I was startled by U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson’s opinion piece (“Reclaiming Pa.’s coal heritage”) in the April 12 CDT. Thompson seeks credit for introducing bipartisan legislation to fund and better promote economic revitalization and development in economically distressed communities, through the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources affected by legacy mining.
However, Thompson also voted in February to roll back environmental protections that limit the dumping of mining waste in local waterways. The Stream Protection Rule was overturned in a much less bipartisan way by the House, Senate and President Trump.
This is clear hypocrisy. How can Thompson on the one hand make it easier for mining companies to pollute our environment, and on the other hand ask for public funds to clean up the messes these same companies made to our communities? My conclusion is that he wants it both ways: support from mining companies for helping to increase their profits, and credit from communities as the congressional hero who helps clean up the environmental damages he helped facilitate. This strategy may be good for Thompson, but it is not helpful for Pennsylvanians.
Terrence Guay, State College