Target: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett
Goal: Stop funding the natural gas industry at the expense of the public sector.
Pennsylvania Republicans have allocated $150,000 to a Shale Advocacy group. According to TruthOut.org, this organization, Safer PA, is “controlled by gas industry lobbyists and corporations,” including Shell Exploration and Production. Safer PA will allegedly use this funding for “research” on natural gas extraction, also known as “fracking.” Although Safer PA masquerades as a non profit organization, it is actually a network of companies and organizations that stand to profit from the natural gas industry. Any research coming from Safer PA cannot therefore claim to be truly objective and free of bias.
This is not unusual in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where governor Tom Corbett’s administration is especially friendly with the natural gas industry; this new bill authorizing the state’s donation to Safer PA has blazed through the Senate. However, the status of a similar bill seeking state funds in order to examine the health ramifications of fracking remains inert. Essentially, PA Republicans are using state money to pay off their associates and flunkies in the natural gas industry while gutting the public sector. Let’s let Gov. Corbett know that we aren’t fooled. Why should education and healthcare systems crumble in Pennsylvania while the state lines the pockets of businessmen from Shell?
Dear Governor Tom Corbett,
Once again, your administration has elected to allocate funds toward the natural gas industry at the expense of the public sector. Hasn’t there been recent talk of privatizing liquor stores and of enacting massive public-sector layoffs? Despite this recent budget crisis, money managed to appear for payments to Safer, PA, a dubious “non-profit” composed of lobbyists and corporations tied to the natural gas industry. How can we expect unbiased research from company mouthpieces, especially when the many health risks of natural gas extraction remained unexamined?
You’ve made it clear that your administration’s agenda involves expansion of the natural gas industry and a shrinkage of public sector employees, along with a reduction in social benefits. You cannot cloak sweetheart deals in the guise of state donations to nonprofits; the Commonwealth will not stand for it. We condemn your allocation of funds to Safer PA, and we demand you invest more in the education and welfare of your citizens than in the pockets of shale industry men.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Marcellus Protest via Flickr