Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fracking news

A few articles in the news this past weekend on hydro-fracked gas drilling and other energy-related obscenities:

The Charleston Gazette had a good wrap-up of the Marcellus bill moving through the WV House of Delegates on Sunday, by AP writer Larry Messina. The latest news, just on the wires this morning (and not in the article), is that the “forced pooling” provision in the bill has been dropped. I’ll post an update from our friends in Charleston on this issue as soon as we get it.


Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Daily News has a blog post about how the new governor of Pennsylvania, Republican Tom Corbett, who received at least $875,000 from the oil and gas industry in 2010, has overturned the moratorium on fracking declared in that state as one of his final acts in office by former governor Ed Rendell. Here’s the account Bunch lifted from his own paper:

“Gov. Corbett has made good on his promise to reverse one of Ed Rendell's last acts as governor: he has rescinded an effective moratorium on natural gas drilling on state lands.

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports today that the Rendell document called “Policy for the Evaluation of Impacts of Oil and Gas Development on State Parks and State Forests” has been rescinded and erased from the Department of Environmental Protection website.

The four-month-old policy required environmental impact assessments be conducted by the Department of Conservation and National Resources before a driller could apply for a permit with the DEP.”


Finally, yet another governor in the pocket of industry and in the news in a big way is Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who seems to have no qualms about baring his fascist fangs at his own employees, whose collective bargaining rights he’s trying to remove in a now-infamous anti-union showdown.

As it turns out, a little-noticed provision in the same bill that guts workers’ rights, also allows the governor to sell off Wisconsin’s power plants in a no-bid secret process that may just benefit the biggest money men behind the Tea Party movement, the notorious Koch brothers, who already have a number of energy contracts with the state.


--Michael Hasty

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