Saturday, June 27, 2020

EarthWorks: Wolf Administration Must Stop Issuing New Oil & Gas Permits After Attorney General’s Grand Jury Report

There have been many reactions to and comments on the Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s announcement of the Grand Jury Report on regulatory failuresPA Environment Digest will continue to post those comments as they are received so there can be an informed discussion of the issues raised in the Report--

Nadia Steinzor, Manager of the Community Empowerment Project at Earthworks issued this statement on June 26--

“The Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General's Grand Jury Report shows a systemic failure to protect residents from fracking that Governor Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection can no longer ignore. More than a decade into the fracking boom, they must finally reckon with the truth that so many have spoken for so long. 

“We applaud the Grand Jury's work and Attorney General Sharpiro's courage in calling out criminal acts.

“The report makes clear that state government agencies charged with protecting the people of Pennsylvania have been unable and unwilling to fulfill their public mandates, choosing instead to prioritize support for a reckless expansion of oil and gas operations. Many companies have taken advantage of DEP's lack of oversight and enforcement to act carelessly and with impunity.   

“Consequently, Governor Wolf and his administration should immediately stop the issuance of new permits for oil and gas operations until the DEP has sufficient resources, a clear plan, and agency commitment to put health and the environment before industry profit.

“The AG's findings and DEP's longstanding inability to fulfill its mandate explains why many Pennsylvanians have demanded an end to oil and gas operations. Now, the state also has to content with the industry's severe climate impacts. It's abundantly clear that it’s past time for state leaders to take action to transition Pennsylvania away from fossil fuels and toward a renewable energy future.”

EarthWorks has previously issued a series of reports related to unconventional and conventional oil and gas development in Pennsylvania.

-- Reports by Earthworks

     --  Gas Patch Roulette (2012)

     -- Breaking all the Rules, PA (2012)

     -- Blackout in the Gas Patch (2014)

     -- Permitted to Pollute (2017)

-- Press Releases by Earthworks

     -- Coalition release on stronger DEP protections from PA government (2011)

     -- Coalition release demanding DEP transparency on water pollution and resident impacts (2012)

     -- Earthworks release highlighting DEP prioritizing permitting of oil and gas operations during COVID over inspections from citizen complaints (2020

-- Other relevant information

     -- Auditor General’s Performance Audit of the PA DEP (2014)

     -- Public Herald’s Investigative Report on DEP Misconduct (2017)

     -- Attorney General’s Grand Jury report (2020)

Click Here for the original EarthWorks post.


-- AP-Mark Scolforo: AG Grand Jury Finds Systematic Regulatory Failures In Natural Gas Drilling

-- Don Hopey/Laura Legere: AG Shapiro: Grand Jury Report Reveals PA’s Systemic Failure To Regulate Shale Gas Industry

-- Stephen Caruso: AG Shapiro Calls Out Gas Drillers; Faults PA Agencies For Not Adequately Watchdogging The Industry

-- Frank Kummer: AG Releases Scathing Grand Jury Report On Fracking Industry, State Regulators

-- Reid Frazier/Susan Phillips: PA Grand Jury Report On Fracking: DEP Failed To Protect Public Health

-- Charlie Thompson: PA Attorney General’s Report Highlights Shortfalls In State’s Marcellus Shale Oversight

-- Grand Jury: State Failed To Protect Public From Fracking

-- Grand Jury Report Blasts DEP, Health Department Over Fracking Failures In PA

-- WITF Smart Talk: Attorney General On Police Reforms, Fracking, Child Abuse

-- AG Shapiro: Grand Jurors Praised For Report On Fracking Impacts, Govt. Oversight

Related Links:

-- Click Here For DEP’s response to the Report 

-- Click Here for the Health Department’s response to the Report

Related Articles:

-- AG Shapiro: Grand Jury Finds Pennsylvania Failed To Protect Citizens During Natural Gas Fracking Boom

-- Attorney General Shapiro: Opening Statement, Grand Jury Report On Regulatory Failures During Natural Gas Fracking Boom

-- Reactions/Comments: Grand Jury Report On Regulatory Failures During Natural Gas Fracking Boom

[Posted: June 27, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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