Gas Truth protests Corbett inauguration
By Tom Mulkeen
Gas Truth of Central PA, an organization composed of ordinary citizens from the area dedicated to obtaining a moratorium on drilling protested the inauguration of the now Governor Tom Corbett this morning. The group held a banner calling Gov. Corbett “Tom Corporate.” A member of the group, Ben Ketchum of Harrisburg told PoliticsPA that they hope to give control of drilling to local municipalities away from the state. This way, if towns felt that drilling was affecting their water supply, air, or land, they could issue a moratorium on drilling within their town, which would help them find the problem.
About two hundred people attended the protest in Harrisburg, an event advertised largely through facebook and word of mouth. Another member of the group told PoliticsPA that she was energized by the documentary Gasland by Josh Fox, which was shown in Harrisburg in September. The documentary shows how Fox was offered 100,000 by a natural gas company in exchange for leasing his family’s land in Milanville, Pennsylvania. The offer led to him doing research on natural gas drilling in the area and he visited Dimock, Pennsylvania where residents were able to light their tap water on fire because of the natural gas drilling in the area.
Activist Gene Stilp told PoliticsPA that the new governor was “totally beholden to the gas corporations.” According to Stilp there were 1500 violations of drilling regulations under outgoing Gov. Rendell, but there would be even more under Corbett. Stilp was highly critical of Michael Krancer, Corbett’s appointee to head the Department of Environmental Protection despite the fact that PennFuture, an environmental group praised his selection.