I am honored today to receive the endorsement of families in Dimock, Pennsylvania and other communities who have experienced problems with water wells, drilling payments and who want air emissions and other local impacts of gas drilling reduced by strong regulation. Their statement of endorsement will be issued at 11:00 am today at a press conference in Harrisburg and posted at my campaign website at hangerforgovernor.com.
When I was Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, I worked with many families across Pennsylvania who had concerns or complaints, including those in Dimock. And when the evidence established in Dimock, Pennsylvania that mistakes in gas drilling had contaminated 18 water wells I went to regulatory war with Cabot Oil and Gas on behalf of those who were affected.
As Secretary, I wrote the moratorium on further gas drilling in our state forests. I also enacted 5 new gas drilling regulations from September 2008 to January 2011, more than doubled the gas drilling oversight staff, and told the enforcement staff to enforce strengthened rules. In 2010, DEP issued 1,200 violations to the gas industry.
Gas drilling has benefits and impacts. Reducing these impacts, like those from compressor engines or drilling pits, is a vital role of state government and requires strong, professional regulation.
I have proposed a full plan to strengthen regulation and enforcement, including opening an office dedicated to receiving and investigating gas drilling complaints. My detailed plans are at:
Having spent 29 years working on energy and as someone living in the Three Mile Island nuclear evacuation area, I know that coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power all pose significant environmental risks, and all must be strongly regulated. My experience also teaches that it is vital to accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency to improve both our environment and economy.
Nobody has done more for renewable energy and energy conservation in Pennsylvania than me. As Governor, I will continue to accelerate alternative energy production and energy efficiency and lay out my plans for doing so at hangerforgovernor.com.
It is time to find common ground once again, to heal divided communities, and to restore public confidence in the oversight of the gas industry. I will do so.