Energy. Environment. Economy.

Krancer (Once Again) Tells Washington To “Back Off”

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer.

Last month, StateImpact Pennsylvania detailed Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer’s adverse relationship with the federal government:

When the EPA began an inves­ti­ga­tion of whether or not the water in Dimock, Susque­hanna County was safe to drink, Krancer essen­tially told EPA Admin­is­tra­tor Lisa Jack­son she didn’t know what she was talk­ing about.

“We real­ize and rec­og­nize that EPA is very new to all of this and the EPA’s under­stand­ing of the facts and sci­ence behind this activ­ity is rudi­men­tary,” he wrote. “For­tu­nately, Penn­syl­va­nia is not new to all of this and we have a long his­tory of expe­ri­ence at over­see­ing and reg­u­lat­ing oil and nat­ural gas extrac­tion activ­i­ties in our state, includ­ing hydraulic fracturing.”

…Sit­ting in his Har­ris­burg office, Krancer said the EPA doesn’t always trust the state’s judg­ment.  “It’s amaz­ing to me some­times how stu­pid the EPA has dis­cov­ered we became as of Jan­u­ary 19, 2011,” he said, point­ing to the date the Repub­li­can Cor­bett Admin­is­tra­tion took con­trol. “And I con­tinue to say that. It is some­what frus­trat­ing because I do have 2,600 of the best experts on the planet…and I think some­times my fed­eral part­ners don’t rec­og­nize that.”

Yesterday, Krancer took that message directly to Washington, telling a House committee the federal government needs to “back off” of drilling oversight, and let states take the lead.

At one point, Democrat Gerry Connolly compared Krancer’s states-first stance to the arguments segregated states made against federal integration efforts in the 1950s. Politico reported on the exchange:

A heated exchange unfolded after Krancer stated his initial position on the federal government’s role.

“I don’t think the issue is whether the federal government has a role [to regulate fracking],” Krancer said. “The issue is whether the federal government should have a pre-emptive role. It should not. … The question is a fundamental one: Are you in a better place in Washington to tell us what to do?”

Connolly responded: “Those are the same kinds of arguments that were used for generations. If we were talking 40 to 50 years ago about Jim Crow laws in the South and civil rights, we wouldn’t have heard testimony at this table.”

This is the second time in eight months that Krancer has testified before a House panel. His November appearance had confrontational moments, too, though Jim Crow laws were never references.

Here’s some video from yesterday’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing, which, it’s worth pointing out, certainly had a loaded agenda. The hearing was titled “Rhetoric vs. Reality, Part II: Assessing the Impact of New Federal Red Tape on Hydraulic Fracturing and American Energy Independence”


  • KeepTapWaterSafe

    ridiculous. the feds are involved because of the public outcry Krancer and Corbett ignore! just because they want the issue of pollution from fracking to go away doesn’t make it disappear. Pennsylvania is a perfect example of why we need strong federal oversight.

  • John Trallo

    Michael Krancer needs to be challenged and called out on his
    misleading testimony and
    outright lies. Watch and listen to his testimony which begins right after
    Cornell’s Dr. Robert Howarth at
    22:16 minutes. Continue to listen to more of Krancer’s lies when questioned by
    Mr. Connolly. Krancer wants no pre-emptive federal oversight of oil and gas
    activities to interfere, or override state regulations.

    Also, note how Chairman Lankford and Vice-Chairman Kelly ask Krancer
    leading questions designed to dismiss any environmental problems and health
    risks in Dimock, and act like that is the only instance of any
    problems. Lankford and Kelly also parrot endlessly the industries tired
    ‘talking points’ of “energy independence, jobs, economic benefits, and of
    course, ‘no documented case of ground water contamination’”.

    These people need to be called out, by the people who are well
    informed, and those whose lives are being ruined by this industry.

    Commitee on Oversight and Government

    Rhetoric vs. Reality, Part II: Assessing the Impact of New Federal Red Tape
    on Hydraulic Fracturing and American Energy Independence. Watch the entire hearing:

    • Jane Morrash Tolomello

      here! here!

  • DoryHippauf

    Krancer wants “big government” to keep it’s nose out of state’s business.   How many times, over the years, have we heard the Republicans complain about “big government”?   

    The smallest form of government is the local government, the government in every town and city which directly serves the people, which plans for it’s own future, which determines it’s own path for growth for THE PEOPLE.   

    With that in mind, I find it ironic that Krancer, Corbett and the republican PA legislature, through ACT 13 (and similar) have decided BIG HARRISBURG GOVERNMENT sticking it’s nose into LOCAL SMALL GOVERNMENT is perfectly fine.  That BIG HARRISBURG GOVERNMENT will now decided the zoning and thus decide on the future, the growth path and wellbeing of every city and town in Pennsylvania.

    Geee. what’s wrong with this picture?

  • hmontaigne

    I want the EPA involved. Krancer needs to be reminded that his agency is the Department of Environmental Protection, not the Department of Enabling Corporate Pillaging.

  • Julieann Wozniak

    Who does Krancer work for? Citizens like me, who live in Greene County, don’t trust PADEP and WELCOME EPA’s oversight.

  • Jslesing

    Krancer is really getting backed into a corner. Of course he doesn’t want the EPA involved. He is afraid the truth will come out about the Pa DEP and their “Cash Cow” will come to an end. I think its only a matter of time till Krancer goes running with his tail between his legs just like the previous director. 

  • Jane Morrash Tolomello

    This is WHY we NEED to KEEP our EPA involved!!!!  Krancer wants to do what Krancer wants to do!!  AND THAT IS TO BE CORBETT AND THE GAS INDUSTRIES PUPPET!!!  A very very very RICH puppet!!!!  He is NOT WAshington..HE is NOT FEDERAL Government…that is WHY we NEED TO have FEDERAL Government …to protect us…FROM OUR TYRANNICAL STATE!!!!!!!!!  This Pennsylvania administration is destroying our state!!  THey are threatening the lives of their citizen’s!..They are putting Industry and GREED over the safety AND  health of  the citizens of this beatutiful state..while allowing this gas industry to   destroy our land!..Take away and destroy natural habitats by plowing thru wetlands…cutting down trees…(personally know of them cutting down tree that housed bats during their hibernation period…killing them)… reguard to nature…NO REGUARD TO LIFE!! ANIMAL OR HUMAN!!!!!…THIS STATE IS ALLOWING THIS INDUSTRY TO  ruin nieghbors drinking water…as they continue to be “UNREGULATED’ and CONTINUE TO HIDE .. ALL OF THE POLLUTION AND ‘ACCIDENTS, that just so unfortunately happen!!!’..Accidents that  ’accidently’ allow frack water to get into our local streams and water supplies!  ACCIDENTS THAT THE DEP TURN THEIR HEADS and go thru the ‘roles of PRETENDING  they care’.AS THEY ROLE THEIR EYES’ AND LAUGH AT CITIZENS CONCERNS…!!!! (I have witnessed these actions personally!).  This industry claims an Accident, ONLY AFTER THEY GET CAUGHT…but of couse then, they claim that the toxins they are spilling into our local streams and water ways..are  ’not dangerous’.it only has a little radon..and a little bit of arcenic.(.just to name a few!) But nothing that is ‘harmful’..Hey..what are a few carcinogens getting into your drinking water here and there…right?..I am sure if  an infant drinks water containing these carcinigents for the next 15 years…that little bit wouldn’t hurt !?..Will it hurt …IF MOTHER’s DRINK A LITTLE RADON..AND A LITTLE ARSINC..OR A FEW CARCINIGENS..while they are pregnant..would those babies  be fine too??…. THOSE  BABIE’S  BODIES are being FORMED WITH JUST A FEW CARCINIGENS..but…it can’t be all that bad..right???  What happens to these 10 15 years??? What happens when PA children are dying of cancer at the ages of 10 to 20 years old!! What do we tell them .. when they ask why NO ONE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STEPPED IN TO HELP THEM WHEN OUR GOVERNOR WAS KILLING THEM!!!!!! LEGALLY !!!!! WITH NO REGULATATIONS…BECAUSE MICHAEL KRANCER DIDN’T THINK WE NEEDED ANY…AND THAT IT WASN’T THE BUSINESS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!!!!!!!!   The DEP and this industry deny and hide from all of the  ’accidents’  that this industry is responsible for  and ignore their responsiblities when they destroy our water!  I have witnessed them ignore and refuse to  recognize the ‘blow outs’ that frequently happen..when they drill under wetlands for all of that drilling mud…gets into our wetlands..and then into our creeks..that lead to our streams..that lead to our OUR HOMES!…The government and industry brag of jobs and towns thriving..However, Pennsylvanians see many more out of state license plates then we do our own.  The towns that are thriving, are the ones who house all of the out of towners brought in by the industry.  They don’t talk about the crime it brings…  They don’t talk about the hiring of illegals.  They don’t talk about the hires that do NOT know a thing about drillng or pipelaying..but that they are ‘on the job trained’..!..On the job trained to lay GAS PIPELINES!!!  24″ PIPELINES.!!  THE KINDS THAT WHEN THEY EXPLODE (MOSTLY DUE TO FAULTY WELDING)…TAKE OUT NEIBORHOODS..AND TAKE LIVES!!!!!!!..(SUCH AS SAN BRUNO, CA)….These are just a few of  the things PA GOVENMENT has to hide!!!   They do not want inspectors going in there…making sure none of these things are happening…because if they did..theyw ouldn’t be able to push their gas in ..and get it flowing before anyone gets shut down…It is like a race..!!  This state’s goons and this industry …  have ALL lost their minds..!  They have NO Reguard to the residents of this state! NONE!!!! …SOMEONE HAS TO STEP IN AND SHUT THEM DOWN!  CORBETT AND HIS GOONS HAVE GOT TO GO!!! BEFORE THEY KILL US ALL…GREED OVER LIVES SHOULD BE THIS STATES NEW MOTTO…!!!!!!  MAYBE WE SHOULD START PUTTING IT ON OUR LICENSE PLACE!!  COME ON WASHINGTON..GET A SET AND STAND UP TO THIS WEASLE..!!!!  THIS STATE NEEDS YOU..THAT IS WHY YOU ARE THERE!!! TO OVERSTEP OUR GOVERNMENT..IF OUR GOVERNMENT IS OVER STEPPING THEIR BOUNDS!! PLEASE…STEP IN AND SAVE US!! 

  • Erwin Dale Brown

    Krancer knows exactly what he is doing. He is getting paid to “run inter-FEAR-ance. He is a paid upper-level propagandist and everyone is watching him do it. He can not do what he does and also say that he “represents the will of the people” of the state of Pennsylvania. When we talk about political criminals worth prosecuting, like Mr. Krancer you have to have a legal focus. Here it is and it fits in all matters concerning ”political persons paid with public money”. The legal question is; Is his or her behavior REPRESENTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE he is charged to represent. A person in Mr. Krancer or Tom Corbett’s position can no longer do anything legally that represents themselves or others outside the populus they are BOUND to represent. Being “BOUND” to “REPRESENT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE” is legal grounds for impeachment and prosecution if the individual is doing anything outside the confines of his position. Ask a lawyer, ask 10,000 lawyers the answer will remain the same. You have the right to remove or jail a political person if they DONOT REPEPRESENT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. 

  • vince

    Wow!  Only negative comments?  When you boil down the rhetoric what should be left is a list of areas where the state knew best and a list where EPA got it right.  Then more neitral observers can decide for themselves.  I just don’t think that name-calling is appropriate here.  A populist can be a populist wtthout name-calling. I’d prefer a more reasoned conversation where the merits of the two positions are discussed.

    • hmontaigne

      The comments are negative because people who have bothered to inform themselves on the subject know that our governor has received over a million dollars in campaign donations from the gas companies. That the gas companies have donated to, er, bought out, community leaders in order to further their plans without obstruction by vulnerable citizens. You have to assume that Corbett and Krancer would not want a well pad or pipelines in their front yards, but they are quite willing to sacrifice the rest of the state.

      • Russ Keating

        Krancer’s “experts” committed 1,192 violations in 2011. When you consider the number of wells and limited resources for oversight, just imagine how many companies didn’t ”get caught” by the DEP. Corbett & Co. never hesitated to lease our state forests and I hear the state parks are next. When I heard the  Susquehanna River was named the most endagndered river in America, I thought wow, that should raise some concern. Nope, just another bullet dodged on the way to the bank. So the fish populations are diseased and diminshing rapidly and Krancer said it’s got nothing to do with fracking. You would think the head of the DEP would make restoring the Susquehanna as a priority regardless of the fracking, right? Nope, his message was let’s just move on. Where is Maryland in all this? When you think that the PA frack zone runoff impacts the Delaware River, the Susquehanna River, the Ohio, the Allegheny – we’re talking about a large area of impact. THE EPA MUST GET INVOLVED!!!
        Now I see a Chinese company has formed a subsidiary with Chesapeake Energy and there are similar deals in the works. All of this is fine with Corbett, Krancer, the Marcellus Coalition led by ex-governor Ridge, another greedy, sneaky, irresponsible politician (all republican btw) leading the charge. They rushed to dig wells to create a gas surplus so they can utimately sell to the highest bidder around the globe. Only a fool or someone on the payroll could possibly believe this whole thing is about jobs and low cost energy for the citizens of PA. There are planes that leave every Friday and Sunday from numerous airports (primarily Texas) that are FILLED with workers that do not live in PA. It made me sick – this whole thing is disgusting - and it’s criminal. Can we get a class action suit together or what? Fight fire with fire? Something has to change.  

        • Mkpitt567

          i used to travel extensively all over pa and wv and 95% of people working in shale formation are NOT from pennsylvania and wv and the state will not mandate any minimum hiring requirements for pa and wva residents. This should be proof enough for anyone even the pro-drilling republicans, that jobs are not and never have been a priority for the corbett adm. if it was, he could have set up training facilities all over pa to train people but that hasnt happened and it wont. i cannot bekieve we are sitting by and watchimg this happen. Pa is one of the most beautiful states and these people are using it for personal gain. we need to cut this legislative body in half and add an addendum to the state constitution allowing recall.

    • Jane Morrash Tolomello

      LET ME GUESS…YOU either work for the industry..the PA government…and last but not least…YOU DO NOT HAVE THE GAS INDUSTRY AS YOUR ‘GOOD’ NEIGHBOR..!!!!!  When they move in next door to YOU…then…let me hear your comments..I am sure..they will NOT be pretty!!!@!!

      • vince

        Hi Jane,
        I do not work for the energy industry and I do not work for the state either as a careerist or Corbett political appointee and I live in a PA county with no natural gas extraction.  Understand that I’m not denegrating any point of view nor am I sure what mine is.  I see job numbers and economic activity where there was little before.  I also see environmental issues and gas lease issues as well as problems with Act 13 re intermittant streams.  As a former debate coach and student of public administration, I was trying to flesh out the issues by getting away from the emotional intensity and towards one reletive to the regulatory resources being brought to bear in PA versus a perception held by most on this blog that the feds must be involved because PA is not overseeing as it should.  I did not mean to get you or hmontaigne so riled up.

  • Mkpitt567

    The only thing Krancer knows is whats he”s told by his handlers from big oil and gas. He is selling out the state, the people of this state and this country by letting these companies contaminate water all over the state. They are pawns of the oil companies and i’m sure both have cushy, high paying jobs waiting for them in 2 years. They have set up a system of compliance with these companies that is stunning and no one will do anything to help us. These companies are exempt from almost any regulation, including: trucks that transport fracking fluid do not have to show markings on their trucks, they are not randomly stopped and searched like other large traucks, they have been involved in countless dumping incidents. The wells: once they begin drilling, they do not have to inform the land owner if there are leakes or any other negative impact issues occuring at the site. 6-8% of all wells in Pa leak due to conctrete failure but they continue to use the site. The state has minimal inspectors available to keep up with all the wells being dug. Methane migration is ahuge problem that corbett and krancer ignore because they know the impact is going to be horrible. Once we realize the extent of the leaks, the companies will pull out and we will be stuck with the huge bill to clean it up because all these companies are exempt. The reason the fracking ingredients are secret is because it would be simple to track the contents after it leaks into drinking water. Everyone wants to pretent the chemicals are safe and couldnt possibly cause a problem but no one in gvt. will admit the truth and we will pay for it. Then we are giving over a billion dollars to shell oil, one of the most profitable companies in the world, to add more pollution to the air in western Pa. 17k jobs is a lie as well, just like we were lied to about the income from slots and 2 brand new stadiums. Its all lies and I wonder why we keep putting up with it from these incompetent people.

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