HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement asking Pennsylvania Democratic Party leaders to stop their Party’s war on Pennsylvania’s energy industry.
“After announcing their plans to dismantle Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry, I am sure Allyson Schwartz, Jim Ferlo and the Democratic Party are gearing up to push President Obama’s war on coal. It is clear that the radical liberals in their party are pushing their agenda at the expense of Pennsylvania jobs. I call on the Pennsylvania Democrats to distance themselves from Congresswoman Schwartz’s, Senator Ferlo’s and President Obama’s war on coal, natural gas and Pennsylvania jobs.”
Democratic Party fissure over fracking stretches to Legislature.
An internal spat among state Democrats over natural gas fracking has found its way into the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Allegheny, a critic of the natural gas industry, on Wednesday introduced legislation to stop the state from issuing new permits for hydraulic fracturing until the impacts of the practice are studied. Fracking is the process of injecting chemical-laced water and sand into shale rock to release gas and is regularly criticized by environmental activists.
Although the moratorium is likely to be quashed in the Republican-controlled Senate, it once again highlights an uncomfortable dilemma for Democratic Party leaders.
In June, a majority of the Democratic State Committee’s membership approved a resolution supporting a ban on fracking, effectively adding it to the party’s platform and putting the state party at odds with gubernatorial candidates and President Barack Obama.
The stunning decision by state committee members alarmed Democratic leaders, like former Gov. Ed Rendell – who called it “ill-advised” — and legislative Democrats who represent constituents employed in Marcellus Shale-rich territories. The resolution also put the state committee at odds with three Democrats running for governor: U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, and former DEP secretaries Katie McGinty and John Hanger, who said he supports a moratorium on drilling on public lands, like state forests and parks.
(Zwick, Kevin. Democratic Party fissure over fracking stretches to Legislature. Capitolwire. September 19, 2013.)
Obama’s EPA to De Facto Ban All Construction of New Coal Power Plants
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Environmental Protection Agency will propose new rules next week banning the construction of new coal power plants in the United States that do not meet expensive new and ridiculous efficiency standards. The new standards will force power plants underground, literally… And of course, this hurts the middle class and poor people the most not only through an increase in utility costs but through job losses. (Pavlich, Katie. EPA to De Facto Ban All Construction of New Coal Power Plants. Townhall. September 12, 2013.)