Letter to the editor | Oppose oil-lobby-friendly bill

March 7, 2014 

In Pennsylvania, there are more than 2,500 miles of dead or degraded waterways due to past environmentally destructive methods of coal mining.

Could the coal barons of yesteryear have extracted their coal with an eye to protecting those waterways and still have made their vast fortunes? Of course they could have! But they chose not to for the sake of extra profit in their pockets.

Many residents may not be aware of impending Pennsylvania House Bill 1576, which is sponsored by the oil and gas lobby and was presented by its champions in the state House.

Its obvious aim is to weaken the state Game and Fish and Boat commissions by subjecting environmental decisions to a politically appointed review board.

In other words, politics will supplant sound science.

Why are they presenting this bill now with such vigor?

Can’t the oil and gas industry continue to make profits without attacking and weakening our much admired, tried-and-true environmental institutions?

Of course it can.

But that would mean less profit, regardless of the protection of the battered Pennsylvania ecosystem.

HB 1576 is coming up for a vote Monday. Please support the integrity of our Game Commission and Fish and Boat Commission by calling or emailing your state representatives and asking them to vote against this unnecessary bill.

Your grandchildren may thank you someday.

John Corr, State College

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