Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The LuLac Edition #1708, August 10th, 2011




The Times Leader recently ran an editorial on former Governor Tom Ridge's association with the Marcellus Shale industry. Ridge stepped down from his responsibilities with the oil interests. Here's is what the Leader wrote about his association with the industry. The Leader's point is that any influence perceived or not that Ridge contributed is now a non starter since the gas interests seem to have free rein.
It’s drill at will even minus a shill
FORMER GOV. TOM Ridge won’t shill for the pro-drilling public relations machine known as the Marcellus Shale Coalition much longer, now that his one-year, $900,000 contract with the natural gas industry booster has expired. And why should he?
The coalition doesn’t need to spend six figures on a “strategic advisor” of Ridge’s stature when, for all intents and purposes, the industry’s strategy in Pennsylvania these days is simple: It does what it wants.
It has met with minimal resistance so far.
The Legislature seemingly can’t – and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett emphatically won’t – act to slow the surge of new exploration across the state’s Northern Tier, despite public health and environmental concerns about the water-intensive drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Nor can elected officials in Harrisburg agree to collect an extraction fee from the industry, which is commonplace in other states. So for now, drilling firms that enter the Keystone State essentially get a free pass to siphon the prized fuel without putting any money toward a cleanup fund to handle potential future consequences. That’s a fantasy come true for the out-of-state energy companies and their shareholders, but spooky for state taxpayers who – as they did after the anthracite era burned out – might get stuck with astronomical expenses.
Whether Ridge worries much about the natural gas boom’s possible negative impacts on the people and landscapes of Pennsylvania remains unknown but to him. It’s not typical press release-type material.
By now, he and his Washington, D.C.-based Ridge Policy Group presumably have received payments for services rendered to the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Even without him, the coalition has the chief cheerleader it wants: The guy who currently lives in the governor’s mansion.


At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical of Gov. Ridge and the big business republicans. Take the money and run and to hell with the rest of us!


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