On Tuesday, February 19, I hosted a meeting of the House Democratic Policy Committee on the subject of the PA Department of Environmental Protection and their approach to environmental testing in Marcellus Shale drilling areas. Unfortunately, the DEP failed to participate in the hearing, dismissing it as ‘political theater’. Instead of trying to argue, I decided to just show you video of the entire hearing and let you decide for yourself.
As I mentioned at the conclusion of the hearing, what you heard throughout the hearing was not an attack on natural gas drilling but on the DEP’s clear lack of due diligence to enforce its own regulations. Public confidence in the DEP is essential for both residents and the gas industry if we want the Marcellus Shale to be a long-term economic generator for our region. Unfortunately, the DEP’s unwillingness to demonstrate some basic transparency and accountability by showing up raises many more questions than answers.
Here are three excellent articles covering the proceedings:
“Residents testify to lack of DEP oversight at policy hearing” by Christie Campbell, Washington Observer-Reporter
“Residents take DEP to task in hearing about fracking” by Rachel Morgan, Beaver County Times/ShaleReporter.com
Here is the unedited video of the entire hearing:
Thank you to all of the citizens who came to testify, come of whom traveled from across the state to be there. I particularly want to thank Judy Armstrong Stiles, whose story brought the entire room to a standstill. As my colleague, Rep. Kevin Boyle from Philadelphia said, “I apologize for DEP. As Pennsylvania citizens, you deserve better.”
Unfortunately, some in the natural gas industry like the site Marcellus Drilling News were quick to dismiss the hearing as a “2.5 Hour Gripe Session”, even though they weren’t there and didn’t ask to testify themselves. Disappointing reaction that only perpetuates many of the concerns people have about the DEP and their role in Marcellus Shale development.Scridb filter