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Bickering Continues After Quigley’s Exit

John-QuigleyThe latest episode in Harrisburg politics may be far from over.

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.

11 Responses

  1. Quigley is right on principle, and I continue to support him…I actually wish he were more anti dirty energy, which gas is every bit as much as burning anything else for energy.

    But the Governor is also right in asking resignation for his actions and presentation.

    @D. Miller – a blog (or some mechanism) that talked about how to kill fossil fuels should be a requirement of being DEP Sec. That is what I want my environmental protectors to do: protect my son’s environment.

    @Observer – why not just tell us?

    @Rick – the costs to almost all Earth’s inhabitants and to Earth itself of fossil fuels is now greater than the benefit we get from continuing to prop them up.

  2. Isaac L. -Not sure what form of energy doesn’t damage the environment. It’s only a matter of perspective. There are environmental concerns about disrupting the migratory path of some birds by windmills and that is with current windmills, what will the impact be if we need to build enough to replace the current coal and natural gas generation. Also giant solar farms can damage the fragile ecology of deserts in the southwest, or take up valuable farmland in the southeast. My point is not that we shouldn’t be searching for new sources of energy, but let’s at least realize that there are trade offs with every known source of energy.

  3. One of those groups – who takes money fron Big Gas – sent that on to the Gov. and sealed Quig’s fate. It’s actually a front group for the Fossils, but it has a nice green name. Go figure it out…

  4. It’s the Department of Environmental Protection, not the Department for Natural Resource Extraction. The best thing for the environment would be not to extract fossil fuels – I don’t think anyone can claim otherwise with a straight face – but the department is tasked with balancing the need to protect and preserve the environment with the economic and social needs of natural resource extraction and use. Some day we will no longer need to damage the environment to power our homes, businesses, and transportation, but that day is not today. When we get there, we will kill fossil fuels, and all the better for everyone, most especially our grandchildren.

  5. He was certainly qualified for the job. It’s ridiculous to say he wasn’t. I’m a Republican and believe his stance was too strident but his job was to protect the environment. I don’t share most of his extreme views but I do respect him as someone who knew what he was doing.

  6. He was not qualified for the job he ran a blog that talked about how to kill fossil fuels

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