DEP chief Quigley had to go

The end came quickly for John Quigley. For some, it was not quick enough.

The secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection resigned Friday, most assuredly with a push from Gov. Tom Wolf. The last straw appeared to be an April memo Quigley had written, critical of not only state legislators — Republican and Democrat — but also of Wolf.

Quigley was not pleased with the pace of consideration of new and stricter shale and oil drilling rules. He also was said to be displeased with delays in changing clean-air regulations. Some legislators said Quigley did not play well with others.

More more troubling was the impression that Quigley was a dishonest broker. Indeed, his job as DEP chief was to protect the commonwealth’s environment. But he often appeared to be too cushy with the more extreme factions of the environmental lobby — lobbying the lobbyists to lobby even more.

And Quigley’s discounting of the shale gas and oil industries in an investor conference call in March was simply poor form. Encouraging responsible gas and oil extraction while protecting the environment need not be mutually exclusive. It was that balance that eluded Quigley.

“Secretary Quigley demonstrated poor judgment,” state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Luzerne, said in part. Which is why he had to go.

The above editorial appeared in The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.