Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WV Marcellus "emergency"

At a press conference yesterday, West Virginia's acting governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced (with gas industry lobbyists standing behind him at the podium) that he had signed an executive order directing the WV Department of Environmental Protection to implement some "emergency" regulation of Marcellus shale hydrofracking.

As Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette noted in a blog post, the new regulations first appeared at a gas industry website, thereby confirming that Tomblin had sought the approval of his corporate masters before his announcement.

On a positive note, the fact that Tomblin finally and officially recognized that the lack of regulation is an "emergency" is a demonstration that the growing public awareness of the dangers of the fracking process is putting some pressure on the political class, especially Tomblin, who is facing a special election in October for the position of real--not acting--governor.

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