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Public health isn’t a numbers game - a response to John Hanger

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By Nadia Steinzor

September 28, 2012

The most fundamental truth uncovered in Earthworks’ just-released report Breaking All the Rules: the Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulation, is that states are falling tragically short in enforcing their own oil and gas development rules.

It is good to see that John Hanger, ex-Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), does not argue that truth.

But even if the numbers shift a bit in some months, the key question that was the impetus to this research remains:

"Can the public have confidence that their health, air and water are being protected?”

Citing different numbers does not even begin to answer this question because the Pennsylvania DEP addressed its enforcement inadequacies in the same manner that allowed the problem to develop in the first place: DEP looked at the amount of drilling as something outside their control, and defined their ability to govern that drilling in terms of the limited resources available to them.

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Tagged with: enforcement, pennsylvania department of environmental protection, inspections, transparency, john hanger


Shale Gas Outrage

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By Nadia Steinzor

September 24, 2012

The debate over shale gas often focuses on staid things like price per million cubic foot, corporate governance, and production figures. Then there’s the human side, the growing number of people nationwide whose lives have been forever changed by the rush to drill. Their views are expressed not in spreadsheets, but in tragically true stories of poor health and polluted water and air.

Last week in Philadelphia, hundreds of citizens, activists, and energy and environmental experts gathered to voice Shale Gas Outrage over the heavy burdens being placed on communities and the environment. Philadelphia was one stop in the journey to Stop the Frack Attack, kicked off by Washington, DC, Columbus, OH, and Albany, NY, and followed soon by Harrisburg, PA and many other places.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, shale gas, shale gas outrage


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