It may not be a "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"-style road trip, but Sen. Scarnati says he's willing to consider joining environmentalists for a tour of gasland - Marcellus Shale country that is.
Scarnati's chief of staff, Drew Crompton said via email the Senate president would consider joining PennEnvironment on an RV trip to see the effects of gas drilling providing it was "not a publicity stunt."
Crompton added, "if he wanted to do a worthwhile event in the district, the Senator would participate."
PennEnvironment executive director David Masur says his group is making a serious offer that is by no means a stunt.
"We want to give him the story he's not going to hear on a plane trip to the Super Bowl," said Masur. "We'd like to be able to show the Senator that every day hard working Pennsylvanians are negatively affected by drilling either their health or pocketbooks."
Masur said he was inspired to make the offer after a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blog suggested the trip through areas Marcellus Shale drilling areas after the Inquirer reported Scarnati had taken an all-expense paid trip to the Super Bowl courtesy of Consol Energy, a major gas and coal concern. Scarnati has since said he would pay back the company for the cost of the trip but that didn't stop the angry emails and phone calls from constituents and others angry that Scarnati would take a freebie from a company set to make millions off gas riches in the Marcellus Shale.
Crompton said Scarnati would limit the trip to his district which includes all or part of eight counies in northcentral and western Pennsylvnia including Cameron, Jefferson and Potter.
But Masur says the trip shouldn't be limited to Scarnati's district because all Pennsylvanians are affected by shale and Scarnati plays a pivotal role in legislation that can address their issues.
"If the Senator is driving decisions affecting people then he should hear their stories," Masur said.
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