Rumblings began last week that DEP Secretary John Quigley criticized Governor Wolf in private emails to environmental groups. Shortly thereafter Quigley resigned, likely under heavy pressure from the Governor.
It appears that Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Ranking Member John Yudichak blamed Quigley for attacks PennEnvironment made against the legislator.
Others have asserted, however, that Quigley simply wasn’t up to the job.
Either way, at least one environmental group is pointing the finger at Sen. Yudichak.
Yesterday, Clean Water Action’s PA Director Myron Arnowitt released the following statement:
On behalf of Clean Water Action’s 100,000 members in Pennsylvania, I would like to express our disappointment at the announcement that DEP Secretary John Quigley has resigned. Secretary Quigley is a dedicated public servant who worked hard to ensure that Pennsylvania residents have clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. His resignation is a loss for the Commonwealth and the Wolf Administration.
Because of John Quigley’s efforts to protect residents from the dangers associated with oil and gas extraction, as well as working to stop pollution that is changing our climate, he earned a number of enemies among industries that resisted these necessary changes. Quigley’s resignation is an unfortunate result of a long standing lobbying campaign to remove the DEP Secretary for speaking out strongly for the environmental protection policies of the Wolf Administration.
We are also concerned to hear reports of State Senator Yudichak’s (D-Luzerne) apparent role in John Quigley’s resignation. Senator Yudichak owes all Pennsylvania voters an explanation as to his role in these events and why he was upset with public activity that revealed his recent votes against several environmental proposals. As Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, it is long past time for Senator Yudichak to start supporting critically needed environmental protections, as do most elected Democrats, instead of allying himself with the anti-environmental Republican leadership in the Senate.
It remains to be seen whether liberal critics of the Governor will take up Quigley’s ouster as a rallying cry but dissension from one’s base is never a positive.