Tom Corbett ran for Governor on a perceived reputation of prosecuting corruption in state government and claimed, as Governor, he would end the corrupt ways of the past. He lied. Imagine that, a politician who lies? (I figured I’d head off your comments). After taking $184,000 from coal industry executive C. Alan Walker, an ardent anti-environmentalist and someone who hates regulation of his industry, Corbett has put him in charge of regulating the energy industry.
Coal and natural gas are major industries in Pennsylvania with the potential to major environmental damage. We’ve witnessed their abusive and corrupt practices for as long as we’ve been mining coal. Slave wages, company towns, black lung disease, mine explosions and collapses, the list goes on and that’s only the coal industry. Add to that the horrors we’re witnessing from gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing and we shudder at the thought this man is charge:
In January, Mr. Corbett appointed Mr. Walker acting secretary for the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development. In March he gave him authority to expedite and influence permits at any state agency, including the Department of Environmental Protection, which regulates drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Mr. Walker also was appointed to the state’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, a multi-stakeholder group that will advise the state in developing the Marcellus Shale, a major source of natural gas. The goal, Mr. Corbett has said, is to “make Pennsylvania the Texas of the natural gas boom.”
Of course Corbett sold the voters a bill of goods. His Attorney General’s office was as corrupt as the legislature. He did the exact same things running his gubernatorial campaign with state resources too. He gave his fellow Republicans in the State House two years to erase their hard drives before executing a search warrant for information.His promises to be a different Governor, transparent and open have been a complete sham. Most people at least attempt to make an appearance of integrity at the onset of their administrations, Corbett threw all pretensions of ethics, honesty, integrity and openness out the window at the first opportunity.
Mr. Walker has already been caught lying by the press (Corbett has already turned the press into adversaries):
He has also defended the environmental record of his coal companies, which were cited numerous times for polluting streams and drinking water: “As long as I have run those companies, not one gallon of polluted water went into a Commonwealth stream — period,” he told the Patriot News last month.
However, a review of court documents, state records and of Mr. Walker’s own statements since the late 1970s revealed at least 15 cases in which his businesses polluted the state’s waterways.
State records show that in the 1980s and 1990s Mr. Walker’s companies were ordered to treat wastewater that was contaminating residential drinking water wells and nearby streams.