Stacking the Deck on the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission

Posted by By at 27 April, at 12 : 03 PM Print

Tom Corbett has given environmentalists more openings than they will ever need to question the legitimacy of decisions or policies adopted by the governor’s newly created Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.

More than a handful of drilling companies represented on the commission were fined, and, or cited last year for environmental violations. According to Clean Water Action those companies irregularities or oversights added up to 42 percent of all drilling issues last year. CWA came to that conclusion after analyzing records from the Department of Environmental Protection.

“This is an explosive problem,” said Jonathan Scott a spokesperson with Clean Water Action.

His statement to Rock The Capital mirrors what Myron Arnowitt also with Clean Water Action told the Patriot-News “Its pretty shocking,” Arnowitt heads up the environmental group in Pennsylvania,”Some of the very worst companies are on the commission.”

Those companies include Chief Oil and Gas, with 174 violations, it tops the list. Other names included Chesapeake Energy, Exxon Mobile, Chevron, and Range Resources.

How did these companies wind up with a seat on the advisory commission? Well, money certainly does not hurt. Clean Water Action found that all the drillers contributed to Governor Corbett’s campaign, to the combined tune of $790,000.

The primary concern for Clean Water is whose voices will rise, what will be done to protect the water. “The regulatory framework is not there, and there is a need for Pennsylvania to step up,” said Scott.

Clean Water and more than a dozen environmental groups have scheduled a protest today outside a commission meeting; requesting that the governor scrap the commission and form one that gives citizens a voice at the table.

RTC has calls into the Corbett administration, Chief Oil & Gas and Range Resources.

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