Bills would harm residents
SB 790 and HB 1635 are both now in the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and are said to be fast tracked for action. Both bills are designed to increase government subsidies and other benefits for the fossil fuel industry at the expense of citizens and their environment. Among other issues, they would loosen requirements for reporting spills and legalize road dumping of drilling wastewater.
Lots of legalized underreporting and dumping will happen in Tioga, Potter and Bradford counties. The dumping is required to occur at least 150 feet from streams, which is nothing on a rainy day. On the way to the streams, which flow everywhere, dangerous chemicals will be absorbed by fields, crops, home gardens, lawns and forests. On dry days, runners, cyclists, motorcyclists, dog walkers and their dogs will inhale these industrial gifts.
Senator Scarnati, a sponsor of SB 790, is a long time darling of the fossil fuel industry. State Representative Owlett is a sponsor of HB 1635. It is not realistic to expect either to support their constituents’ health and well being over industry interests.
Nonetheless, we should let them know what we think. I hope many voters will do so.
I also hope many people will join me in urging Governor Wolf to veto these terrible bills, should they become law.
Trump guilty of extortion, not quid pro quo
Donald Trump is right. There was no “quid pro quo” in his call with the Ukrainian president.
“Quid pro quo” (this for that) implies an exchange. Back in the schoolyard, quid pro quo was “If you give me your apple I’ll give you my orange” or ”I’ll do your homework.”
What Donald said was “I took your lunch money and if you do my homework I might give it back.” That’s extortion. Soliciting a bribe, and bribery is one of the two specific crimes that the Founding Fathers defined as deserving of impeachment.
Donald held back military aid to an ally that has been invaded by Russia. While this country has withheld foreign aid in cases where the proposed recipient didn’t meet all of the criteria set out in the legislation, that’s not what happened here. Defensive aid was passed on a bipartisan basis, and Ukraine was certified to receive it by both the State Department and the DOD.
What Donald wanted was an announcement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on CNN, that he was investigating Joe Biden, a potential opponent in the next election. I doubt that he even wanted an actual investigation, an announcement would do just fine. Ukrainians died waiting for that aid.