By Myron Arnowitt, Pennsylvania Director
Over the past two years Governor Tom Corbett and the anti-environment, pro-gas industry legislature have dramatically increased the favors and handouts for those who profit from gas drilling in our state. Passage of Act 13 earlier this year opened up gas drilling and pipelines to virtually anywhere in the state. Act 13 took local zoning control away from townships where it was being used to keep drilling out of neighborhoods and away from schools.
At the same time, our elected representatives have made unacceptable cuts to the budget for the Department of Environmental Protection, while giving billion dollar tax breaks to billion dollar companies like Shell. If the current leadership in Harrisburg is allowed to continue its agenda, even more damage will be done to Pennsylvania’s natural resources and our water supplies will put at greater risk than any time in recent history. It’s time to put a stop to this — with your votes on November 6th.
The 2012 election is your chance to ensure that lawmakers’ utter disregard for Pennsylvania’s environment does not continue. Clean Water Action has endorsed a slate of pro-environment candidates who will fight to turn things around in Harrisburg and in Washington D.C.
In Bucks County, Kathy Boockvar is running in the U.S. House 8th Congressional District to unseat incumbent Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. Boockvar has taken strong positions on the problems with fracking. Rep. Fitzpatrick often claims to be ‘moderate’ on the environment, but only scored 25% in Clean Water Action’s latest Congressional Scorecard, and he even voted to block new restrictions on toxic mercury pollution.
Several of Clean Water Action’s endorsed candidates are challenging incumbent state legislators who have voted to take local control over gas drilling away from townships, while handing out tax breaks to oil companies and cutting state environmental protection budgets. In Chester County both Bret Binder (156th District) and Paul Drucker (157th District) are making strong challenges and Clean Water Action need every voter to support them. In Allegheny County, Dave Levdansky is seeking to take back his seat in the 39th District.
Clean Water Action is also working to ensure that some of Pennsylvania’s strongest environmental champions are re-elected to the State House. Rep. Steve Santarsiero in Bucks County’s 31st District has had one of the best pro-environment records over the past four years in office. Clean Water Action also strongly urges support for Eugene DePasquale for state Auditor General. DePasquale scored 100% on Clean Water Action’s state environmental scorecard this year, and has pledged to provide independent oversight of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Please remember to support all these candidates on November 6!