Democrats Split On Environmental Issues

Governor Wolf is finding opposition within his own party, or at least resentment for his lack of action, on several environment related issues. State Rep Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) currently being the most vocal.

One of the state legislature’s most vocal environmentalists is criticizing Governor Tom Wolf for failing to support tougher regulations for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry.

The attack is coming a member of his own party—the minority chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Rep. Greg Vitali (D- Delaware).

“You can’t expect continued support if you’re not sticking up for the environment,” Vitali says of the governor. “I don’t think the people remaining in Wolf’s top echelon really prioritize the environment.”

DEP Secretary John Quigley, a Wolf appointee, was asked to resign (read: fired) recently for agitating among environmental defense groups to be more active:

“I’ve slept on this but can no longer hold back,” Quigley wrote. “Where the f*ck were you people yesterday? The House and Senate hold Russian show trials on vital environmental issues and there’s no pushback at all from the environmental community? Nobody bothering to insert themselves in the news cycle?”

Quigley sent the profanity-laced note to several environmental groups the day after state House and Senate panels voted to reject oil and gas regulations, which he had championed in his job at the helm of the state Department of Environmental Protection. The same day, a Senate committee had also approved a bill to give lawmakers more oversight in efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

This is appalling that even special interest groups are becoming as disinterested in participating in government as the general citizenry. The one party rule (Republican, by the way, for the last one hundred and forty years save two) in Pennsylvania has made dissent and, due to severe gerrymandering, even voting a seemingly pointless activity. Is this how you want to live? If not, get up and get loud. As a wise woman woman whose name will not come to mind once said, "Quit taking pictures of your food and get to work."

There's lots more info on what's going on with fracking in PA at Marie Cusick's page at StateImpact PA.