Sunday, December 28, 2014

Don't let the revolving door hit you on the way out to the flaming tap water

Don't let the revolving door hit you on the way out to the flaming tap water

More evidence that Pennsylvania is totally fracked:

BUFFALO, N.Y. The oil and gas industry frequently argues that fracking means jobs. "This appears to be especially true for former regulators and other public officials in Pennsylvania," finds the Public Accountabiity Initiative, a watchdog group based here.

Numerous top government officers and environmental regulators in Pennsylvania have either left their public jobs for careers in the oil and gas industry or come to government from the industry, according to the report. "The revolving door trend in Pennsylvania raises questions about whether regulators are serving the public interest or private industry interests in their oversight of fracking," the group states in a summary of its findings. (Click here to read the full report as a pdf)

The following are major findings from the report: 

Pennsylvania’s previous three governors have strong ties to the natural gas industry. Tom Ridge’s firms benefited from a $900,000 contract to lobby for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Mark Schweiker joined a lobbying firm with a Marcellus Shale practice, and Ed Rendell is a partner in a private equity firm invested in fracking services companies and recently lobbied on behalf of driller Range Resources. Current governor Tom Corbett also has strong ties to the industry – he received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and previously worked as a lawyer for Waste Management, which is active in the Marcellus Shale.

It gets worse -- read the whole thing. Money is just an all-corrupting magnet, and fracking is where the money is right now. If you think this is an example of the glory of our free-enterprise system, that's fine. But just remember that the folks who at this very minute are deciding whether your tap water is safe to drink are angling for the next generation of jobs with the industry they're supposed to be regulating. And no one wants to disappoint their next boss.

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Will Bunch
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