By Dr. John Gilmore
A friend received a petition being distributed by Penn Environment
through email to inform our State Governor about the desire for more
safety regulations to protect the environment and forests in central
PA. Instead of receiving “email sent” upon completing it, she
received a smiling picture of the governor and a code that was called
a puzzler that one had to answer before the email would be accepted.
There was basically a code like FQAH6 (an actual code) and a place
where one had to type in the meaning of the code in order for the
mail to go through. Whether one agrees with Penn Environment or not,
this is yet another example of inaccessible government doing the will
of corporate interest instead of the people and taxation without any
representation. Penn Environment is supporting the legislative
process of regulation in drilling due to the following reasons:
drilling contributed to the contamination of the drinking water
supply of 325,000 people near Pittsburgh in 2008.
drilling has contaminated drinking water in seven Pennsylvania
counties with dangerous methane gas.
the past year, nearly a dozen different drilling companies have been
caught breaking cornerstone environmental laws, such as the Clean
Water Act, at their drilling sites.
September, drilling activities spilled 8,000 gallons of harmful
pollution into Stevens Creek in northeastern Pennsylvania.
now, state officials are considering policies to help protect the
public from the dangers of gas drilling. Unfortunately it seems that
the people are not allowed to have any input in the process—yet
again, and the government is not interested in hearing what the
people think. Whether one is far left, far right, or even out in the field the one thing that we all need is a government that serves the people and makes decisions based on their input. This is what is known as democracy. There is nothing like democracy that works.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much of it in our country in the 21st Century.