What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 19, 2011

Gov. Corbett: Favoring natural gas severance tax is "un-American"

According to Scott Detrow -- who covers state government and politics for Pennsylvania's public radio stations, including WITF in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and WDUQ in Pittsburgh -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett called the concept of a natural gas severance tax "un-American." (Even though that's what they do in every other state.)

This would be in a speech he made before the State Association of Township Supervisors yesterday. And, the tax he would be so opposed to would be on those who come to PA to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale via fracking -- a process which aside from producing mini-earthquakes -- creates millions of gallons of contaminated water. We aren't allowed to know exactly what chemicals are contained in that water as the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. And, we found out confirmation this weekend via the New York Times that:
Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.
Hmm, now that sounds "un-American."

What also sounds "un-American" is Corbett's appointment of C. Alan Walker, "a coal industry cited numerous times for polluting streams and drinking water" to acting secretary for the state's Department of Community and Economic Development and to the state's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. Most importantly, Corbett "gave him authority to expedite and influence permits at any state agency, including the Department of Environmental Protection, which regulates drilling in the Marcellus Shale."

Hmm, having the fox guard the hen house. That used to be considered "un-American."

Keystone Progress has a petition that you can sign to let Corbett know what exactly you consider to be "un-American."


Gloria said...

Corbett wants us to 'move forward', flip the page on that ol' calendar, b/c we're no longer a gubmint made by the people for the people.

We're a gubmit game show & the price is right when it hits a million.

Piltdown Man said...

Corbett is perhaps the most radical Governor we've seen in modern PA times. I'm almost breathless when I see the depth of his hubris -- and how deeply he is in the pocket of the corporate elite which is the unseen hand behind all this. Little Tommy Corbett from Shaler bided his time, played his cards right and now just has to open the Radical Right playbook if he needs to know what to do.

I am waiting for some of my fellow feeble minded neighbors to understand that there is no free lunch, and that brutal cuts in the State budget, which Corbett has turned into a religious crusade ("No new taxes") will simply trickle down to their local municipalities. You can pay me now or pay me later... Will they get it, or not? I'm guessing not....

Conservative Mountaineer said...


It's about time some costs were 'pushed down' to those who are more directly benefiting or using government resources. Note I did not say *all*. I said *some*. Why should I, as a State taxpayer, pay any costs associated with, say, an expansion of services in the City or Philadelphia or Timbuctoo, PA that is redundant of current Federal and/or State services?

Messy to really implement, of course. Sorta nebulous, too, but the general concept/framework is what is important. A lot easier to vote local leaders in/out or have contact with local leaders than either State or Federal leaders.

Ol' Froth said...

Interesting that you would say that CM, since it is the rural counties that suck up far more of the state's overall budget for things like police protection and courts in relation to the amount of taxes that they pay to Harrisburg (see Hempfield Township, for example), while its the same, overwhelmingly conservative lawmakers from those same rural counties who continue to block funds for things like transit in Philadelphia and Allegheny County. Oh if ONLY each county received from Harrisburg in proportion to what each county contributes!