal benefit by compromising the rights, and welfare of others. There are now 11 townships in PA who stood up and refuse to compromise their principles. It’s been six years since the first stood up, and in that six years none of those townships have been industrialized. On the other hand, those who have been “reasonable” have been abused. There have already been a few wins, and there will be more. What I will NOT compromise is my principles, or the rights and welfare of others. Not for any political position, not for any job, or any amount of money. I’ve no interest in working the “red light district” of politics. You’re statement; “I call myself a fracktivist. And I support a tax.” is contradictory and oxymoronic is so many ways. You want to tax and regulate something you claim to want to stop. It would be like Amnesty International demanding an end to capital punishment while calling for more humane ways of execution, then expecting to be taken seriously. You’re position is “politically correct” while being morally indefensible. Before you dare to negotiate the harm that others may have to endure, then you’d better be prepared to accept the responsibility for that harm. This is the founder of the organization I’m now affiliated with. Listen, you might learn something, or maybe you won’t, but this is the movement that is growing at breakneck speed across PA, and the nation. “Thomas Linzey – Challenging Corporations” REGULATIONS DON’T WORK, AND WILL NEVER WORK. WHY? “When you ‘regulate’ something, you are allowing it to continue”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HowKoNmODNY&feature=share

        • CitizenSane1

          By the way, Wendy doesn’t expect to Glover to win, and quite frankly, neither does Glover. Some people are just more comfortable working for what they want, even if they don’t get it, then settling for what they don’t and trying to live with it. A concept lost on partisan players. Fortunately, those who fought to free the slaves, getting woman the right to vote, enacted child labor laws, and fought for civil rights were “pragmatic”. If they were, only some people would be free and have equal rights under the law.

        • wendylynnelee

          HI Steve, and thank you for your reply. The argument against a tax–severance or otherwise– is very clear, as are its implications with respect to who gets to honestly call themselves anti-fracking–and that is not and cannot be you or, for that matter, anyone who supports a tax.

          1. A tax on natural gas extraction via fracking will institutionalize the industry by making social programs dependent on its revenue stream. However much the industry resists it, they know that any tax will have this positive effect for them–and so their resistance is feigned and simply aimed at the lowest tax possible. The amount of the tax has no real bearing on the extent to which it institutionalizes the industry as part of the state’s internal revenue structure.

          2. Wolf is the best thing that could happen to the gas industry–far better than Corbett–because while the duped are celebrating Wolf’s imposing a tax, the industry will go about their dirty business as usual–but with the added bonus that they now have the cover of legitimacy behind a painless tax that will guarantee their presence in the state forever–or until they leave us a spent industrialized wasteland. Corbett could never have lent them this cover.

          3. Taxing the industry will actively encourage even less regulation. The formula is simple” Imposing a tax=insuring dependence of social programs=pressure to generate more revenue=pressure for the industry to make more money=weakening regulations. In other words, the more dependence, the more pressure to generate greater tax revenues, and because the tax as a percentage of profit is never going to amount to anything substantial, the thing that’s going to have to give is the regulations and their enforcement. When you add to this the fact that–as this article demonstrates once again–the regulations are meaningless and unenforceable now, just imagine what that will mean given the institutionalization of the industry. Welcome to Texas.

          4. Once the industry is institutionalized in the state’s tax structure, they will be able to exert pressure like never before. They will be in a position to level substantive threats of withdrawal and whoever is governor will cave to the threat precisely because essential social programs–and (thanks to Wolf) funding for education will now be tied to gas tax revenue. The regulations will then be enforced even less, more and more Democrats will jump on board for horrendous bills like the gutting of the state’s endangered species act–and representative like yourself will have paved the way for the future industrialization of the state including the further erosion of property rights, rights to clean air and water, rights to speak out against the industry. In short, an invitation to become part of the state’s essential economic wherewithal in an invitation to corporate hegemony.

          5. (1)-(4) can have only one conclusion: more fracking including all of its dirty and damaging infrastructure.

          I invite you to demonstrate where this argument fails. You might argue, for example, that the argument for a tax is “being realistic,” and that a tax is better than no tax.

          The problem with this reasoning is that I have shown that a tax is far worse than no tax because it institutionalizes the industry in the state’s fiduciary structure–with the implications I have spelled out.

          You might argue that these implications, social program dependence, education funding….don’t necessarily follow. But indeed they do, and the history of the state shows it. Moreover, we cannot rationally believe otherwise given that Corbett has gutted these programs such that there exists a funding vacuum that Wolf is clearly prepared to fill with frack-dollars.

          You might argue that there’s no necessary connection between social program dependence and the weakening of already weak environmental and safety regulations. You’re correct–there is no necessary relationship. But there will be an empirically demonstrable one since the need to fund these programs will continue–and for some escalate–creating pressure to generate more revenue. That just IS the history of taxation.

          To use the language of “march lockstep to my edicts” is ad hominem and implies that I have acted in a dictatorial fashion. That is false–I have laid out arguments premised on reason and evidence, and to resort to this variety of name-calling only implies that because you can’t offer reasoned and evidenced objections you’re comfortable with punches that are below the belt. That is unbefitting a candidate for office.

          That you are backing Wolf BECAUSE–as you put it–you are a Democrat councilman is simply to say that you feel yourself compelled to march lock-step with your party regardless their positions. You are not so bound–and this is the pot calling the kettle black.

          Wishing myself and Glover the best is wholly disingenuous and easy for you because it costs you no political capital. I also am not interested in being patronized–and your claim about being disappointed that winning does not mean people will simply “shut up” and follow orders is just that. But it is consistent with your strategic attack to get readers here to identify a clear and resolute position with “lock-step” and dictatorial.

          This is how those who want to have it both ways–be identified as anti-fracking, all the while acting in a fashion that is in fact complicit with the gas industry–paint those who are genuinely ANTI-fracking and argue consistently that the only morally defensible rational position to take is to fight for a ban.

          But your unwillingness to take up this fight can neither be identified as moral nor rational–and one evidence for this is your willingness to paint those who’d defend a ban as the dictatorial radicals in order to make yourself appear reasonable. But in this case appearances are deceiving.

          You promotion of a tax is not morally defensible because–as I have shown–your position will lead to indefensibly harmful consequences. Now that you know this, to continue to defend the tax can only be seen as politically expedient–about being electable–but it is not anti-fracking.

          The time to defend a tax, to defend regulation–especially in the face of pieces like this one–to defend “best practices” is over. None of us have a right to this ignorance–least of all those who’d pretend to represent us. To make this claim is not dictatorial, sectarian (and nathan Sooy would have it) or narrow. It is realistic. It is to acknowledge the fundamental truth that none of us involved in this struggle have any right to find one iota of this article about silencing surprising.

          We all know better, and it is high time we acted like it.

          • Steve Todd

            Hi Wendy. I was not challenging your arguments, which are well thought out, and with which I largely agree. I was challenging only your method of building the alliances any leader needs to win on any issue.

            I don’t know or really care what “ad hominem” means. It doesn’t look like it is English, which is the language the rest of our discussion is in. In your context it sounds like I did something bad or disingenuous to you. If I did, it was inadvertent, and I apologize.

            I don’t decide who is dictatorial or reasonable, and neither do you. Thank goodness, or one person would lay out all the facts, and no one could decide for themselves. We The People do, or more precisely 50.0001% of the pathetically small number who bother to show up for elections do. And you can not win them over without acknowledging their contributions.

            I disagree with your notion of what “we all know”, in the complex problem of our global energy policy. I find fewer and fewer know the same things you do, while more and more know other things.

            Take care, and all the best.

          • TinaMc.

            I really wish we would all jump on the same train that we came in on. Fracking can not be done safely, we don’t need the gas, it is not for us anyways, and we need to leave it in the ground.

          • Steve Todd

            We are still there, Tina. As with every issue, though, we are all different and must remain sensitive to our various points and communication styles. If not, one ends up pouting in a corner wondering why everyone isn’t paying attention to their statements.

      • wendylynnelee

        Hi Tom–honestly there’s not much that’s coherent to respond to here, so I’ll just leave it at this: if the fractivists you’ve heroized have forgotten more than I have learned about the gasmen that’s pretty cold comfort about the strength of their positions. How about if I keep learning–and they just keep forgetting? After all, you have to to a lot of forgetting–like the content of this article for example–to support Wolf–or any candidate Republican or Democrat who defend a tax given the consequences that will follow.

        I have never made out any claim for heros–running with someone I respect is not heroizing him–and of course contracts can be broken. ban the extraction process and its infrastructure, and the contracts are rendered null and void.

    • Victoria Switzer

      I did not have coffee with Cabot…I had coffee with a Williams rep.

    • TinaMc.

      Please….please! You are not seeing what has been accomplished! Please celebrate, not quarrel.

  • Rebeca Roter

    Celeen Miller is a volunteer public health advocate who has been assisting PA residents document Marcellus health complaints with the PA DOH. Celeen arranges teleconferences via appointment for residents to speak to Harrisburg PA DOH officials; Celeen stays on the call facilitate the documentation. Her number is 215-680-1452.

    • wendylynnelee

      That’s great Rebecca Roter. now tell me this: does it make any sense at all to ask, say, Cabot nicely to stop polluting the air–and then to no longer expect a free pass with respect to reporting the damage? “Best practices” for the gas industry means “best practices FOR the gas industry.” Here’s one: SILENCE HEALTH EMPLOYEES so that folks won’t know the extent to which they’re being poisoned.

      • nathansooy

        Wendy Lynne Lee, why don’t you actually start organizing rather than sniping at those of us who actually are organizing. Take your “we are pure and perfect” sectarianism and actually put it to some good public use.

        • CitizenSane1

          Nathan, why don’t you stop playing side-line partisan politics and take a stand to do what is right? I won’t speak for my SJC colleague, or for anyone else, but speaking for myself, I’ve traveled across the state, as well as to OH, NY, MD, and W.VA and have helped organize communities, and have been active in helping communities establish Community Bill of Rights that have yet to be successfully challenged. And you know what? I did it without getting paid, nor do I expect to get paid. SJC has sufficient funding to pay our speakers bureau, but none of us accept payment beyond travelling expenses, and sometimes we don’t even accept compensation for that. Instead, we do it because we are committed to the issue of stopping unconventional extreme shale gas extraction. Nathan, you do what you do because you’re paid to organize. If there were no real and pressing issues, you’d create them. All I see the ‘paid’ activist groups do is rally the troops to get what you already know you can get for the asking, and fall short of ever drawing a line-in-the-sand. Like I said to you before, if you think that some sacrifice is acceptable, then you and your family should be willing to make that sacrifice first, Perhaps you can provide us with an acceptable quota of sacrificial lambs. That way, when we hit that number, we’ll can stop the devastation. As far as I’m concerned, that number is one, and we’re already way over the limit. I can provide with the names, numbers, and addresses of those who have already needlessly buried loved ones as a result of this industry. I challenge you to tell them to their face that the best we can do is keep the shit to shoe level, and hopefully they won’t have to watch their children suffer.

        • wendylynnelee

          Mr. Sooy–with all due respect, the only thing you’re organizing is political expediency, certainly not a defensible anti-fracking position. Please refer to my response below to Steve Todd. And the language of “pure and perfect” is ad hominem designed to make the demand for a ban appear irrational in contrast with your argument for a tax. Once, however, we all see that the argument for a tax is plainly pro-fracking, your claim to be organizing in the anti-fracking movement falls to tatters.

        • Mary Sweeney

          Have things gotten to such a low point that the belief that human beings should have safe air to breathe and safe water to drink now qualifies as “pure and perfect sectarianism”?

    • Mary Sweeney

      Non-sarcastic honestly curious question: Does anything other than documentation occur? Do PA DOH employees show up to do any sort of investigation of the situation?

  • Tom Coppers

    The corrupt(imo) North Carolina governor and sleazy politicians have attempted to make it illegal to publish the ingredients of the poison fracking fluid they are trying to put into the ground water…..North
    Carolina is not new to allowing industry to destroy former clean
    natural resources. The COASTAL FISHING INDUSTRY WAS KILLED after NC
    permitted 3800 massive open-pit hog waste lagoons contaminating the
    state’s drinking water, polluting its air and streams and causing open
    sores and deformed fish and crabs. The runoff from 19 million tons of
    hog waste produced annually in Eastern North Carolina from the hog
    factories has polluted Albemarle Sound, the largest freshwater sound in
    the country, and adjacent
    Pamlico Sound, the largest enclosed saltwater sound. Would you eat
    seafood with open sores and deformations? Also causing Red Tide and
    Pfiesteria. So, they have polluted the large sounds on the coast for
    decades and now they want to poison the Aquifers in North Carolina and
    water in nearby states that share the same ground water? This can
    be stopped. Please call your representatives. The internet can show you
    how many vast communities have poisoned water from Fracking. It’s
    documented. Now they have no clean water. So again, what price will they be charging citizens for clean water to stay alive?

    • Glenn Jones

      The two major sites in NC that are being investigated for fracking
      are on top of fault lines. One is the Dan River area which feeds into Kerr Lake and the other fault line runs from Granville county to Charlotte. They could possibly poison water for millions of people. Prior to the election of these jackasses in Raleigh, NC was shying away from fracking.

    • Jack Wolf

      You might want to check on the emergency evacuation plans, if one is available to the public: http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20140619/NEWS01/140619446#.U6RDurHYN-Z

      • Tom Coppers

        Thank you for the link. It could be critical info if the poison fracking starts here as most NC politicians want. Best wishes.

  • Bonita Destiny Freedom

    You people need to LOOK past your nose…Breathe Easy-check out GEOENGINEERING and chemtrails…That IS what is causing these health ISSUES…We are being sprayed like BUGS !!! Go ahead and fight against drilling and make our middle east ENEMIES richer and have more control over US …If the health issues were true about drilling ALL the drillers would be DEAD!!!

    • TinaMc.

      Bonita, the U.S. EXPORTS an average of a billion gallons of petroleum products every week.

      • Jack Wolf

        And with it, gigatons of carbon dioxide and methane pollution.

    • Chip Des

      wise up bonita!!! this crap will NEVER BE SOLD HERE IN THE USA IT’S WORTH MORE TO THE MURDERS THAT YOU SUPPORT OVERSEAS!!!! THIS IS JUST ANOUTHER LIE THE DRILLERS USE TO BRAINWASH AND APPEAL TO GREED OF THEIR SUPPORTERS!!!!

  • TinaMc.

    I am, and have been, completely flabbergasted watching what people are doing for this industry, all across the state. It is beyond criminal and inhumane. What is wrong with people? How have we lost all of our moral compass?

    • Steve Todd

      We are overwhelmed. We MUST disconnect for-profit money from the (s)election of our public leaders, or we are insane and illogical to think this will ever change.

      • wendylynnelee

        So….you support a TAX? How does that disconnect us from the industry’s profits?

        Answer: It doesn’t.

        In fact, it institutionalizes that very profit margin and makes us dependent on continuing future profits by making social programs dependent on the revenue. Moreover, any candidate who supports such a tax implicitly connects him or herself directly to the industry–by supporting the very action that institutionalizes the industry in the state, and thereby makes all future policy decisions about taxation the domain of the gas companies. To vote for a candidate that supports such a tax is a vote to continue fracking.

        • Briget Shields

          I agree with you completely Wendy. Trying to legitimize this toxic industry by taxing, or putting in more regulations is like asking me, “how much do I charge to allow you to continue to poison me, my family, friends, pets and the generations that will come after me?”

          It’s insane what is happening and we are allowing it to continue.

          • johnward154

            Nov. 21, 1864. President Abraham Lincoln wrote.

            ” I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.

            God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

            A Lincoln

          • kathy leveque

            President Lincoln I think was forewarning about the Koch Brothers who hold an awful lot of your Country’s wealth. I hope that the people opposing fracking will keep up the good fight and stop this madness.

        • Eric Jones

          MAYDAY.US, a superPAC to end the SuperPACs. I very much agree with Mr Todd. Before we can get at this country’s problems we need fundamental reform of campaign finance and the lobby. Not to be confused with an election tax.

        • Trippin McZoink

          The fracking will continue whether you vote for it or not. Not taxing extraction is denying our children education, denying us infrastructure, and all manner of public services. I will never vote for a candidate that will not support an extraction tax.

          • Finkster

            The only thing that denies our children education is Stupid Parents and Inept schools and teachers. And the Welfare system. Schools are everywhere and over budget school districts waste our tax money on all kinds of stupid stuff that has nothing to do with teaching children. We don’t need more taxes. As a matter in fact, we need tax cuts. We just need Stupid People in positions of authority to do the jobs they are elected and/or hired to do. If a child doesn’t get an education in the State of Pennsylvania it’s that child,s parents responsibility to make sure it gets done.

            Taxing the Gas Industry is just more stupidity of redistribution of wealth and causes higher costumer prices. And has an effect on the stability of Industry being able to stay in Pennsylvania. Not to mention the higher prices for Grand Ma.

            Not taxing extraction does not deny anybody of anything, unless you are a Entitlement Minded Leach of society . No body is Denying any body of anything except to the National Socialist Idiots that don’t have any idea about self responsibility.

          • Rocky Racoon

            I see you have taken Ron Paul’s free internet education program grades one through five. F off and die!

          • Finkster

            It’s not my fault that you show the world your Illiteracy through the filth of your family’s ethics.

            Now quit being Stupid and and go get you a career started in the Shale Industries and provide for your own. America is about individualism and relying on ones self. Not expecting everyone else to provide for you.

          • Rocky Racoon

            Listen to you I am 59 years old and have worked everyday of my life since I was sixteen years old. And I do get to retire if I wish next year after 30 and out-I suppose you will consider my deferred salary that I put into my pension plan some sort of free handout as well. We will see how you make out by the time you are my age laddy. From the sounds of it you have no clue as to where your interests lie. One of those who believe that the next best thing to being a capitalist is to think like one…maybe get accepted as a lackey.

          • Finkster

            Who are you trying to kid Laddy. A young guy like you needs to work 8 more years until you retire and receive any Civil Service retirement paid for by the Tax Payer. What makes you think you are better than all of us who have to work to pay for your gravy. We’re tired of the Socialist Gravy train for the entitlement minded.
            I’ve been working since I was 14. Bailing hay and feeding the cows. I’ve cleaned barns out with less Bull Sh!t than you spew. And for being 59, your Comprehension Level is that of a Philadelphia Crack Addict. Taxing the rest of us more does not make those that are Entitlement minded get out of their socialist bondage. Will power and Individualism motivates people to get off their butts and build a life, Not Handouts.

          • Rocky Racoon

            Your out of your mind instead of taking an immediate pay raise I put that money away and SAVED it. U aren’t paying me anything. And I have worked in a private company as a salaried employee if you must know-No union either.

          • FrackDaddy

            Showing your class i see!

          • Rocky Racoon

            Yeah I am partisan.

        • Raj

          That is ridiculous tea party logic…saying that taxing supports the industry?? It increases their cost of operation, which is used or should be used to lessen the impact of their environment effects. If your logic were completely true, then industry lobbyists would support taxes simply by tying it to a social benefit. They must be taxed to inflict the true cost of operations upon them and using that money to properly regulate them.

          • Finkster

            You tax them, any Industry and they raise their prices to cover the taxes. It’s part of the Inflation Stupidity brought on by our Government and the Economic System we live under.

      • metroeco

        Only one candidate for governor of PA intends to ban fracking:http://www.facebook.com/glover4governor

        • Steve Todd

          By Exec Order? You’ll have 0.00 support among 100% of the Legislature and Judiciary.

    • Trippin McZoink

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but capitalism’s only compass is profit. That’s why we need regulations, but regulations have been demonized by the profiteers because they force them to spend money creating jobs they wouldn’t otherwise create to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do to protect public health and well being. For them, it’s all about privatizing profits and socializing the consequences.

      • Finkster

        The regulations are already in place. The Gas Drilling has created more Jobs in our State than any other Industry has done is the last 40 years. We don’t need more regulations. We just need Stupid and Lazy people to get off their butts and go get a job and quit relying on the Welfare State for their existence. Because the more regulation put on Industry the Less people they will employ in that Industry and the more people that need Redistribution to just exist.
        We became a great Nation under Capitalism and Free Enterprise. And since the Progressive Democrats have controlled things these past 40= years with all their Regulations and intrusion into Industry, it has made everything go to sh!t.

        • huckster

          Yes it’s the Dems that deregulated the banks and let the very few at the very top of our economy walk away with everything, but I’m sure they work hard for their golden parachutes, at least harder than those darn lazy poor people that you despise so much.

          You’re right – let’s tax the middle class and the working poor and let the scumbags trying to poison our air and water walk away with everything.

          • Finkster

            You have a Comprehension issue. Must have been your Public Education. Since you don’t know any better it may be best if you remain silent until spoken too. The one thing you did understand was my disdain for the Welfare bums and their laziness.

            We need to cut the taxes on the Middle Class and we need to get rid of the EIC stupidity that gives free money to the Welfare Queens every year to waste on their Boy friends hooked on crack who aren’t even the kids daddies.

            It was the Crony Capitalist and the Progressives of both Parties that gave us all this depression era Banking Stupidity.
            Corrupt Politicians don’t work hard for nothing unless they receive a benefit. The Lobbying Industry is similar to the Old Style Mafia in making payoffs. What do you think the Pennsylvania Democrats in Harrisburg are looking for from the Gas Exploration Industry by continuing to cry for more taxes. They’re looking for their golden parachutes for when they get voted out or retire.

            Wake up and smell reality. Don’t be like most Liberals Progressives of either Party, as Stupid as a Box of Rocks.

          • Rocky Racoon

            Your hardly worth responding to the only liberty you understand is the liberty that the fracking people are taking with the health and welfare of the citizens of America and those are the only liberties you defend. You are a betrayer to your class.

          • Finkster

            All the while you are a betrayer to the true Liberty that our forefathers fought and died for to give to us. The Fracking people are doing work to provide us with energy. Energy we need to to make sure all youse Welfare bums get to keep warm in the winter time wit youse Energy Assistance Program.
            All the while they make a profit that youse is jellous of.
            Take responsibility for your self and build your life around individualism. Get off the dole and get to work. That way the Progressive Liberals will go out of business with out Stupid people needing their Redistribution Stupidity.

            You are a betrayer to your fellow citizen when you don’t support the Energy development that betters the lives of the nation as a whole. Where your Entitlement minded Stupidity divides our people and keeps them in economic bondage.

            That’s not what Liberty is all about. Like I said “Quit Being as Stupid as a Box of Rocks”.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Do you wrap yourself up in the flag while your peddling this BS? Are you too dense to realize that many activists would like to see responsible drilling and no cover ups. Unfortunatly this has not happened in the past, and considering the hiring of useless former Deputy Secretarys from PADEP (latest Dan Laputo to Director of American Gas Association in DC don’t expect much improvement soon.

          • Finkster

            Looks like you are trying to educate yourself. That is a good thing.
            But remember when these State officials move on to Federal positions, it’s not because of their skill. It’s because of who they know and the amount of Lobbing graft they can produce for the agenda they are following or the amount of graft they can receive. These past 20+ years it has been the Socialist, Marxist, Environmentalist, Global governance types that have been receiving the Graft from Corporations that are seeking Market share and Profit. So the Crony Capitalist has been working with the Democrats with this Energy Agenda.
            It’s called Cronyism and it infiltrates both sides of the aisle in politics. So quit buying the one sided propaganda stories that the rich are with the republicans and doing all the Corruption.
            When all this fracking started here in Pa, it was Fast Eddie who authorized all the permits on state lands. Have you ever wondered why such a Liberal Democrat would go against his groups of supporters such as the environmentalist and the Unions and the Global Warming Nitwits? Corruption is one answer.
            And yes I promote the truth because that is the intent of our heritage that fought and died for the Liberty we were given and have.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            So are you calling FEMA, USEPA, Army Corps, Department of Defense,National Weather Service, NOAA, and most educational institutes “Global Warming Nitwits?” Suggest you read FEMA Strategic Foresight Iniative on potential impacts in short and long term from global warming.

            Meanwhile you can listen to the BS from types like Former Deputy Secretary Dan Lapato now Director with the American Gas Association in DC. Seems like the gas industry has not learned the Peter Principal yet in hiring incompetent high level DEP managers although their connections are possibly good.

            There are worthless Democrats as well as worthless Republicans. Just seems that the majority of them seem to be leaning on the far right side of the fence.

          • Finkster

            You Manipulating little Hare. Since you are lacking that which is paramount in discerning the Truth out of all the Propaganda out there. You need Comprehension….. The Propaganda designed and produced by which ever side of the aisle is seeking political advantage of power and wealth for themselves and their cohorts. And in some Progressive Liberal Minds it is their Political Socialist Agenda they are trying to always advance. Always attacking and using DEMAGOGUERY in their Mantra

            Once you learn how government works to enrich 3rd party contractors or pass laws to enrich their Lobbyist friends interest in industry and trade you may, just may have your sight restored and see the truth. We’ve seen the corruption all across Pennsylvania from the local level to the State level of Public officials being arrested and charged for crimes they have committed . Mostly receiving monetary enrichment in one form or another these past 30+ years. So they have adjusted the rules of the game to make it harder for them to get caught when they cheat while playing the game, we have come to know as Politics.

            And like I pointed out. It is the Democrats that have become more corrupt since Bill Clinton’s tenure as Deviant in Chief.
            And under Jimmy Carter implementing the tools for the rule changing with the EPA and Department of Education being established. And LBJ and his Cronyism with Transportation and Bush and his Homeland Security. Basic Progressive Liberal Socialization for Control and wealth.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Ahhhh haven’t been on here in while and see you been whining ever since! As have worked with many federal (not just EPA) officials seems that it is you that needs the education. If didn’t know better would think you were a former Sick Rantorum political aide but your posts are at least comprehensible if not misguided.

        • http://chirpchirpchirp.chirp/ chirp chirp

          chirp chirp chirp WHAT THE chirpFUCK chirp HOW ARE YOU THIS BAD OF A PERSON PEOPLE ARE GETTING SICK AND DYING chirp chrip

          • Finkster

            870 express. Click Click.!!

            Yep, yep, people are getting sick and dying from all the Pharmaceuticals that they are taking that have been prescribed by Pseudo Scientist because of peoples Psychological Issues of Artificial Fear from stupid Fracking Propaganda.. I’m surprised you’re still hanging around.

    • Finkster

      I’m still looking for the criminal and inhumane out here in the Gas Fields. I just don’t seem to be able to locate it.
      All I see is more Government paid employees out and about in those expensive vehicles that our tax dollars pay for. Just setting around getting paid those nice salaries and soft cushion benefits that us Tax payers pay for. All the while we have to work in the Shale Industries and not receive the same Elite Socialist package. We earn our money while these leaches set around like the Welfare Queens and receive a check for doing nothing.
      I wonder if they’re setting around in those DEP SUV’s listening to Rush Limbaugh for 3 hours a day?

      • TinaMc.

        Last I checked, it was still criminal and inhumane to poison people.

        • Finkster

          Then put down that crack pipe, NOW.!!!

          • TinaMc.

            On the contrary, the people who are standing up for our rights to clean water and safe communities are the ones who get the fact that fracking is absurd. And the roughnecks are, well, how do I put It nicely? Not the brightest candles in the bunch, nor do they care about the generations to come.

          • Finkster

            The people who THINK THEY ARE STANDING UP FOR OUR RIGHTS are the very people who continue to want to economically enslave us with OVER TAXATION and REGULATION . Our water is clean and our communities are not going to be safe until WE THE PEOPLE get rid of Progressive Liberalism and do away with all the illegal drugs of choice that Progressive Liberal Democrats keep letting flow across our borders.
            Gas and Oil drilling causes us no harm as you Liberal Nitwits would like to believe. We have regulations in place that keep it safe.
            Gas and Oil have been drilled all over western Pennsylvania for over 100 years now. It has cleaned up the Ecology and made areas more pristine than was able because of the natural ecological messes that were present.

            You need to wake up kid and get away from the Progressive Liberal Ideology and develop common sense.

          • TinaMc.

            You…are…scary and blindly ambivalent. Thank goodness you are not in charge.

          • Finkster

            Why don’t you show the world just where all the Harmful Safety issues are at in the gas and oil drilling industries.?

          • http://chirpchirpchirp.chirp/ chirp chirp

            TWEET TWEET read a paper once’n'a’while?

            http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6142/1225942.short

          • Finkster

            870 express. Click, click.!!!

            Liberal Propaganda once again.

          • BobSchmetzer

            FINK, Black shale ( Marcellus ) is the largest uranium find in America. Radon gas comes to the surface. It causes lung cancer next to cigarettes. Water, air, and food are not a liberal or conservative issue. Now a drilling industry goes into a new level of rock. Bringing up toxic and radioactive issues. Do you agree ?

  • Julieann Wozniak

    Corbett’s first PayDEP secretary called me a terrorist…personally!…for speaking out against fracking in Greene County. He’d never actually been here, but I, with roots going back to 1912, was the “outside agitator!” Corbett’s only been here once, to an invitation-only GOP fundraiser. And so he will lose.

    • Steve Todd

      Krancer was an arrogant untouchable. But at least he had some environmental experience, unlike his replacement. I was puzzled when he “selected” Abruzzo of the 12M+ PA citizens to choose from. Now: it is crystal clear.

      • Jack Wolf

        Being in the waste management business doesn’t mean you have respect for the environment. Look at coal company owners. Also, I think Abruzzo was appointed because he is a climate change denier. And yet he’s in charge of the department that would have the most say over policy and regulation on that subject.

        • Steve Todd

          I know Chris Abruzzo. He is a competent, intelligent, educated man, and I believe him to be one of good intent. But he is a denier of man-made climate change, or at least of the catastrophe which awaits if we do nothing. I agree: that is exactly why he was appointed.

          • Jack Wolf

            I’m sure he is. That’s the nature of the beast when it comes to denial.

      • BobSchmetzer

        Krancer was appointed because his dad contributed so much money to the Corbett campaign. He acted like a backward crooked politician who wanted all of the tickets written on the drillers to cross his desk for approval. When the inner office memo was made public , he backed off. I can not wait until all of the corruption in Harrisburg is exposed and the criminals put into prison. Look no farther than those who voted for Act 13, the unconstitutional law. Saint Valentines Day Massacre of Pa.

      • The_White_Rabbit

        The one thing about Krancer an Corbett is they seemed to play a great Burt and Ernie look alike role:

        SCENE OPENS ON FRACKAWAY STREET WITH BERT (KRANCER) AND ERNIE (CORBETT) SINGING AND DANCING:

        Bert: “A”

        Ernie: “Anticline”, I’m a geologist now!

        Bert: “B”

        Ernie: “Big Business”, we want it!

        Bert: “C”

        Ernie: “Characterization”, Don’t need it!

        Bert: “D”

        Ernie: “Dimock”, more cows than people!

        Bert: “E”

        Ernie: “Ennvireoment” or something like that AND “Ernie”!

        Bert: “F”

        Ernie: “FRACKING” is FUN in our state!

        EPA ENTERS SCENE

        Bert: (to EPA) Hi, there. We’re Ernie and Bert.

        EPA: Hi, there yourself, I’m EPA.

        Bert: Did you know that EPA starts with the letter “E”?

        EPA (with look of disgust): Yes.

        Bert: Yes! Yes starts with the letter “Y”

        EPA: (What the &*^%!) True.

        Bert: And True starts with the letter “T”.

        EPA: (looks longingly to direction of EPA Region III) Hey, what is this?

        Tom (Ernie) Corbett: Where we come from, this is politically correct talk.

        EPA: Well if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to go ummm sample some well water.

        Ernie: “W” words.
        [he and Bert laugh]

    • Briget Shields

      I have been called many things for speaking out against this industry. Most surprising was when we found out we are all considered “insurgents” for being anti fracking. One of the most alarming things I’ve heard since starting this journey 5+ years ago was when Mat Pitzerilla was caught telling industry employees that they use military psy ops on us here in WPA. Whenever he opens his mouth a lie comes out. He even lied about graduating from college yet he is still here, making a ton of money for Range Resources by destroying the lives of many good people and the future for our children. http://www.cnbc.com/id/45208498

    • The_White_Rabbit

      I was threatened by one of PADEPs former useless Deputy Secretarys due to using off site pictures of dusty trucks sent to SRBC without his permission. The pussy backed off when found his reputation as bully didn’t work too well.

    • The_White_Rabbit

      You should be honored. Corbett’s ex Deputy Secretary just called me a “crazy man” once to others at a meeting. This is my new bike riding name. Thank you bureaucratic ***wipe!

  • BobSchmetzer

    I called the EPA when I drove past a fracking site in Marion Twp. Beaver County Pa . The flaring was burning the toxic debris that extended more than 100 feet into the air. Both my wife and myself breathed the gasses and immediately felt ill. It felt like we swallowed tar, oil, sand , and had breathing problems. It took over an hour before it cleared. The EPA gave the info to the PaDEP. PaDEP called back and asked what my concerns were. I told them what I had just said. He said no one else complained. He saw no problems. I said no one could stay in their home if this was blowing their way. He seemed unconcerned. Shortly after my wife was diagnosed with atrial fibulation, and had to take medicine . It alone cost $800.00 a month. This lasted for a year until she was shocked back into normal rhythm. I read that this was one of the problems that fracking could cause.

    • Jack Wolf

      Not only that but have you notice the amount of erosion (as evidenced by all the rill and gully erosion) from that and other well pads along with transmission lines. There is a lack of erosion and sedimentation controls on these sites during construction? Where is the local conservation district? I’m tired of seeing brownish yellow streams – it’s a sure sign frackers are in the area. Glad your wife is feeling better.

      • Steve Todd

        I used to do storm water and E&S planning and permitting for a living. I haven’t done them in a while, so it might have changed, but the local conservation districts were at one time totally cut out of the loop for O&G permitting. Both for E&S during construction and permanent storm water management. PaDEP did it all for the entire state from a handful of offices. Not a smart thing for We The People, great for the corporate non-constituents who fund the campaigns of those making these types of decisions.

      • BobSchmetzer

        Thanks jack. Electric pads that left burns on her back and chest was the only procedure that worked. Also, if you see a dirty stream , call the PaDEP hotline and the Pa Fish commission. The fish comm. will show up.

        • Jack Wolf

          I’m going to be one the phone several times a day then!

      • FrackDaddy

        Jack, I live in Susquehanna County Pa, and also just acquired a property in Sullivan County on the Big Sock. I have drilling activity all around. Please where are these “streams” you are taking about? I am a avid trout fisherman, and spend most weeks knee deep in Pa waters, and do not see what you are describing (unless it rained). So please i am interested in hearing where these waters are located?

        • Jack Wolf

          Erosion only occurs when it rains and therefore the streams run yellowish brown only when it rains. I’ve observed this even when fields are fully covered with their crops (thereby reducing that as a potential source) and therefore know it’s drilling or related activity such as transmission lines. I am in the western end of the state and have seen these sediment loads in Beaver, Fayette, Lawrence, Washington, Green, Butler, Armstrong, etc. Some of the streams, such as Dunlap Creek are high quality, one was even a naturally trout reproducing stream. And, not only does the sediment load affect the trout and other populations, but the phosphorus load would be increased too (since P binds with sediment). That’s one of the big issues with the Chesapeake, a concern in your part of the state. Here, well everything on this side of the state ultimately goes into the Gulf, and no one seems to care about the Gulf. One last thing, the color is a 10YR 5/6 in the soil color chart. That is a yellowish brown color, the same color as many of our subsoils. Our topsoils are generally a 10YR 4/3 (brown) or darker as measured in the Munsell color charts. This indicates that the stream sediment is subsoil material that eroded from cuts into the earth. Farmers don’t go that deep with tilling, and besides, many farmers don’t till at all anymore. Many now practice no- till and use a residual material (or plant a cover crop) to protect the topsoil. Most realize that the top soil is their bread and butter and protect it well.

          One last thing – I don’t see any erosion control devises at many of these sites – not a bale of straw to be seen at some. More generally, controls are clearly inadequate since you can see the gully erosion. Unless it’s covered, exposed soil will erode when it rains.

          Hope this helps explain what I’m seeing, and what’s causing it.

    • crystalpoint

      Bob: Until now, there is no medical proof, that the problem your wife has, it is not related to Methane gas production form a Gas well! My suggestion is, quit going 100 feet in the air and smelling the gas!
      Ray P. Smith

      • Kim Triolo Feil

        Formaldehyde isa byproduct of combustion and hugs the ground…crystalpoint tell me your paycheck doesn’t depend on this ffracking biz….tell me you get to breathe this stuff

      • BobSchmetzer

        Ray, You are not a Dr. Quit practicing medicine. My wallet was empty, not yours. You have not met many people who have been injured , nor do you seem to want to know any. Look up the list of harmed and it might change your opinion. Look up depleted uranium used in fracking, in a Perf gun. Benzene is outlawed and still used. Do some research…………………..

        • FrackDaddy

          Bob, I have read your list of harmed. It includes cases in my area the WERE CLEARED, and showed HVHF had nothing to do with it. It is filled with elderly people getting heath problems (the older you get, the more heath problems exist), Wild unproven accusations, but my all time favorite of the list id “Dog got Asthma” The problem is none of them have been confirmed that HVHF caused them. It’s Just more fear mongering.

          Also they have been flaring wells like crazy for 7 years now, So how come out air quality is at its best levels since 1992? Seems tough with how bad you claim things are? Your claims and the facts just don’t add up! But they make a great story to scare people into falling in line with your agenda.

    • Rebecca

      That is horrendous!! I cannot believe that a government body set up to deal with these very issues has been so corrupted, how many people got this memo? Did none of them think it was a bit strange or wrong? I hope your wife is better now and that you get some kind of normality back soon.

  • crystalpoint

    This is a direct quote from the above story:”Doctors have said that some people who live near natural gas development sites – including well pads and compressor stations – have suffered from skin rashes, nausea, nosebleeds and other ailments. Some residents believe their ill health is linked to drilling, but doctors say they simply don’t have the data or research – from the state or other sources – to confirm that.”
    The two whistleblowers referenced to in this story are obviously unhappy, that, their opinions are no enforced? Obviously “who ever these people are, they are not authorities on the subject at hand”. End of story, if like the doctors who responded with the above quote, cannot answer the questions at hand! How do you expect that some nimrod , setting in an office chair in Harrisburg, could answer any questions related to the subject matter? That’s my opinion, and I am sticking to it!
    Ray P. Smith Sr.

    • TinaMc.

      Ray, where do you live?

      • crystalpoint

        Tina: I live in Williamsport Pa, in the largest county in Pa. I love it, and I am proud to be an American I have no financial interest in the Gas & Oil Industry! I am convinced that those company’s here that are drilling for Marcellus gas are doing an excellent job regarding the environment, without the agitators who keep getting in their way!
        Ray P. Smith, Sr.

        • TinaMc.

          Are you the same Ray Smith that works at the NWTF? Ya know, the National Wild Turkey Federation? The same organization that is in bed with the “natural” gas industry?

          • crystalpoint

            Reply
            to TINAMc: my reply dated, 6-25-2014

            I do not normally respond to such emails such as yoursin
            your recent comments regarding myself or my son, which appeared in the “StateImpact” recently story entitled i.e. “Former state health employees say they were silenced on drilling”.

            First, I am
            not the Ray Smith you referred to in your remarks to in your Comment! However, Ray Jr., is my son, and I am proud of him, and the work he does as the regional
            director for the “NWTF” i.e. Conservation and reforestation specifically for Anadarko!

            I assure you
            that your observation, that”, Anadarko and Ray Jr., are in bed together, is entirely wrong! Under these circumstances NWTF by taking donations from Anadarko, does not put them in bed together!

            I cannot
            speak for the NWTF because I do not work for them, but they will take donations from any legitimate source, and this organization operates financially entirelyfrom membership dues, and donation that support their cause!

            I can also assume, that Anadarko decided in this case in order to satisfy the concerns of environmentalist, and people like you, who oppose any gas or oil development,
            that the NWTF is better qualified such as reforestation of drilling pad sites, and forest land, and finally their concern in maintaining wildlife, “then they are”, that this is the reason Anadarko chose the NWTF to fulfill this role!

            Opposite to what you are claiming, Anadarko is not in bed with NWTF!

            My final
            comment to you is, regarding your attitude towards Anadarko, I urge you and others who have the same opinion as yours, to visit on the web at http://www.NWTF.com with an open mind, and review all the wonderful work that they do, for you and people like yourself and me. You may
            come away with a different opinion?

            Ray P. Smith,
            Sr.

          • TinaMc.

            Fracking or forests…you can’t have both.

    • crystalpoint

      Another point I wish to make, and a question I have for these two ladies who complained. What form of energy do you use to heat and cool your home. or used to run your automobile, or what type of fuel does the airplanes you fly use to power these devices? Bingo!
      Ray P. Smith Sr.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522786448 Scott Cannon

        Bingo, your an industry shill.

        • crystalpoint

          If that’s what you think, happy to be a shill in your terms. I am a proud American, and a common sense practical Environmental Engineer! I have no financial interest in any Gas or Oil Company I can smell the roses, and can predict our energy sources for years to come!
          Ray P. Smith, Sr.

          • Jack Wolf

            Well as an engineer, perhaps you can explain how you can increasingly discharge powerful greenhouse gases into a fixed volume/space and not have it affect the planet? How do you explain the energy imbalance and ocean acidification? How do you explain NASA’s conclusions along with all major scientific organizations on the globe? Are we to believe you, one engineer who probably didn’t work with atmospheric science and engineering, or the thousands and thousands of scientists that do? And, I bet you worked for an environmental consulting firm then where the client is always right, even when he is wrong. Get control of your ego.

          • TinaMc.

            Jack, I am pretty certain our friend Ray works for the NWTF See my response to him below. And, ya can’t Google NWTF and Marcellus shale without hitting the jackpot.

          • Jack Wolf

            Thanks, Tina. So, I guess he knows that all the military branches knows it’s occurring and busy planning/preparing for it. I wonder how he skirts around that psychologically. I can’t understand denial like that – the depth of it is amazing.

          • crystalpoint

            Reply
            to TINAMc: my reply dated, 6-25-2014

            I do not normally respond to such emails such as in your
            recent comments regarding myself or my son, which appeared in the “StateImpact” recent story entitled i.e. “Former state health employees say they were silenced on drilling”.

            First, I am
            not the Ray Smith you referred to in your remarks to in your Comment! However, RayJr., is my son, and I am proud of him, and the work he does as the regional director for the “NWTF” i.e. Conservation and reforestation specifically for
            Anadarko!

            I assure you that your observation, that”, Anadarko and Ray Jr., are in bed together, is entirely wrong! Under these circumstances NWTF by taking donations from
            Anadarko, does not put them in bed together!

            I cannot
            speak for the NWTF because I do not work for them, but they will take donations from any legitimate source, and this organization operates financially entirely from membership dues, and donation that support their cause!

            I can also
            assume, that Anadarko decided in this case in order to satisfy the concerns of environmentalist, and people like you, who oppose any gas or oil development, that the NWTF is better qualified such as reforestation of drilling pad sites, and forest land, and finally their concern in maintaining wildlife, “then they are”, that this is the reason Anadarko chose the NWTF to fulfill this role!

            Opposite to
            what you are claiming, Anadarko is not in bed with NWTF!

            My final
            comment to you is, regarding your attitude towards Anadarko, I urge you and others who have the same opinion as yours, to visit on the web at http://www.NWTF.com with an open mind, and review all the wonderful work that they do, for you and people like yourself and me. You may come away with a different opinion?

            Ray P. Smith,
            Sr.

          • Jack Wolf

            That’s nice. But that’s not what we see here in PA and Anadarko appears to have a terrible record of violations. (See: EIP Report: Anadarko Safety Record Unsuitable for Major Natural Gas Development in Pennsylvania’s Loyalsock State Forest)

            And you did not respond to my main concern here: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel development and use, and abrupt climate change.

      • Jack Wolf

        I think it’s their duty as public employees to speak up. And, the energy source they use in their home has nothing to do with anything. But, do you really expect people to totally drop out of society because the energy options are so limited? Especially when the energy corps buy the votes of politicians to limit our choices?
        We are dealing with public health issues here, but obviously you choose to ignore that. I think you should what the video “Who Killed the Electric Car” and learn a thing or two. People know what’s going on (except you obviously) and they are sick of it.

        • philofthefuture

          That documentary was a complete lie. They blamed everything but the battery when it was in fact the battery. We still don’t have an affordable battery decades later yet they had one then? Don’t think so. Pure propaganda.
          What energy source people use is extremely important! Sorry but “Do as I say, not as I do” just doesn’t fly, never will. If people aren’t even committed to following their own advice why should anyone else follow them?
          Nobody is limiting your energy options, you can buy a Leaf and as many solar panels as you want. The government offers big discounts for both. You can be completely off grid if you want.
          You can’t spend other peoples money on this one, you have to spend your own.

          • Jack Wolf

            BS. Why then did they recall every single car and have every single car destroyed. And, the film was made by an independent yet fossil fuel friendly PBS. And, I wonder who owns all the patents for batteries and who wanted all the mass transit trolley system ripped out of LA??? It wasn’t the public but the fossil fuel interests. And, why should we be putting one penny toward fossil fuel subsidies and production when obviously the greenhouse gases it produces are killing us? 5 million a year are dying from it, and growing as our past emissions begin to catch up with us.

          • philofthefuture

            Fossil fuel friendly PBS??? Now that’ BS! :<)
            Please feel free to list the patents, by definition patents are public so people can print them out, (they just can't use them). Also list when they were granted, guaranteed the patents have all expired.
            The combination of public info and expiration means anyone can no use them, got it? Nice try though.
            You are not subsidizing big oil, you are subsidizing the poor. Anything, including cancelling subsidies, you do to increase gas company costs will increase the price, screwing the poor the worst.

      • CitizenSane1

        WOW! Right out of the Energy in Depth talking points playbook! I haven’t heard those questions since the last “shill for the drill” fest. But I;ll answer anyway… I installed a whole house wood burning/pellet furnace, I currently get my electricity form Ethical Electric, yeah, it’s a few pennies more, but that is only until I decide which solar voltaic installation package I want installed on my already energy efficient home. It’s 2500+ sq/ft, super insulated, all lighting is LED, and my utility bills have never been cheaper. My next automobile will hopefully be a plug-in electric, and if what I need is not available, I’ll get a diesel powered vehicle and run it on bio-fuel. Eventually, I will be investing in a geo-thermal heating/cooling system for my home. So you see, there are alternatives. Just wait until hydrogen fuel cells hit the market.

        • philofthefuture

          So you are still driving a gas car? Oops! What happens when half a dozen others try to run on biodiesel and you discover the reality that there isn’t enough fry grease in this country to run even .00001% of cars?

          It’s great you can afford this, it means you’re at least in the upper half or higher. What about the other half of the population that you are screwing? The ones that can’t afford an EV or solar? What give you the right to make them pay for your self righteousness?

          • CitizenSane1

            HARDLY in the upper half of the financial spectrum. Not even in the upper half of the lower half, not that it’s relevant. There are ways to accomplish these things cheaply. Most solar voltaic installation companies will install these systems for little, or no up-front money in exchange for the energy credits. That means, they install a system that will supply more than the home requires on average, and they sell the unused electricity to local supplier instead of the homeowner selling it. Bottom line, the homeowner ends up with free electricity and no bills. There are a few gas stations that now have bio-diesel pumps, and the cost is half that of a gallon of gas. Now, as far as “screwing” the population… what about those who opt to lease their land for oil and gas development even when it negatively impacts the value of their neighbors? I agree that people should be able to do whatever they want with their land, as long as they are willing to accept the responsibility and liability for any activity they allow to be conducted on their property if it has a detrimental impact on their neighbors property, their neighbors peace and quiet, way of life, or sense of place. You see, the right for people to do what they want with their land begins, and ends, at their property line. The right of one person does not supersede the rights of another. Do what you want with your land, but understand that if it threatens my property, my family’s health and safety, my property value, or my family’s sense of security, I’m going to hold you accountable and liable under nuisance laws. It’s that simple.

          • philofthefuture

            Great, do your part and convince everyone in your town to contact Solar City. They just bought a manufacturer so they’ll be a one stop shop. Curious though, what credit rating will they accept? Last I checked you cannot fill your tank with electrons, internal combustion engines just refuse to run on them.

            I fully expect us to convert, I already have 30KW on my property, the issue is when. It will not be overnight, it will be decades. Musk is talking a GW factory in two years and a 10 GW factory in 2020.

            Likewise, we will not dump our entire fleet of fossil fuel cars, trucks, tractors, trains, planes, tomorrow, it will take decades.

            I fully respect property rights. So if you attack a neighbor over his wells decreasing your property value, by every right he can attack you because your solar panels are an eyesore and ruining his property value. It works both ways and there is no easy answer. Is solar beneficial? YES! Is oil and gas necessary? YES, and they will be for decades.

        • Jack Wolf

          I saved enough in gas by driving my Prius for about 6 years to pay for an additional year of college for my daughter when she entered an accelerated RN program at Pitt. And, my electrical bill these last two months have been under 50 buck! I am very happy with the choices and simple changes I have made to reduce my energy consumption!

  • winterarrives

    I called the dept of health on several occasions. once i called about my concerns about a waste impoundment, thy only thing they did was give me DEP’s number. The second time was about the misting that was occurring at an impoundment that was making me ill, they never responded to my complaint. another time i called the US Dept of Health and they said they couldn’t get involved with legal issues, perhaps they meant to say political issues

  • Pat Goldsmith

    This is a description of a department under siege. The oil and gas industry after its deregulation at the federal level behaves like it is above the law, and why wouldn’t it? Time and again it has been able to buy its way out of the rules and regulations that affect all other industries, beginning with the Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, and Community Preparedness and Right to Know Acts. At this point, years down the line, claiming that fracking fluid ingredients are a proprietary secret is a pretty tattered fig leaf, and the legal fiction that fracking waste is not toxic is intolerable. We need to commit to a rapid, widely distributed, all-out build up of renewable infrastructure, not a 40 year commitment to fracking infrastructure, and that has to begin with a return to the rule of law for the fracking industry.

  • MagWriter

    We are all human beings. Doesn’t health and welfare trump the threats waged upon the people of our state by propagandist lies? Has Pennsylvania learned nothing since the days of King Coal? Makes me curious to know how much money it takes to ignore your conscience. How do these people sleep at night knowing full well that their actions are condemning their family, friends and neighbors to illness and even death? WAKE UP, Pennsylvania. We are in this together. Stand up for your neighbors, not the gas hacks that are lining your pockets with fool’s gold.

    • philofthefuture

      Do you drive an EV? Buses run on diesel so that’s not allowed. Bikes have tires that are made from oil so you’re out that too. Walking? Check your shoe soles and heels, yep petrochemicals. Sterile needles? Sorry.

      • MagWriter

        The argument here is that these people are beings silenced from telling the truth because it might cause a blemish on the industry. Really? The commercials preach how “safe” hydraulic fracturing is, but it is not. The people of Pennsylvania are being lied to, and that’s just not moral or ethical.

        • philofthefuture

          Transparency is always good, as I wrote, we need sensible regulations. There has to be a middle ground, we cannot have the wild west but we also cannot just stop completely. Guaranteed, that would make people lives even worse.

          • TinaMc.

            This country EXPORTS an average of a billion gallons of petroleum products in any given week. We…don’t….need it. The billionaires want it and that is the only reason why this is happening.

          • philofthefuture

            That’s a lie, we do need it:

            http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_wkly_dc_nus-z00_mbblpd_w.htm

            We do export 3 million barrels a day but we import 9 million, (not billions a week in either case).

          • TinaMc.

            Uuuummmm Phil, use your calculator, read my comment again because I said gallons, and then get back to me. *Hint: there are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil.

          • philofthefuture

            Oops! My bad. People in my circles usually talk of oil in barrels. The point still stands, we are still an oil importer by a wide margin. If fracking continues we may get to total independence but not for a number of years.

            We are the new Saudi Arabia in both oil and natural gas. Fracking has had a huge impact on the oil market, putting us much more in control of our own destiny. The downside is if we stopped tomorrow it would be a severe blow to the entire planet, making 2008 look like a bounced $10 check. There is a reason Obama touts an all of the above approach and brags we are extracting record levels of oil and gas, it’s driving our recovery.

          • TinaMc.

            Fossil fuel use has done unrepairable damage to this planet. I don’t intend on leaving that llegacy for my son to clean up, as if he could…it is impossible.

          • philofthefuture

            Humans in general have done unrepairable damage to this planet, not just oil.

            Again, we NEED it and will need it for a few more decades, you have no choice beyond your own life. It would be wonderful if we could all go out tomorrow and pick up a Leaf and a few dozen solar panels. How many will do that? How many Can do that?

            Turn off the tap tomorrow, then tell us how farmers will plant and harvest their fields, how they will get food to the store, etc. Not what could happen if only, start with where we are right now. What is your plan?

            If there was one Obama would be all over it, instead he touts all of the above, supports fracking, and brags oil and natural gas production is at an all time high.

  • TinaMc.

    Well thank goodness for SI. We never would be having this discussion if it were not for them.

    • Steve Todd

      Amen. Keep up the integrity you bring to “investigative” reporting. Thank you all on the SI team.

  • macman2

    I can assure you that if there are 51 logged complaints, this is just the tip of the iceberg since it is almost impossible to get into the Bureau of Epidemiology’s internal database. So what are the results of those 51 complaints. What did the air and water studies show that made the department say there was no environmental contamination? What was the case control study that made them conclude there was no health effect? What is the basis for their assurances? Why does the Secretary of Health have no public health training and is a marketing exec? Hmm . . . It really smells of a huge coverup. Just another reason why the Corbett Administration does not deserve another term.

    • Steve Todd

      Why does the Secretary of Health have no public health training and is a marketing exec?

      The same reason the Secretary of DEP has not one second of experience or training in any field related to engineering, environmental science or remediation. He is a lawyer, most recently with the DA prior to becoming a Deputy in the Corbett administration.

      Don’t take my word for it. I’ve heard round about that I’m telling horrible lies about his background, for some reason unimaginable. Fair enough, read his bosses bio on him:

      http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/about_dep/13464/office_of_the_secretary/585259

  • KeepTapWaterSafe

    This is Corbettcare. We need a new governor.

    • Steve Todd

      We will get one. By double digits. Our concern, with Wolf already taking way into six figures from O&G related interests, is to make sure he isn’t compromised. Or, at least not as badly.

  • Jack Wolf

    And maybe the reporter can also look into why the public can not access emergency evacuation plans? How crazy is that? Where are we supposed to go when leaks occur or when the system blows up? http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20140619/NEWS01/140619446#.U6RDurHYN-Z

  • Scott Jantz

    How about supporting clean and super abundant energy, fusion: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/focus-fusion-empowertheworld–3

    • philofthefuture

      Not happening, snake oil.

      • Scott Jantz

        You might be surprised how close they are to working fusion: http://vimeo.com/97613069
        If you have the time to take a look.

        • philofthefuture

          Well I certainly hope you are right. However fusion has always been “just one step away” for decades now. They’ve cried wolf so many times, even if the wolf has arrived I’d want to see it with my own eyes.

          I will say that if they can get there within a decade at one tenth the cost of the main line approaches, they may have a chance.

          However, nuclear was touted electricity would be so cheap it wouldn’t need to be metered. Cheap fuel does not equal cheap energy.

          I’d love to be proved wrong though, fusion would be wild! :<)

  • TinaMc.

    People, please let’s get back to the whole point of why we are here and why we care. There needs to be a national moratorium on high-volume, slick water fracking. That is a truth that we all can agree on. Let’s make it happen under one unified voice. Peace.

    • philofthefuture

      Imagine the world if we turned off the spigot tomorrow: No cars, no trains, no planes, no tractors, no trucks, therefor no food, no medicines, no new homes, etc. Grocery stores run out of food in three days, leading to a mad max world where gangs rule and those who can’t pay extortion starve to death.
      There is no fantasy land white horse that will trot in and save you, unless you live in the country and can grow your own food you are screwed.
      Still want to go there?
      I wish it weren’t so but one has do deal with reality. While banning fracking would not totally turn off the spigot, it would greatly restrict it, meaning it is turned off for those that can’t afford the high price. In other words the poor, high energy prices screw them the worst. The Gores, Soros’s, and Koch’s of the world don’t give a damn, they could afford a hundred a gallon, it’s the little guy that suffers.

      • TinaMc.

        Phil, I envision just that and it is beautiful. If you think the lifestyle of our species is sustainable, you are mistake.

        • philofthefuture

          You imagine screwing the poor is beautiful? Thank you for your honesty.
          I agree, what we are doing is NOT sustainable, the issue is slamming on the brakes and putting everyone through the windshield, or braking safely so nobody is hurt. EV’s and FCV’s will get there, just not tomorrow. Solar and wind will eventually dominate our energy sector, just not tomorrow.
          Even Obama says you can’t just flip a switch. It will take decades to transition. Those that say we must do it NOW are just as stupid as those that say we can go on forever as is.

          • TinaMc.

            I don’t have to ‘imagine” poor people getting screwed because I watch it every day now in Pa. This industry walked into this state, laid blanket lies across the board, and stole our right to clean water and safe communities, to name a few.
            this gas is not for us and you know it. You do not invest billions of dollars in infrastructure unless you expect to get trillions in return. That is the ONLY reason this is happening and it is called greed.

          • philofthefuture

            Fine, shut them down and live with the economic disaster. Just do your part and open your home to all the economic refugees you will create.
            All municipal water projects are required by law to supply clean safe water, they must assay it regularly and publish the results. There are strict limits on VOC’s in particular. If they are not doing their job, blame them.

          • TinaMc.

            That is such a telling response. The majority of people drink from private wells in this state and we have been tossed to the wolves. Unbelievable.

          • philofthefuture

            Then sue, there are plenty of lawyers that will take your case.

            Again, go ahead and shut them down, just don’t think that there aren’t any consequences one way or the other, nothing is black and white.

          • TinaMc.

            Wow, you are grasping at straws and it is quite unbecoming. It is amoral to know humans are being poisoned in their own homes and still turn you back on them.

          • philofthefuture

            Not grasping at anything, just being honest. There are consequences to everything we do, some negative, some positive. Sometimes we have to screw people out of their homes to build a highway. It’s not fair to the people losing their homes but it is an overall plus to society.

            Again you are completely ignoring the massive social costs of economic collapse should fracking be banned. You have to look at both sides to be honest.
            And again I say sue. If you have a case you will have no problem finding a great lawyer. That’s not turning my back, that’s saying go for it.
            Look, I’m no fan of oil. I’m just being realistic that we will need the stuff for at least two dozen years, probably twice that. The economy is limping along as it is and the IMF just lowered our projected growth down to 2.5%.

          • TinaMc.

            It saddens me that your portfolio is not thriving…not.

          • philofthefuture

            Actually it is thriving. I got smart after the Carter disaster and realized that the rich will always be protected. The rich put their money in real estate and the market so I put my money in real estate and the market. Sure enough, rentals are in high demand and the stock market is hitting record highs.
            That’s the advantage of being a realist instead of an ideologue, if Obama and the fed are going to protect the market at all costs, I’ll play their game by their rules. It doesn’t matter who’s in power you can’t do wrong doing what the rich do. :<)
            That doesn't mean I like the rules, but I have no more control over them than you do. The serenity prayer comes to mind.

            I wish we didn't need oil but we do. I wish we could get rid of coal without fracking gas but we can't. At least for a couple of decades.

          • TinaMc.

            And there you have it, Folks. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

          • philofthefuture

            And proud of it! :<) Though I'd prefer thoroughbred!
            Seriously, I grew up working class in a working class neighborhood but my parents instilled the American dream in all their children.

            I've done everything right, never been a burden on society. My reward for working my behind off and sacrificing early in life so I could save and invest is a comfortable retirement, not rich by any means, but comfortable. If you have a problem with that too bad. You won't shame a life lived with integrity.

          • gwen rothberg

            This is your integrity? The American Dream is not obtainable by a large swath of the population, regardless of their pristine upbringing. When you are ravaged by disease, your property is devalued by corporate environmental rape and your education is limited by regulation that bans the promulgation of correct information, then the cards are stacked, and not in your favor. So go on with your dream state and your cool stocks. You’re one click away from being a burden on society and you don’t even know it. I suppose you have already ‘accepted what you cannot change’ and have resigned yourself. Yeah, that’s some integrity there. For sure. Keep shilling for big gas. That’s an honest use of your time.

          • Tom Frost

            Wow; you don’t even know that retirement is a cesspool? My condolences.

          • gwen rothberg

            Your defense of the bullshit is the foundation for the lack of political will. This does not happen in 1st world nations. The idea that your remedy is to ‘take it to the courts’ and remain effectively constipated with the obstruction of the industry.

  • http://www.crackineverything.com/ DeanMarshall

    This exchange and the shift toward some idealistic, “All or nothing” rhetoric and the bashing and proclamations of “False Fractivist” makes me sick! We are all affected by this nightmare of corporate greed in every aspect of our lives. We are ripped off as consumers, held hostage by healthcare, food, transportation and education corporatizing. Our government is more corrupt than the criminals we need them to protect us from and the huge global energy cabals run the whole show.
    This is a time for everyone to fight our common enemies and cease this idiotic insistence that it has to be done by some lofty set of Rules that seem to be determined by well-meaning yet disillusioned zealots. Yes, we need action. what we do not need is any more of this internal wrangling to be “Right”. If we cannot adopt a diverse and inclusive participation, we will lose for sure.

    • wendylynnelee

      I have no idea whose “lofty set of rules” you’re referring to, Mr. Marshall. But you’re absolutely right that we need unity in this movement.

      That begins with identifying ONE goal–banning fracking. There may be room for many strategies to achieve this goal, but those here who argue that we ought, for example, to tax for all practical purposes OPPOSE banning tracking in that they are willing to see it become institutionalized as part of the state’s fiduciary structure. The same applies to those who would argue for regulation. If we settle for this, the regulations themselves will become the cement that insures the industry will never leave. And we also know what the consequences of regulating is–it’s right here in this piece. If either of these lines of reasoning–the Democrat Party’s–wins the day, we can rest assured that 8,000 wells will soon become 100,000 or more, and all we’ll have to provide balm to our conscience is the plaint that “we tried,” when, in fact, had we been unified around one message and only one message we might instead have succeeded.

      • http://www.crackineverything.com/ DeanMarshall

        I beg to differ! Everyone on this thread would Rejoice to see Fracking Banned! The fact that meanwhile, more permits are ok’d, more trees are being cut, more lands and water tables are being risked , and more chemicals and air pollutants are being discharged. Just because some people are trying to mitigate these REALITIES while others are only interested in a complete, immediate and elusive Ban, does not entitle either faction to diminish the other. People are different, and use different means to achieve their goals. There are certainly going to be arguments, but in trying to shame or guilt people to think the way you do, the only result is alienation, anger and a loss of whatever momentum existed. We cannot snub or berate every group that does not totally agree with our methods and expect a spirit of unity and cooperation. It is thus in Politics, business, relationships, and all human affairs and always will be so.

        • philofthefuture

          Very well put. Denigrating people does not convert them, it just makes them dig in their heels and fight back.
          The best method to win people over is leading by example, how believable can one be when they demand an end to fracking then pull in and fill’er up? Not much I’d guess.

          • Tom Frost

            Just an individual-specific consumption moratorium on Wendy Lee would be an excellent start. I’m willing to look the other way when just about any fractivist except her, “fills ‘er up”.

          • philofthefuture

            There is a better way than banning fracking, buy an EV. If everyone abandoned their gas cars fracking wouldn’t be economically viable.

            If people who want to ban fracking would agree to take in all economic refugees from that decision and feed and cloth them, they would be naïve but at least believable.

            Barring that, fracking will continue or the economy will collapse. Therefore expect no action from Obama or the EPA.

      • philofthefuture

        Here’s the problem, a robust economy requires cheap energy. Right now there is no substitute for oil. That means either we make our own or we import it. If we make our own at least we have some controls.

        Killing fracking will kill the economy, that’s all that’s keeping it afloat and is why we are doing much better than the EU. Oil also why Norway, etc. are in such good shape.

        Until everyone can afford an EV or FCV we are stuck. Few governments, including Obama’s, will buck this for that reason. Since it will take at least 25 years and more likely twice that to get transportation switched to hydrogen, don’t expect anyone to do much about fracking beyond lip service.

        Killing oil before we have an affordable substitute is economic suicide.

        • gwen rothberg

          And yet Germany, the largest economy in the EU can provide 70% of its power needs without fracking. Head in the sand much?

        • Iris Marie Bloom

          This just shows that “Philofthefuture” does not know what he is talking about. Pennsylvania fracking in the Marcellus Shale is unconventional horizontal slickwater hydraulic fracturing for gas, not oil (though there is some oil coming up, the primary boom is shale gas). More and more of this fracked shale gas is destined for export. For example, , Sunoco is building and re-purposing a 300-mile pipeline to export NGLs — natural gas liquids, particularly ethane, a base for plastics manufacturing — to Norway!
          Exporting shale gas liquids, extracted from high-volume fracking which has health impacts in Pennsylvania shalefields; via the MarkWest plant — a rough separating and refining facility which has health impacts — is not the same as “filling up your car.” Using a 300 mile pipeline which is extremely dangerous because it would be carrying compressed volatile flammable explosive liquids at 150% more pressure than it was designed to carry — which will have severe health impacts if it blows up, and is a recipe for disaster — is not at all the same as “filling up your car.”
          If you are serious about your concern bout gasoline consumption, and we all MUST be, we should be advocating public transportation and fighting for an end to the Bakken Shale boom with its extreme flaring and its exploding oil trains. But that’s not what this StateImpact piece is about. It’s about a health impacts coverup specific to PENNSYLVANIA, and you keep trying to change the subject. Fortunately, your attempts are not working, as comments from Macman2 and others demonstrate.

  • Briget Shields

    I’m frustrated but not surprised. When you have a population of tax paying citizens living in this commonwealth with water contamination so bad they can’t even bath in the water coming out of their taps for more than 5 years and our government completely abandoning them it is no surprise that the health department is instructed to do what all the other politicians are doing. Promoting this toxic industry instead of Protecting the people who put them in office.
    For those who think it is all the fault of the GOP take another look. It’s on both sides of the isle. There are few democrats speaking out about the criminal activities this insidious industry is doing to our state and every other state they are operating in. Here in Allegheny county, home of the city of Pittsburgh which was the first city in the world to BAN fracking we have a democratic county executive who has been bought and paid for by the industry. He was caught with his pants down during his run for the seat while begging the industry and the Marcellus Shale Coalition for money! http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/2728-flaherty-releases-embarrassing-fitz-email : He also slandered me in this email by saying I was supporting another candidate which I was not. I asked for an apology and retraction of his statement and he totally ignored me. He has also managed to bully our new mayor from hiring my husband for a position that was promised to him because of our being so vocal about the injustice being done by frackers and politicians. I don’t support or vote for any candidate D’s, R’s or any other party that does not support a complete moratorium on fracking and other fracking infrastructure. I actually am for a total BAN but when you say that word even anti drilling people get nervous for some reason. This is another problem we have in this country. Our government seems to think that money is more important than water and a healthy environment.
    In PA this is blatantly in our face corrupt and criminal yet we have been fighting them for 6 years and they are still putting in new wells everyday. They are now fracking the Pittsburgh Airport and will start fracking in one of our county parks ( Deer Lakes Park) soon. We have brought in experts, scientists, geologists, harmed citizens, doctors, lawyers and still, they passed the vote in favor to frack a county park. There is plenty of proof that the DEP has ignored many citizens and have illegally permitted fracking infrastructure. There are wells, compressor stations, frack pits, you name it operating that have never obtained a permit! It’s just so insane what is going on in the state of PA that it’s no wonder people say we’re “story telling and spreading untrue information about gas extraction” It’s so bad it’s hard to believe we allow it to continue at the rate it has. Our own Pitt University made Dr. Dan Voltz resign from the school of public health when he exposed the dangers involved with allowing this to continue because of the contamination he found in our rivers. Listen to the entire unbelievable story here. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/440/game-changer
    Now our county executive has just appointed a NEW head of the Allegheny County Health Department. Read some of her comments on the questions she was asked about fracking here: http://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/on-the-record-a-conversation-with-dr-karen-hacker-executive-director-of-the-allegheny-county-health-department/Content?oid=1759255
    She has been obviously instructed clearly by the pro fracking county executive Fitzgerald (A democrat) and as you can tell from her comments knows NOTHING about the negative health impacts being felt by all people where ever unconventional gas is being extracted. It is time for PA and the the entire country to say NO to more of this contamination of our environment, our health and most importantly our democracy! It is up to us to DEMAND the politicians keep their oath to PROTECT the taxpaying citizens instead of PROMOTING this toxic industry. It is time for these politicians to REPRESENT the people not RULE us. This is criminal and they need to be prosecuted. In PA it’s a war on the people in the name of “Financial benefits!”

    • philofthefuture

      The problem is big government requires big money. Since ordinary people are tapped out, that leaves industry. You can either tax them to death and get nothing or allow them to be successful and take your cut. That’s a no brainer. The only way out of this is to stop asking government to wipe everyone’s behinds.

    • The_White_Rabbit

      Two of my favorite links on this topic are provided below. The first is Governor Corbett’s Yacht vacation paid for by trucking owner that ships Marcellus waste and according to Internet sources has direct connection with the Bolus incident where purposeful leaking of Marcellus and hazardous waste discharged to ground.

      http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2013/04/03/businessman-who-paid-for-corbetts-yacht-vacation-will-join-him-on-south-american-trade-mission/

      The second is Senator Scarnati, who didn’t see a problem with accepting air transport and tickets to Superbowl game by gas company Consul Energy.

      http://www.politicspa.com/senator-scarnati-criticized-after-accepting-free-super-bowl-trip-from-oil-company/21302/

      Even the lowers state workers would not be this stupid to accept gifts like this from industry that would be conflict of interest.

      • FrackDaddy

        Dear, Mr Rabbit (you old Hippie). I can’t deny that these are not the best decisions. But we need to remember that every coin have 2 sides! I do believe some folks were just caught trying to take Middle Eastern oil money to do a film against Frac’n, when they knew full well it was to protect the profits of a foreign government.

        Many folks depend on the fight against Frac’n for their paychecks, Josh Faux, Fast Tony, ISG, Iris Bloom, just to name a few. But all these “groups” have paid executives and employees, They even offer collage kids a summer job “fighting Frack’n” Pays $600/ per week. So why would Park, Heinz, Sierra, etc..etc…. Have to in list and pay a small army to do their bidding? Seem’s if this was as bad as SOME CLAIM, you would not need to pay activist to support your cause? Why do we need 5 dramatic “Documentary” every year? So people can make $$ and lots of it!

        Just a thought from some Susquehanna County guy.

        • The_White_Rabbit

          Always good to hear a logical perspective from the pro gas side. I am curious to get your perspective on the silencing of the PADOH employees.

          • FrackDaddy

            I really don’t know what to think about it? You know i like to do my do diligence, So i went and also read the write up some some other sites. I find it interesting that they waited 3 years to say anything (but if i was that close to retirement, i may not want to rock the boat either). Also i might have folded up a copy on the “buzz words” and stuck it in my pocket for just such an occasion (but again there maybe legal issue with that as well).

            I do find it plausible that with so much misinformation (i know we disagree what is misinfo, but neither will deny its out there) that you would not want people giving their “Opinions” under the guise of a state agency.

            Also it did say that the calls were passed on and she does not know if they were returned or not. It does not tell us how long it was between the first call and second call, when it references people being irate about not being called back? If it is going through two state agency’s, Its going to take awhile. The old saying “Moving at the speed of government”.

            We can’t deny, that complains ARE being logged and investigated, those records are out there. So we have to ask why they would record some and not the others? Also there are only so many investigators, So you have to prioritize what and who you investigate. And i am sure there are some people crying wolf, and you have to weed out those calls too. Unless you live in South Eastern PA, you will pass some sort of NG activity in your daily travels (most don’t even realize unless they know its there, Or it has a drill rig on it) that includes getting to your doctors office or hospital. So anyone can say, they were affected somehow by NG (just read the comments below).

            I have not found this story except from Anti Drilling publications, You would think in a week someone would have picked it up it was news worthy? I did also find some articles about closing rural heath centers (used for vaccines and STD treatments) that called her retired in June of 2013, So again why did we wait?

            But really there is not enough info to make a good decision here. It is just a story with no facts or documentation.

            ***** But i always take anything on Shaleimpact with a grain of salt******

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Good points to mull over. Ole Hippie!!!! Well maybe? Come on down sometime and have a little weed and couple of Genny Cream Ales, I’ll put on a Hendrix LP and we can discuss the meaning of well drilling.

          • FrackDaddy

            LOL, Genny Screamers! Do the still have 12 horse up there? You know as a PA boy, i gotta have me some Lager (yuengling). But the rest sounds like a good time. And i just might do that! After all resonable people discussing the issues, is the only way we will ever find common ground…..

  • skekze

    People need to go to prison or you can shut the lights off and everybody can go home to watch the fireworks. Satellites and drones and blimps as prison bars. Don’t want the locals to get uppity. Just drink the water, get your cancer and maybe a plot of dirt in potter’s field. The heaviest chain we wear is our apathy. The junkyard dog thinks a beating is love. Is this what you want to teach your children? That your miserable existence is worth more than facing the fear of death that you’ll face anyway in due time? There are no gods here, just mortal men doomed to die. Might we make it better for the next gen or leave them the task left undone? Civilization, the word fails to mean anything while you give it nothing in return.

    • TinaMc.

      Wow, thank you. Are we friends?

      • skekze

        We share a common enemy, ignorance and indifference.

  • Tom Shepstone

    The comments below illustrate the foolish world of fractivists is one of no complexity, no irony, no exceptions – and no compromise. That is precisely why the end is near for their cause.
    http://naturalgasnow.org/foolish-consistency-fractivists/

    • gwen rothberg

      so, when you show up in my ER with skin inflammation that cannot be resolved – and no antidote is available without approval from the gas company, you can say ‘the end is near for your cause’ as your flesh withers. There is no biopsy that will indicate, no IV medication that will reverse, nor any topical ointment that will clear the kind of crap that invades the cells, organs and blood stream of people that have been exposed. And we are not allowed to research it, know what it is or educate the public on how to avoid it. Yeah, that’s not complex. It is ironic. And no, you will not be the exception. Compromise that. Tool.

    • Guest
    • someonewhocares
    • The_White_Rabbit

      Tom:

      It would seem the suppression stated by former PADOH employees shows foolishness of not the activists but on this pathetic administration? The logic should be, let the “data” direct what actions should be appropriate. However, PADOH not being allowed to address citizens concerns or even have Marcellus speakers available shows the stupidity of the side you seem to always support. I am not sure if you are attempting to say the PADOH employees are “foolish fractivists”, but I have probably worked more with this group of great people than you or your technical support types have. PADOH does try to do a good job and assist residents with answers. You should not support those that suppress information due to political correctness of this administration.

    • The_White_Rabbit

      Tom:

      Still waiting on your response to the Corbett administration silencing professional concerns. I don’t believe there should be compromise with political and paid professional ***holes that just take one side without regard for technical concerns.

  • Cynthia dexter

    Ad ick Chaney, George bush coverup….civil suit should work

  • Charliefoxtrot

    Maybe it’s because illness linked to fracking isn’t a proven factual thing, and having uninformed nurses throw out phone diagnoses is bad science?

    Interesting how this NPR article doesn’t mention this, and the implication is a massive coverup going (apparently) through all levels of state govt, when the committed leftists at the fed EPA can’t even demonstrate ill effects of fracking.

    It might interest NPR that journalizin’ is more than printing a series of anecdotes, unless the unstated goal is more cocooning of its liberal readership.

    • gwen rothberg

      Or maybe de-criminalize the disclosure of the chem list used for the procedure. The fact that this is banned from disclosure, but not banned from use or liability is a greater indication than the muzzling of public health nurses. And why are they muzzled if its not a cover up? Why has the EPA been systematically de-fanged? Oh, so we can point fingers and say how ineffective they are. Of course…

    • The_White_Rabbit

      Actually under FOIA, the USEPA admitted they never did a Final Report on Dimock. They would not admit that the leaked Powerpoint that noted a short and long term problem with groundwater was an official document. Seems like it is hard to prove anything when information on possible problems is suppressed in a non normal industry way.

      PADOH and federal agencies normally do health assessents and health consultations on various sites in Pennsylvania not limited to Superfund, state HSCP, and emergency response spills. Typically answering concerned citizens is routine policy. Seems like the statements of “former PADOH employees”is not anecdotal. These are former professionals that provide answers to concerned citizens.

      Seems more likely the policies of some bureaucrats of this pathetic administration are the ones creating these “Charlie Foxtrot” situations.

  • IHateFatChicks

    Simply put, the Health Dept. of Pennsylvania, committed criminal acts and sanctioned/approved the worst health polices, subversion and lies possible. The solution is to indict people and imprison them.

  • TAG

    From a plaintiff in what at the time was considered a landmark illegal toxic dump case (The People of CA -v- State of California & Stringfellow Acid Pits, et al) you have more power than you know. You must come together as a community and demand answers.
    Your future and that of those you love is at risk. The power is in large numbers of people with a goal. Volunteers, civic activists, community leaders and empowered youth can change this before it’s too bad for hope. You must act.
    ~Peace~

  • someonewhocares

    This is happening in Colorado as well. Now there is an on-going investigation – a hospital in Garfield County call in the Colorado Dept of Health because of all the children being born with birth defects – i.e. endochrine disruption – Dr. Th
    eo Colborn. They are not letting information out.

    http://www.postindependent.com/news/grandjunction/10748474-113/anomalies-congenital-defects-birth

  • NorthernTier

    I have a question for those who support a ban on unconventional gas well fracking in PA. What do you foresee the result would be … in addition to years of litigation?

    The lessees could use the force majeure clause in many of the leases to suspend them. This could actually be beneficial to developers with holdings that aren’t profitable to drill at the current gas price. (They wouldn’t have to renew leases or initiate faux development to hold leases.) The landowners would be left in limbo indefinitely.

    There is also an Ancillary Rights clause in leases. In one 2010 standard lease, these include pipelines, compressor stations, dehydrators, seismic testing, utility lines, roads, buildings, injection wells, water wells, brine disposal wells, natural gas storage, CO2 sequestration, and “including but not limited to”. Some of those rights outlive the term of the lease. So while fracking would be banned in PA, PA would not be immune to impacts. Including, possibly, treatment and/or disposal of spent fracking fluid (and other waste) from WV and Ohio.

    Impact Fee collections would dwindle, as would DCNR and DEP revenues. But future taxpayers would still be on the hook for ethane cracker tax forgiveness. And while the job numbers have been hyped, the industry does provide jobs to a limited demographic.

    Disclaimer: I’m not an apologist for the industry, nor is my property leased.

    • TinaMc.

      Wow, for someone that is not leased, ya sure do know a lot about them. Did you gain all of your knowledge from being a “land man”?

      • NorthernTier

        No, I’m not associated with the industry. One of the main reasons I haven’t leased my land is that I have read the leases I’ve been offered.

    • The_White_Rabbit

      Waste disposal issues are serious in Pennsylvania. Over 100,000 tons of treated Marcellus wastes have already gone to the unlined mine reclamation site in Hazleton, PA. A proposal to PADEP regarding untreated wastes is also in the works.

      On carbon dioxide sequestration, it seems that former PADEP investigation at the Dunmore CO/CO2 site showed leakage of carbon dioxide (and some carbon monoxide) that appeared associated with waste disposal and well above background (and Centralia) levels. The elevated levels did create pathways of oxygen deficiency at various residents, and continuous monitoring showed several monitoring wells with periods of non detectable oxygen below houses. The logic that carbon dioxide can safely be injected to the subsurface without any adequate monitoring or anticipated leakage is wishful thinking by bureaucrats.

  • Nicko Thime

    Because the invisible hand of the free market will always do what benefits the society. It’s just magical.

  • http://www.soulbranding.com/ Elsie Maio

    Who’s the watchdog on the entire question — including transportation of hazardous materials through Center City Philadelphia?

  • http://www.wintersretouching.com/MyBlog/ AndyW

    My cartoon response to this story: http://www.wintersretouching.com/MyBlog/?p=995

    • Jack Wolf

      That cartoon was right on, so I shared it on FB. I hope others do too. Thanks Andy!

  • Miriam

    State Impact or ProPublica or the New York Times need to make a FOIA request to the Health Department on this issue (I didn’t suggest the Inquirer because it seems to have no interest in anything but cheerleading for fracking).

  • A More Ethical Banana

    This reminds me of why we should bring back our quaint Americana traditions-
    Like tar and feathering…….

    I ask the energy company shills to explain why the chemicals used are secret?

    Pennsylvania is a stand your ground state.
    These energy companies are now people……..

    • The_White_Rabbit

      If they don’t release chemical information on spills take your own samples (get together as group to pay for analysis) sample volatiles, TAL metals, and ID tentatively identified compounds.

  • The_White_Rabbit

    I had met quite a few great people from the PADOH over the years. Seems like this should be something investigated by the Attorney Generals Office. Let the data show what actions should be taken not some political hack like Tom Corporate.

  • DoryHippauf

    Regarding health study money in Act 13, Earlier versions of the bill had set aside $2 million to track and monitor public health in drilling area, it was removed from the final version
    http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2012/02/24/public-health-research-funds-cut-from-impact-fee/

    The Geisinger heath study as it relates to fossil fuel extraction needs $24-million to start up, last I knew they had $1-million. The scope of this study is for 20 years once it is implemented. http://poststar.com/news/local/fb6c60aa-88de-11e2-8a9f-001a4bcf887a.html

  • https://twitter.com/paulvcassidy @paulvcassidy

    You know those moments when a call to a public office goes cold, you get put on hold and deferred to the in-house ‘Thought Police’, for thinking and saying too much? On go the recording devices and subsequent issues with your fone & cyber accounts thereafter and you just know your hanging yourself.

    Smart people are smart mainly coz they do what they’re told. The process of filtering conformist personality types out was well established by the time I was 11yrs with most boys selected for GAA teams and school concerts on the basis of sexual favours rendered. That was Ireland and that was then but the same is true of political and administrative organisations today though, as always, people convince themselves something else is happening. The long road of life provides ample opportunity to select and deselect and the judgement calls keep getting tougher so much so you’d need your own personal moral philosopher in tow. The victims get hung out to dry because there they serve as a warning to others just as in Roman times. Getting it wrong still has consequences. Little has changed. What I really resented of late was how the current government got rid of departmental fone numbers in favour of so called lo-call-rate numbers which took you out of your fone package. So finally I got rid of my fone. So much for ‘It’s good to talk’. The mere idea of being asked a question is questionable in the eyes of the modern State and that ain’t going to change anytime soon folks believe you me. I suspect the political process is fundamentally flawed and will require ongoing NGO oversight even after the revolutionaries arrive which they’re likely to anytime soon.

    The buzzword revelations reported on here are simple enough; a list of 15-20 fracking related words were issued to Pennsylvanian Department of Health staff the mere mention of which sufficed to have a call terminated and deferred. I say deferred as opposed to transferred because of the lack of follow-up. I mean the purpose of transferring someone is to facilitate a response right. If there’s no response you’ve deferred not transferred them, right? Not surprisingly DoH staff were also vetted for attending community meetings even on the subject of diabetes where the official line had to be towed. So how do we get round all this? I find myself quoting from my back catalog of pop lyrics of late and in this case the line “We are stardust; we are golden and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden’, comes to mind. Firstly by getting out into your own garden and reclaiming it for nature and secondly by getting involved in urban farm, allotment and collectivist come transition farm initiatives. People talk to me about education and the need for more of same but I reckon all education needs to take place on the hoof in situ with bookish learning being a matter of private study and online courses afterwards. I’m going to advance a proposal for a Transition Farm here shortly and hope to involve as many of you guys as possible. I reckon that could be a real theater of learning and of mutual assistance as well as ticking all the right ecological and food security boxes.
    gwobs.info

  • http://www.pvwizard.com/ Steve C. Yang, P.E.

    It is a shame, Pennsylvanit, the once bastion of constitutional democracy, has been tainted by profit motives, of the industry and elected officials; to the detriment of public health.

    • artisanr

      thanks Tom Corbett!

  • Rebecca

    This is truly terrifying!!! The level and breadth of corruption that this industry has on every level of government and on it’s departments, Drs and Nurses for goodness sake!!! Did they not think to question this ‘memo’ or to fight it?? Did they not care? How many people saw this memo and just went along with it? I feel sick reading this. And it scares me so much that this will soon be happening in my country, in my town, in my beautiful garden!!! When will this madness end? When we are all dead? When there is no one left to say ‘no more?’ There are still so many people here in the UK who have no idea what fracking, is and when I tell them about it they just laugh. This is a huge huge problem and it’s just getting worse. I feel so sorry for any one who has been effected by this, please don’t give up the fight. We are our own government and this is a war, we must not be defeated, for our children and our children’s children we cannot loose.

  • johndwyer

    Such egregious violations of citizens’ free speech rights cry out for opposition. The public must loudly condemn these violations, especially the ones that endanger public health our air, water, and climate. This “agreement” not to say anything is antithetical to the “freedoms” our military services have given many lives to defend. We must be allowed to speak the truth, ask questions, and demand honest answers. The recent push to develop South Florida’s oil play called the Sunniland Trend stretching from Ft. Myers on the Gulf to Miami on the Atlantic has likewise resulted in outright lies by the industry, by politicians, and by the mineral rights owner, the Collier family. The local county commissioners have, by some special grace, strongly spoken out against the State’s Department of Environmental Protection which has responded with more lies, and coverup answers to legitimate questions. The Everglades is at risk. The aquifers are being injected with carcinogenic poisons and radioactive cuttings in the “brine” and “drilling mud.” And everyone seems to have forgotten that all rivers run down to the sea. Their first new HDD well with enhanced extraction techniques is right next to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, already suffering from lack of water due to drilling’s draw down. People are dying from swimming in the Gulf’s waters; shrimp have three eyes and multiple heads; whales and porpoises are beaching themselves; the red tide is choking people with COPD. Get out in the streets, call the media, make signs and posters. Silence is betrayal.

  • vippy

    I am wondering if the 1%ers can exist with bad air and eat money?

    • h4x354x0r

      They think there’s always going to be filtered, purified air, water, and food they can buy with their money. That may even be true for awhile, but… not forever. The pockets of purity will get smaller and smaller, until they become prisons.

  • Finkster

    So what, they were told to shut up. It wasn’t part of their job description. They wern’t being paid their Royal Salary and Benefits to waste their time talking to nitwits. Ghee Wiz stupid people, wake up.

    • h4x354x0r

      So… when some of these people fire-sale their homes and land to get away, you’re going to swoop in, buy them up, and live there because you know fracking doesn’t ever cause any health problems.

      Right?

      • Finkster

        Wish I had the money to buy up on some of those rural properties that stupid people sell because of the fear. Because I know that Fracking does not cause health problems. I,m fearful that a strong storm will come through and blow down all the Windmills standing idle all across the ridge tops more than Gas seeping up out of the ground.

    • Jack Wolf

      Talking to the public about their health concerns is part of their job description. Are you really that jaded about public health? You realize of course, that includes you. Or, is this a joke? It must be a joke…

  • h4x354x0r

    Quick reminder: our environment isn’t capitalistic. It isn’t even Socialistic. It’s Communistic! That’s right, *everyone* breathes the same air, shares the same water resources.

    …and it doesn’t matter how much you hate communism or socialism or equal sharing of anything, this is how it actually works IRL. The only thing you can effectively do is protect the entire resource (air quality, water quality) for everyone.

    Thinking that profit for a few is more important than the environment for all is just mind-bogglingly stupid.

  • BobSchmetzer

    FRACK-DADDY, grow a backbone and use your name. We have a democracy problem. The teeth in the federal environmental laws were removed in 2005 because of Halliburton. Why ? Proprietary chemicals? Secret Sauce? Coca cola formula. What bullshit. Halliburton has a patient for a Perf gun to blow a hole in the pipe and shale layer. The patient said that depleted uranium disks are used , making the process more radio-active than the shale. The whole process is corrupted. Exposing everyone, especially the workers to contamination and the landowners who live among the process. Venting the gasses, also causes nose bleeds , vertigo, cramps and cancers. As an industry spokesman, you should quit telling people it is harmless. Even the Pa Supreme court said fracking is dangerous and will hit the public purse.

    • The_White_Rabbit

      Are you saying that the well pipe perforators use depleted uranium??!!?? If you have some information on this would like to know as these are used for bit more than just well drilling.

      • FrackDaddy

        Here is the pat info.
        http://www.google.com/patents/US20110000669

        The first 4 pages of a Google search were all “The sky falling” Website’s. With William Hustons Blog being the first hit (not exactly an unbiased source). So i really could not find much reliable info. But let me know what you find?

        • The_White_Rabbit

          I did find information on the patents for oil well perforators where depleted uranium is used. Considering the small volumes, I would wonder if there is a potential hazard. Seems like a good question to ask PADOH if they were allowed to address this concern.

          • FrackDaddy

            Okay, That was a good one! Was perforators on the buzz word list? Definatly something to look at. Got a link to what you found?

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Did check with few knowledgeable people. Not all oil well perforators (these focused charges that create the holes in selected intervals of solid steel well pipe) have depleted uranium. The Some may and seems like an interesting topic to continue to investigate.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            The question on the risk of DU is a good one. Consider that the amount of waste is in tons versus the small residual from an exploded (or failed) perforator. However, there may be quite a few perforators used when fracking. Seems that if the risk is minimal, the regulators should be able to state this.

    • FrackDaddy

      Bob, Sorry i am not out for my 15 minutes like you, but i assure you i have a back bone. But your friends in your movement feel the need to try and come see my land, post satellite images of my property, And constantly harass myself and family. So i have chosen to use a screen name, to keep what privacy i have. Nothing was removed in 2005, it simply KEPT the states in charge of their own states, With out it you would not have the precious NYS ban. Go to fracfocus.org, you can see what is going into each well, its all public info. You make some very strong accusations, but of course don’t provide any fact to back them up? Just hear say and fear mongering. And i have never said it was harmless, And in fact i have been quoted may times saying “100% ban on Frac’n, is as dump as saying its 100% safe” and i will always stand by that! But i do feel it can and is done very safely, Surface spills and unrepeatable contractors are the biggest safety concern here. I have never heard of a Uranium shooting shale gun? If they have a patient, that does not mean they are using it either (if it exist). So either come up with some REAL documentation that your wild claims are true ( i don’t accept serria club, FWW, anything@mountionkeeper, or riverkeeper, etc..etc..) But since you are quick you make accusations against me, which are untrue, I assume you do the same when it comes to (HVHF).

      • FrackDaddy

        P.S. If you going to call me out, Have a back bone and reply to me so i just might see it? If it wasn’t for the only real thinker on your side replying, You would have got you wish of an idol threat going unseen, and help you with your 15 minutes…….

  • John Dallas

    So what is the author saying? 1.) Employees of the Department of Health were told not to return phone calls on drilling issues. Why? Because the were to be referred to the Bureau of Epidemiology who would return the call and not waste time having the caller speak with someone who had no answers. 2.) Some Bureau of Epidemiology employees were not involved with drilling issues and were told not to return those type of calls. 3.) No Bureau of Epidemiology employees who returned drilling calls and are knowledgeable in this field were interviewed. 4.) Some DOH and BOE employees who are not knowledgeable in the drilling field suspect a conspiracy because they were excluded. In my experience too many government employees have too much time on their hands, are not very smart nor motivated enough to reseach the facts, and suspect their supervisors are part of a conspiracy with big business and/or politicians. Somewhat similar to many news reporters.

    • The_White_Rabbit

      John:

      Actually have worked with quite a few DOH (Bureau of Epidemiology is just on branch for your clarification) professionals over the years on various Superfund, Emergency Response, and various cleanups. The normal logic would be for the an individual getting the call to still respond within normally 24-hours when possible. I would suspect you are just another worthless Corbett type that doesn’t have any experience at all with PADOH or PADEP or you would know better. The higher level types in both agencies seem to have zero technical experience and can’t answer technical concerns.

      • John Dallas

        The normal logic would be for someone with expertise in this specialized field return the calls, rather than waste an employee without a clue’s time giving his/her opinion to the public. Why should a misdirected call be responded to by someone other than the person it was intended who will be able to respond intelligently? The higher level types are not the ones responding. It is the technicians working in that field who know what questions to ask and the correct responses to provide. Your answer illustrates the why there is so much waste in government.

        • The_White_Rabbit

          Your answer seems to be logic why idiots like Corbett and his prostitutes should be out in November. The person that gets the call would return it and state it was forwarded over to the appropriate individual if needed. If you have any experience in PA government you would not be making such incredibly ignorant statements. I am speaking from experience, you seem to be speaking from the tea party line. Do you even know what a consultation and assessment is? The waste is having high level PADEP managers with poly sci degrees and ambulance chasing lawyers making technical policy.

          • John Dallas

            If the person the call is forwarded to says, “Your call to Brainless was forwarded to me…” then Brainless can be doing his job and not chit chatting with Joe Taxpayer who wants to talk to some who actually know his rear from a hole in the ground. Your procedure is inefficent and moronic. Do you know who should be doing a consultation and assessment? You are the one advocating high level PADEP managers with poly sci degrees and ambulance chasing lawyers make technical policy. PADEP managers and ambulance chasing lawyers are Democrats.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Corbett placed Democrats in the highest level PADEP positions? Thanks for enlightening me you ignorant ****.

          • John Dallas

            PADEP managers are not political appointees. They are careeer government employees which are primarily Democrats. The Secretary and Executive Staff are appointed and do not make technical policy. You sound smart enough to be from Philadelphia.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            So somehow you know the political party affiliation of civil service employees? Interesting! Do you just recognize Democrat or Republican on them? Feel free to give a source or did the voices in your head give you this information?

            You sound stupid enough to be part of the Corbett appointed Secretary and Executive Staff.

          • John Dallas

            Most belong to the SEIU, and the SEIU is overwhelmingly supportive of Democratic candidates nationally and in Pennsylvania. Look up “PA Paycheck Protection Bill” and educate yourself, Looney Tunes Wabbit.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            I educated myself with over 30 years experience jerkoff! How about you?

          • John Dallas

            Your first reply to me included, “I would suspect you are just another worthless Corbett type that doesn’t have any experience at all with PADOH or PADEP or you would know better.” You have now degenerated completely from the issues and seem to be claiming that jerking off for 30 years qualifies you as “Educated.” It is easily understandable why you never became a manager. Thank you saying that I sound educated enough to be a part of the Executive Staff.

            My point was that two former employees not being allowed to return calls about issues that were not within their department or expertise is hardly a conspiracy to hide vital information from the public or potentially affected citizens.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Ok John, lets see a few of your comments that stimulated the replies:

            ” In my experience too many government employees have too much time on their hands, are not very smart nor motivated enough to reseach the facts, and suspect their supervisors are part of a conspiracy with big business and/or politicians. Somewhat similar to many news reporters.”

            “You sound smart enough to be from Philadelphia.”

            “If the person the call is forwarded to says, “Your call to Brainless was forwarded to me…” then Brainless can be doing his job and not chit chatting with Joe Taxpayer who wants to talk to some who actually know his rear from a hole in the ground.”

            Just a few comments why you seem to be a “know it all” that really just has opinions but no real experience working with the highly qualified PADOH staff. Don’t take it as a complement that I stated you sound educated enough to be on the Corbett appointed executive staff. They are the main reason PADEP (and other agencies) are in the mess they are in. Seems maybe you can elaborate a bit on what your experience really is since you brought it up.

          • John Dallas

            I concisely stated four of the facts cited by the author, which she uses to imply a Marcellus Shale conspiracy. I then stated my experience with government employees in general. You responded by stating “normal logic” rather than Department policy. You indicated that you “Actually have worked with quite a few DOH professionals over the years on various Superfund, Emergency Response, and various cleanups. The normal logic would be for the an individual getting the call to still respond within normally 24-hours when possible.” The DOH has teams assigned for various aspects of Superfund and Emergency Response (BOPHP) issues. Policy is that calls are routed to those teams/departments and not returned by employees who are not responsible for those issues. You have indicated that your experience is that some DOH employees do not follow policy. I concur. You now claim PADEP (and other agencies) are in some mess, which I say is just political buzz created by the media and Democratic Party.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            You danced around the question very nice. So what is your bad experiences with PADOH in a professional or non professional capacity? You seem to supposedly know PADOH policy, yet name call. Are you another Cor Bot?

          • John Dallas

            No bad experiences with PADOH and they are typically very professional, as has been my experience with other PA government employees when it comes to dealing with issues in their field of expertise and purview. They can be like most employees and discuss issues that are near to their field but “experience” is limited to information from the liberal media. In that respect they fall into the category of brainless on those issues. Hydraulic fracking as used in the extraction processing in the Marcellus Shale can cause serious environmental and health hazards, but that does not make a conspiracy to hide anything. When you focus on developing data on an issue, you have a tendency to cause a panic and anyone who has as much as a toothache will call and claim it is caused by that issue. PADOH is maintaining data to spot trends in geographic regions and is sensitive to health issues caused by irresponsible fracking. The author has insuffient evidence to even imply a conspiracy to suppress data collection related to fracking. As far as being a Cor Bot, he may not have done much for your business but he seems to have overall done wonders for PA.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Well Cor Bot has done wonders for PA. He put college students in the hole due to rising tuitiions, blackmailed the budget, and put pressure on PADEP in their normal duties.

            My experience with PADOH is that they have the expertise to evaluate claims of health effects at various contamination sites. PADEP assists with collection of the appropriate data based on the situation with their expertise, and PADOH assists on the evaluation of health risk with their expertise. If the data shows no problem (or cannot answer the question) then this will be in a report with risks or the need for more data. The problem is not with the technical staff but with the bureaucrats that have screwed up rather simple sites like Dimock and Franklin Forks, and failed to even address technical concerns. Your post has some very good responses. However, the point of this article (and posts) is not as much the questions of competence (this would require a simple transfer internally to the appropriate person to call back or write the citizen) but on the “bureaucratic paranoia” to **** up the normal procedures used for years effectively.

          • John Dallas

            Dimock and Franklin Forks predate Cor Bot and a previous story on StateImpact shows the former PADEP Secretary addressing the issues, “Hanger Slams CBS for Dimock Story.” It appears there has not been much change in the new administration. Those areas have methane issues that predate all of us. http://energyindepth.org/marcellus/franklin-forks-facts/ Blackmailing the budget is better characterized as, “Living within your means.” The increased tuition costs reflect rising energy and healthcare cost for the schools cause by bad Federal policies.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            EID Marcellus is a paid industry PR group. I don’t think you will find one PA licensed professional geologist with experience in this area of the state that would agree high methane is common in this aquifer. As this is mainly the lower part of the Catskill formation where water is utilized (and slightly below), you could take a look at a basic PA geology map and see that this formation covers large areas of northeast PA, some well outside drilling areas. This is not common although rare instances can be found where there is detectable methane. Even the Indians knew that the spring (methane/salt) at Salt Springs State Park was not common and treated as a secret.

            The first FOIA for DImock had an EPA answer that there is NO FINAL EPA REPORT. This conflicts with the industry PR stating EPA found no problem. This is also not common to not closeout a Removal Action (sampling in this case) site without any final report. The second FOIA got response that the leaked internal powerpoint presentation would not be officially confirmed as an EPA document. This internal report noted short and long term groundwater problems at Dimock based on review of data. This occured last year not well before Cor Bot.

            The Franklin Forks report was stated as CONFIDENTIAL due to containing residential data. Note that almost all public file reports in DEP offices have residential data. While the names/addresses are omitted (RW1 for example) this is common and no logical reason to be considered non public. Again this was last year also and one of the Hanger issues.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            This ongoing results of the investigation where during the Tom Corporate administration on both these sites even if the initial and subsequent monitoring happened since then. Maybe we need to cut some of those (it was 23 at one point) overseas PA Commonwealth Offices?

            Corbett blackmail seems common in many areas where citizens are involved.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            John, maybe you should look at the legal appeal document on the decision on why PADEP initially denied a RTK on the initial data from the one year Marcellus study. PADEP argument was it was too dangerous to release the locations of samples due to people getting exposed to high radiation as well as this contaminated material could be used for terrorism. Odd, that asked PADEP in Harrisburg why on one hand it was so dangerous that terrorists might use it, and on the other that putting OVER 100,000 tons (so far) in an unlined strip pit in Hazleton was fine?

            I think the recent Auditor General audit of PADEP oversight of waste also shows some health concerns due to the lack of information cradle to grave.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            When I mentioned high level PADEP managers (as with other Departments), I had thought it would be obvious that the comment referred to the top level managers in the chain of command. Obviously not all managers are political appointees (just one at Regional Offices). Although this seems obvious in original comment guess have to explain this more clearly to brain dead tea party types.

          • John Dallas

            White Rabbit quite is appropo as you lack the ability to clearly and cogently discuss technical issues. You sound like a disgruntled employee who does not like his boss, but does like flapping his gums about something which he knows practically nothing. This is a good example of why only those who are trained in the issues and communicating with the public should be returning calls. You remind me of the guy who says he has extensive experience in the criminal justice field, because he has been throwing in jail a dozen times so he knows how it should be done.

  • TinaMc.

    It is time. It is time for those whom have been dragged into this pit of poisonous lies to step up to the plate. Just by being honest, you can right the world.

  • MM

    Who is making the decisions in this whole game? The governnor needs to speak up on who’s running the show.

  • Varenik

    Funny, this is how it used to be in Soviet Russia…

  • metroeco

    The only candidate for governor of PA intending to ban fracking: http://www.facebook.com/glover4governor

  • Finkster

    Back in the 60′s and 70′s the Drilling companies were drilling all across central and western Pennsylvania. But it wasn’t Horizontal. You can see evidence all over the place when you take a drive into rural areas. And in some areas wells have been in operation since before WW2. And it was not Political. It was just the normal exploration of natural resources that we needed as an expanding economy and more modern ways of use. It has become Political because of Money. The Money the Progressive Liberals want to have for their EVIL of Redistribution and Controls they seek over the economy. It has nothing to do with the Ecology and Health concerns for there are no Ecological or Health Issues because of the Gas Fields development. The History of the Drilling Industry has proven this for over 50+ years.
    Thousands of wells were in existence prior to Fracking coming to Pennsylvania a few years ago. And we had no fear of them until the surge of Fracking came into view and the Political Left ‘s GREED of making a bundle off this Industry. And Stupid Liberal people don’t get it, that any taxes levied on drilling is passed off to the consumer. The Gas Industry will still make a profit. It’s just the Intrusion of over regulation by government that increases the prices and causes Industry to move elsewhere for cheaper resources and less regulation.

    Good Bye Middle Class Industrial Employment. If Liberal Democrats and Rino’s have their way. Wake up Stupid People! We have seen the Loss of 100′s of thousands of Pennsylvania’s Industrial jobs to the Greed and Stupidity of Politico these past 4o years.

    • BigJared

      Conventional drilling and hydraulic fracturing are two completely different things, therefore most of your argument is invalid.

      • Finkster

        What would you know about the differences between Conventional Fracking and Horizontal Fracking ? My guess you know nothing but the Stupid Liberal Propaganda that is seeking controls on energy development to work this industry into their National Socialism Agenda.

        • The_White_Rabbit

          BigJared is correct. The new technology for deep fracking is not the same type of fracking done in the past. Nor is it similar to water well and even Superfund remediation fracking. It is Finkster than doesn’t have a clue.

          • Finkster

            What are you? A paid troll.
            I have been around Drilling since the 1970′s. The risk of Environmental harm is non existent. As a matter in fact Drilling across Pennsylvania has helped clean up the Environment. Do you even know the History of the Drilling Industry dating back into the late 1800′s. I didn’t think you did. Do you know any thing about Drake who pioneered Drilling in Pennsylvania? I didn’t think you knew about that either.
            Did you know that California has some of the most strict Environmental Laws, and if it wasn’t for the Drilling Industry California would still be a Natural Environmental Disaster. It was the drilling Industry that cleaned up the State of California. Just like the Drilling Industry cleaned up all of Western Pennsylvania from the Natural Environmental Hazards of the past, that made large areas suitable for habitation. NO, I didn’t think you knew that either….
            Do you have the COMPREHENSION to understand what our nations energy needs are and how much cheaper our energy could be if we got Politics out of the way. No… I didn’t think you had a clue.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Just cause you are around drilling does not mean you have a clue on contaminated groundwater. Yes, i know about the Drake well and the relatively shallow oil wells across Pennsylvania. Actually, the PADEP study of Surface Impoundment Assessments done decades ago did include old and new separator pits. Dead trees and contamination was common. Guess you didnt know about the suppressed EPA internal reports on Dimock, or the confidential report on Franklin Forks? We do need to get politics out of the way but let the environmental professionals do their normal jobs that has not been the case with Marcellus drilling. Sounds like you are the paid troll.

          • The_White_Rabbit

            Sounds like your drilling experience is sitting behind a desk, or you really learned very little during your career.

  • Orion

    http://fortune.com/2014/06/10/most-corrupt-states-in-america/
    Pennsylvania has been found to be the 5th most corrupt state in the nation…

  • Dennis Mudloff

    How deep must we travel down this rabbit hole?

  • craigpurcell

    Public Health ?

  • Raj

    Maybe everyone should be asking what is your governor doing about this?
    Maybe the fact he vigorously supports drilling has something to do with this?
    Call your Governor,
    Tom Corbett

  • johnward154

    Nov. 21, 1864. President Abraham Lincoln wrote.

    ” I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavour to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war.

    God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

    Abraham Lincoln

  • johnward154

    Corporations live or die by whether they can sustain growth. On this depends relationships to investors, to the stock market, to banks and to public perception. The growth imperative also fuels the corporate desire to find and develop scarce resources in obscure parts of the world.

    This effect is now clearly visible, as the world’s few remaining pristine places are sacrificed to corporate production. The peoples who inhabit these resource-rich regions are similarly pressured to give up their traditional ways and climb on the wheel of production-consumption. Corporate planners consciously attempt to bring “less developed societies into the modem world” to create infrastructures for development, as well as new workers and new consumers. Corporations claim that they do this for altruistic reasons to raise the living standard—but corporations have no altruism.

    Theoretically, privately held corporations—those owned by individuals or families—do not have the imperative to expand. In practice, however, their behavior is the same. Such privately held giants as Bechtel Corporation have shown no propensity to moderate growth.

    *

    Competition and Aggression: Corporations place every person in management in fierce competition with each other. Anyone interested in a corporate career must hone his or her ability to seize the moment. This applies to gaining an edge over another company or over a colleague within the company. As an employee, you are expected to be part of the “team,” but you also must be ready to climb over your own colleagues.

    Corporate ideology holds that competition improves worker incentive and corporate performances and therefore benefits society. Our society has accepted this premise utterly. Unfortunately, however, it also surfaces in personal relationships. Living by standards of competition and aggression on the job, human beings have few avenues to express softer, more personal feelings. (In politics, non-aggressive behavior is interpreted as weakness.)

    *

    Amorality: Not being human, corporations do not have morals or altruistic goals. So decisions that maybe antithetical to community goals or environmental health are made without misgivings. In fact, corporate executives praise “non-emotionality” as a basis for “objective” decision-making.

    Corporations, however, seek to hide their amorality and attempt to act as if they were altruistic. Lately, there has been a concerted effort by American industry to appear concerned with environmental cleanup, community arts or drug programs. Corporate efforts that seem altruistic are really Public relations ploys or directly self-serving projects.

  • Johnny Allison

    We are under siege but no one wants to accept that we are no longer in control. What can we do when government appointed institutions stand in the way of progress and commonwealth? When I say “commonwealth” I am referring to the wellness of the Nation and its people. When money ceases being the mere component and tool of the commonwealth it becomes corrupt. It becomes an illness.

    • Jack Wolf

      It’s been going on for decades and decades. I woke up about 10 years ago when I was told that climate change had progressed to a point to where it was irreversible. They have known about climate change at the highest levels since at least the 1960s, and no one did anything. (LBJ called it “inadvertent weather modification” in a speech he gave to congress).. Even Obama promoted fracking as a cleaner energy where it is clear from scientific studies that it’s total footprint is as large as coals. Yep, we’ve been totally sold out. As to what to do? Well, complain loudly for a start.

  • diaph

    Inverted totalitarianism. Gas/oil industry controlling politicians with cash. Sneaky laws. American are unaware. Read “Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism”. Sheldon Wollin, Princeton University Press.
    Americans are passive. We’ve never been attacked on our soil. THIS IS WAR. Many will die. Wake-up, people!

    • Jack Wolf

      They’re starting to wake up, and more continue to wake up with every extreme weather event.

  • debra haddix

    Wake up people…big gas is pulling all the strings in Washington..Obama and the EPA killing off coal all in the name of global warming but than cover up the environmental impact of fracking..has nothing to do with global warming big gas and Washington killing off competition!

  • thedeadtext

    Sounds like a nice place to live… lol

    • TinaMc.

      Look up the article “where not to live”… anybody want to buy a house?

  • Karin Wikoff

    A speaker from the DEC in NYS was asked how many complaints they had had from people complaining about the overspreading of liquid manure. He said there had not been one call from anyone in my town in the past year. Except — there were SIX people sitting in the audience who had all made calls. When pressed, the DEC guy said that it is at their discretion whether or not to log a call. So, you call, you have a legitimate complaint they don’t want to hear, they don’t log it, and then stand up in front of crowds of people who trust their word and tell them there were no such calls.

    I am quite sure the same thing happens with other industrial health issues, whether it’s constant methane exposure or e-coli in the water supply or ill-effects of fracking, those who are profiting are also creating a falsified view but not allowing research, turning people away and purposely not recording complaints.

  • Kitte Lishuss

    Two people who were, reliable, experienced people who made careers of public health, who were there when it happened, say what happened. Industry mouthpiece insider…errr “spokesperson”, Tysarczyk, says unequivocably none of it happened, point by point, by mentioning that’s simply not how they do things. Period. Meanwhile, Avila says, “said it would have been possible for one of the deputy secretaries in the department or the governor’s office to have taken such a step without his knowledge.” Who are we going to believe? The person on the receiving end of the orders, or the the words of two people who want nothing to do with whoever issued the orders. What we need are the names of these fracking “Companies” and their owners. They are individuals with identities. They need to be found and put in prison for poisoning people and trying to cover it up.

  • Pete56

    Bringing back the guillotine would be a good start to reinitializing the general notion of humanity

  • Rocky Racoon

    Better late than never. In Canada same thing, gutted laws, gutted depts., laid off environmental scientists, no public speaking without prior approval and shadowed by the STASI when you do. This is why environmental scientists are considered the biggest ” terrorist threat” Canada will probably face.

  • Rocky Racoon

    The Tyee – Ailing Shale Gas Returns Force a ‘Drilling Treadmill’1 day ago … “Shale gas can continue to grow, but only at higher prices and that growth will
    require an ever escalating drilling treadmill with associated …
    thetyee.ca/News/2014/06/27/Shale-Gas-Drilling-Treadmill/ – Similar
    The Tyee – Shale Gas Plagued By Unusual Methane Leaks6 May 2014 … According to a spate of recent scientific studies from the United States and
    Australia, the shale gas industry has generated another formidable …
    thetyee.ca/News/2014/05/06/Shale-Gas-Methane-Leaks/ – Similar
    The Tyee – Shale Gas: Myth and Realities7 Jan 2013 … A good person to ask is Anthony Ingraffea, a short and engaging scientist who
    knows how to separate fact from fiction in the shale gas industry.
    thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/07/Shale-Gas-Realities/ – Similar
    The Tyee – Swarms of Earthquakes Shake Up Shale Gas Fields31 Jan 2014 … Swarms of Earthquakes Shake Up Shale Gas Fields. Do tremors plaguing
    industry in Texas, Holland, and beyond offer a glimpse of BC’s future …
    thetyee.ca/News/2014/01/31/Shale-Gas-Earthquakes/ – Similar
    The Tyee – Shale Gas: How Clean Is It?10 Jan 2013 … But shale gas is not conventional natural gas. It’s much more energy intensive
    and often contains high amounts of CO2 or hydrogen sulfide.
    thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/10/How-Clean-Is-Shale-Gas/ – Similar
    The Tyee – Shale Gas: How Hard on the Landscape?8 Jan 2013 … The shale gas industry claims that it is doing everything it can to minimize its
    impact on forests and farms, but therein lies the resource’s second …
    thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/08/Shale-Gas-Hard-On-Landscape/ – Similar
    Documents Reveal Industry and Gov’t Collude on Shale Gas19 Aug 2011 … Alberta’s New Democrats have called for a special provincial investigation of
    controversial shale gas drilling following the release of two leaked …
    thetyee.ca/News/2011/…/Government-Industry-Collude-on-Shale-Gas/ – Similar
    The Tyee – Fracking Shale Gas: Myths and Realities8 Jan 2013 … Fracking Shale Gas: Myths and Realities. Veteran energy reporter Andrew
    Nikiforuk keys off Cornell University engineering professor Anthony …
    thetyee.ca/Series/2013/01/08/Fracking-Myths-And-Realities/ – Similar
    The Tyee – Shale Gas: How Often Do Fracked Wells Leak?9 Jan 2013 … One of the boldest claims made by the shale gas industry goes like this: oil and
    gas companies have drilled and fractured a million oil and gas …
    thetyee.ca/News/2013/01/09/Leaky-Fracked-Wells/ – Similar
    The Tyee – US Study Casts Pall over BC’s Shale Gas Biz9 Dec 2011 … An extensive study by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has
    concluded that highly toxic and cancer-causing fluids from shale gas …
    thetyee.ca/News/2011/12/09/US-Shale-Gas-Study/ – Similar

    • Rocky Racoon

      I hope the above helps the people of Maryland and all the states impacted by this disastrous practice in their efforts to bring it to an end.
      Hey mr science whataya say now?

  • Bryan Plumridge

    They want good, dumb, workers…. that’s all. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about your family. They offer illusion of choice in their(not your) elections. You are fools if you think you can vote one of their presidents in their office and things will change. They tax you and use your money for their motives, period. Why do you think that wars are only fought in drug/oil rich countries. Wake up people. Look up in your skies and take your faces out of your freaking smart phones. They have you all hypnotized.

  • BobSchmetzer

    accepting THE INDUSTRY’S MONEY AND CONTINUING TO LET THEM SCREW US, MAKES EVERYONE A PROSTITUTE ! Thanks to our elected officials who voted for Act 13 and the many bills that followed, and don’t forget our Governor, we need to get out of this sex trade , fast ! Feeling screwed and alone.

  • The_White_Rabbit
  • Jeff Brown

    Of course Governor Corbett is not going to do anything about this. He is the one who sold out the mineral rights for the whole state. Unless a court decision is made like the recent one in NY State, counties and municipalities cannot prevent fracking from going on in their own areas because the Governor sold the whole state down the river.

  • hommedespoir

    How many people are aware the the process called fracking is NOT about using waterpressure to force gas out of rock:
    Halliburton holds patents to a SECRET process which uses chemicals to catalyse the combination of Hydrogen in the water with the Carbon in the shale….
    The H and C combine to MAKE the gas called methane…
    Fracking is 90% about manufacturing methane IN the ground.
    …and the chemicals are killing us… for all Halliburton knows, or cares.

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