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Open letter to Senator Lisa Baker

February 9, 2012

Many of the citizens of Pennsylvania are getting extremely concerned and upset about the gas drilling going on in Pennsylvania. The immediate concern is obviously the bills currently before the legislature regarding impact fees and local zoning of gas drilling. They need to be stopped and you need to start all over. It is unfortunate that Representative Peifer feels that the proposed impact fee is the best thing since sliced bread and that it’s alright to take away our towns’ rights to restrict zoning regarding the gas industry. I commend you for taking a more “moderate” concerned view of what’s going on, but you could be doing a lot more to protect us from the environmental impacts of this industry.

Every day, I read more and more about proposed legislation to assist the gas companies in getting their way. There is now a request by the Department of Environmental Protection to allow well wastewater to be injected into abandoned mines and to be spread on our highways, and recent news has revealed that injection wells in Ohio have caused earthquakes. In addition, there was an explosion and fire in Pearsall, TX at a gas well caused by disposing saltwater (brine) at a disposal facility. If these examples are not enough evidence of an industry and state “gone wild,” then I don’t know what is.

I surely hope that you and Representative Peifer will take a bold stand when it comes to voting in the senate and the house when it comes to protecting our water, air and public lands.

John Hahn
Shohola, PA