Corbett: You’re Unemployed Because You’re On Drugs

More than 14,000 teachers lost their jobs because Gov. Tom Corbett cut K12 funding by a billion dollars so he could give massive tax breaks to businesses.  He blames that on the end of the stimulus money but he found enough funds for prisons and for those corporate tax breaks so his excuse doesn’t fly.  Now, on a radio program, he blamed the state’s dismal jobs numbers on unemployed folks on drugs:

CORBETT: The other area is, there are many employers that say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them. And that’s a concern for me because we’re having a serious problem with that.

Aren’t you tired of Tom Corbett’s excuses for his poor job performance?

Under Gov. Gasbag Pennsylvania has gone from 7th in job creation to 49th.  Maybe we can all kick our drug habits now so he can get re-elected.

MoveOn protest Thursday in Pittsburgh against horrible Obama plan to cut Social Security.

(As usual, for all working links go here: http://www.examiner.com/articl…

On my various Facebook Internet hangouts I have friends to my left — yes that can be true — who insist that both political parties are the same. I think there is value in voting for the Democratic Party because today’s Republican Party just seems like an openly fascist party that fits that definition whether its the one by Umberto Eco or Naomi Wolfe. I can also see where the Democrats are trying to push some helpful policies on medicaid expansion which, if not for my diabolically stubborn (evil?) Republican Governor Tom Corbett, I would have healthcare coverage even though I am a working poor person. (Trust me.) There is a difference between the parties.

However, where my Green Party friends get no argument from me is that the people who have funded both parties seem to be hellbent on overall austerity — the sequester is austerity lucky us — as well as cutting social security which has nothing to do with the deficit — unless they stole the trust fund to cover those awful and unnecessary wars and haven’t bothered to tell us that. I suppose we might be angry if that were true. Who knows. Robert Reich has the rundown about what a horrible idea chained CPI actually is.

There is a protest tomorrow here on Thursday organized by MoveOn  where you can state your opposition to bad policy so if you don’t worship the president and actually look at what he does and if you’re a Kossack or Firebagger with time on your hands you should probably head down there and make your opinion known.

Here is the press release I received:

   Dear MoveOn member,

       Recently, President Obama became the first Democratic president in history to propose cutting Social Security.1 Under the President’s plan, called “chained CPI,” a typical 80-year-old woman would lose the equivalent of three months worth of food every year.2

       This plan isn’t just terrible policy, it’s also politically toxic. According to polling, more than 87 percent of voters across the political spectrum oppose benefit cuts for today’s seniors to reduce the deficit.3  

       MoveOn members-along with the vast majority of Americans-refuse to stand by and watch a Democratic president chip away at one of the most successful government programs of all time.

       That’s why Robert K., a local MoveOn member, is organizing a petition delivery to Sen. Robert Casey tomorrow (Thursday) at 12:00 PM in Pittsburgh. Can you make it?

       Yes! Sign me up for Thursday’s petition delivery!

       For more details about the event, check out the invitation below.

       Thanks for all you do.

       -Ilya, Stephen, Stefanie, Manny, and the rest of the team  

I agree with all of that. That would put the Republicans in a position of taking over all three branches in 2016. So this is one of those times where if you really want the Democratic Party to thrive then you should oppose this legislation.

On the other hand, I would hate to think that Democratic Sen. Bob Casey needs a petition. I would think Club for Growth proxy Pat Toomey (Evil Republican generally) would be the target. Related: A can’t miss piece by Stephen Colbert on austerity, featuring the grad student who exposed the flaw. Not Related: Still involved in a dispute with Gidas Flowers. http://mirroruniverse.blogspot…

Pennsylvania: You Are Fracked

by Walter Brasch

The history of energy exploration, mining, and delivery is best understood in a range from benevolent exploitation to worker and public oppression. A company comes into an area, leases or buys land in rural and agricultural areas for mineral rights, increases employment, usually during a depressed economy, strips the land of its resources, creates health problems for its workers and those in the immediate area, and then leaves.

It makes no difference if it’s timber, oil, coal, nuclear, or natural gas. All energy sources are developed to move mankind into a new era; all energy sources are developed to bring as much profit to corporations as quickly as possible, often by exploiting the workers.

Before the settlement of Pennsylvania in the 1680s, more than 20 million acres of forests covered almost all of the land. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the lumber industry had clear-cut several million acres, leading Pennsylvania into an era that rivaled even the Gold Rush in California. By World War I, the companies had stripped the land, taken their profit, and then moved on, leaving devastation in their wake. Only when the people finally realized that destroying the forests led to widespread erosion and flooding did they begin to reforest the state. Almost a century after the lumber companies denuded the forests, the natural gas industry, with encouragement from the state, have leased more than 150,000 acres of forests for wells, pipelines, and roads.

Between 1859, when an economical method to drill for oil was developed near Titusville, Pa., and 1933, the beginning of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” Pennsylvania, under almost continual Republican administration, was among the nation’s most corrupt states. The robber barons of the timber, oil, coal, steel, and transportation industries, enjoying and contributing to the Industrial Age of the 19th century, essentially bought their right to be unregulated. In addition to widespread bribery, the energy industries, especially coal, assured the election of preferred candidates by giving pre-marked ballots to workers, many of whom were immigrants and couldn’t read English.

When the coal companies determined underground mining was no longer profitable, they began strip mining, shearing the tops of hills and mountains to expose coal, causing environmental damage that could never be repaired even by the most aggressive reforestation program. Pennsylvania is the only state producing anthracite coal, and is fifth in the nation in production of all coal, behind Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Texas.

John Wilmer, an attorney who formerly worked in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in a letter to the editor of The New York Times in March 2011, explained that “Pennsylvania’s shameful legacy of corruption and mismanagement caused 2,500 miles of streams to be totally dead from acid mine drainage; left many miles of scarred landscape; enriched the coal barons; and impoverished the local citizens.” His words are a warning about what is happening in the natural gas fields.

Every method of extracting energy from the earth yields death and injury to the workers and residents. More than 100,000 coal miners were killed, often from structural failures within the mines, gas poisonings, explosions, and roof collapse. Long-term catastrophic effects from mining also include pneumoconiosis, also known as Black Lung Disease, the result of the inhalation of coal dust within the mines. Worker and resident protection often don’t occur until decades after a new energy source is mined. For coal mining, although there were several protections brought about by the United Mine Workers, it wasn’t until 1969 when the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act became law that health and environmental protection advanced. Congress improved the Act in 1977 and 2006.

The nation’s first commercial nuclear power plant to develop peaceful uses of energy was the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, along the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pa., about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The plant went online in December 1957 and stayed in production through October 1982. During the last four decades of the twentieth century, the nation built 132 nuclear plants, with politicians and Industry claiming nuclear energy was clean, safe, efficient, and would lessen the nation’s ties to oil. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima Daiichi, and thousands of violations issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, have shown that even with strict operating guidelines, nuclear energy isn’t as clean, safe, and as efficient as claimed. Like all other energy industries, nuclear power isn’t infinite. Most plants have a 40-50 year life cycle. After that, the plant becomes so radioactive that it must be sealed. Pennsylvania is second in the nation, behind Illinois, in production of electricity from nuclear reactors.

In the early 21st century, the natural gas industry follows the model of the other energy corporations, and uses the same rhetoric. The Heartland Institute, a think tank which says it exists to “promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems, claims, “Shale extraction has proven remarkably safe for the environment and the newfound abundance of domestic natural gas reserves promises unprecedented energy prosperity and security.”

Well-paying jobs have become plentiful; however, most are temporary, ending when the gas companies declare a site no longer profitable. But, high-pressure horizontal fracturing (known as fracking), the process the companies are using to get to the gas more than a mile beneath the surface, is leaving in its wake health and environmental issues that could be as serious as those that surrounded the timber, coal, oil, and nuclear industries.

But there is one major difference. Several federal environmental protection laws don’t apply to the natural gas industry.

Dick Cheney, whose promotion of Big Business and opposition to environmental policies is well-documented, as vice-president had pushed for Big Energy’s exemption from the Safe Water Drinking Act. His hand-picked “energy task force,” composed primarily of industry representatives, had concluded that fracking was a safe procedure. Cheney had been CEO of Halliburton, one of the world’s largest energy companies; the exemption became known derisively as the Halliburton Loophole. That legislation, says Al Gore, “put the whole industry in such a privileged position, it disadvantages the advocates of the public interest, which was the intention.”

Among other federal environmental laws that the natural gas industry is exempt from are National Environmental Policy Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the nation’s SuperFund law, which requires companies that pollute the environment to take a fiscal responsibility.

The first Earth Day was in 1970. The people demanded, and eventually got, Congress to enact legislation not only to protect the air and water, but to create a federal agency to enforce those regulations. Today, more than four decades later, it is important that the people push a weak-willed Congress, inflated by Big Energy political contributions, to do what is right, eliminate all loopholes and exemptions, and force the natural gas industry to be accountable for all laws that protect the public health and environment.

 

News & Notes April 23, 2013

France passed marriage equality.  Delaware is next to advance into the 21st century.  Here’s a New Zealand lawmaker discussing the issue:

Michael Wolf, a former pharmaceutical lobbyist, is the state’s new Secretary of Health.

Rep. Steve Santarsiero is attempting to expand the state’s background checks for gun sales.

Seven years ago when this blog began we ran a series of articles about the corruption surrounding Wilkes-Barre’s Hotel Sterling.  Now, after millions in public funds were dropped into this black hole what remains of the building is going to be demolished and CityVest, the center of that corruption, is going out of existence.

Pennsylvania may finally enter the new century in one way:  online voter registration.

On the other hand we also keep going backwards:  the House today voted to ban abortion coverage in the new health care exchanges under the ACA.  Rep. Brian Sims had this to say during debate:

Earlier this month Texas Gov. Rick Perry bragged about his state’s lax corporate regulatory environment.  Ten days later a fertilizer plant exploded destroying most of West, Texas.  Then the area’s Congressman, who voted against federal aid to Hurricane Sandy victims, demanded full federal help for West.  If you look up “hypocrisy” in the dictionary you’ll find his picture.

Oh, and Gov. Perry?  Remember when he suggested Texas secede?  He wants all that federal money too.

Baylor basketball star Britney Griner, the first selection in the WNBA draft, came out this week.  No one thinks it’s a big deal.

Maryland approved medical marijuana.

Sen. Max Baucus, one of the worst Democrats ever to serve in the U.S. Senate, announced he will retire.  Yea.

Senate Conservatives Filibuster Background Checks

The U.S. Senate this afternoon filibustered universal background checks for gun buyers.  I don’t know a gun owner who doesn’t believe this isn’t a good idea.  In fact 90% of Americans support expanded background checks.  The following list of Senators do not.  After the next massacre when some crazy guns down scores of people these are the people to blame:

Alexander (R-TN)

Ayotte (R-NH)

Barrasso (R-WY)

Baucus (D-MT)

Begich (D-AK)

Blunt (R-MO)

Boozman (R-AR)

Burr (R-NC)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Coats (R-IN)

Coburn (R-OK)

Cochran (R-MS)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Crapo (R-ID)

Cruz (R-TX)

Enzi (R-WY)

Fischer (R-NE)

Flake (R-AZ)

Graham (R-SC)

Grassley (R-IA)

Hatch (R-UT)

Heitkamp (D-ND)

Heller (R-NV)

Hoeven (R-ND)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johanns (R-NE)

Johnson (R-WI)

Lee (R-UT)

McConnell (R-KY)

Moran (R-KS)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Paul (R-KY)

Portman (R-OH)

Pryor (D-AR)

Reid (D-NV)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Rubio (R-FL)

Scott (R-SC)

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Thune (R-SD)

Vitter (R-LA)

Wicker (R-MS)

Boston

Yesterday’s terror attack at the Boston Marathon hit home.  In addition to a nephew residing in the Boston area another one runs marathons, including Boston.  A few years ago we were in Philadelphia when he ran a half marathon there.  While nowhere in size and scope compared with Boston the atmosphere is similar.  We were at the start of the race as Chris’ segment began and at the end when he crossed the finish line.  This is the routine for family and friends at these events.  Due tot he sheer number of runners they begin in different segments based on their previous times.

The timing of the bombs yesterday at the four hour mark seem to have been planned to have the most devastating effect on ordinary people.  This is when the recreational runners were approaching the finish near Copley Square with their families and friends gathered to watch them finish the grueling contest.  All of the world class runners had long since finished.

If I may speculate I believe this will prove to be another Tim McVeigh style domestic terrorist attack.  The fact no group has claimed responsibility indicates that no international terrorist group was responsible.  The number of hate groups has exploded since Barack Obama was elected and the gun rights nuts are apoplectic since Sandy Hook.  White supremacists are assassinating law enforcement officials out west and this seems a logical extension of these other activities.

No evidence as yet has implicated anyone or group but the extent of video and still camera coverage of such a major event means that whoever planted these bombs was likely caught on camera.

Meanwhile we keep the victims and their families in our thoughts.  Thanks to the excellent work of all the first responders and volunteers who saved lives.

Mitch McConnell’s ‘Whack-a-Mole’ Dirty Politics Campaign

by Walter Brasch

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was mad. Not the kind of mad you get when your favorite team blows a big lead and loses its eighth straight game, but Red-Faced-Exploding-Blood-Pressure Mad.

“This is what you get from the political Left in America,” McConnell bellowed to the media. “That is what the political Left does these days.”

McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, added his opinion-“We’ve always said the Left would stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell.” They demanded the FBI launch a criminal investigation. The FBI response to the media was, “[W]e are looking into the matter.” Not long after, McConnell approved a campaign slogan, exhorting voters to “Stand with McConnell against the liberal media’s illegal and underhanded tactics.”

What McConnell and Benton were furious about was a leaked tape that revealed possible tactics they would use against movie star Ashley Judd if she were to oppose McConnell in the 2014 Senate race.

McConnell had no evidence there was any liberal plot or that the tape was the result of a bug deliberately planted in campaign headquarters, but tried to spin in circles to make people believe it was a liberal invasion of his soul.

David Corn of Mother Jones, which this week published a transcript of the tape that was made  Feb. 2, said the tape was not the result of any bugging operation. It is entirely possible that the tape was made by someone in that room, not unlike the videotape of Mitt Romney who told a fundraising meeting of wealthy supporters that 47 percent of Americans were takers. However, unlike McConnell’s fury, Romney took the high road and tried to dance around his words rather than blame the liberals for leaking the tape that may have been the turning point in the campaign.

But the tactics of a five-term senator and his senior staff may be just as damaging to their campaign as the “47 percent tape” was to Romney’s. McConnell said he and his campaign should launch a “whack-a-mole” campaign-“when anybody sticks their head up, do them out.” In this case, McConnell’s team planned to attack Judd’s mental health, her political activism, her loyalty to President Obama, and that she is an “out of touch” Hollywood liberal.

“She’s clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced,” said one of the staff, emphasizing the campaign could go after Judd for past bouts of depression that led to her being hospitalized. Laughter about her depression could be heard on the tape. Judd readily acknowledged that time in her life, even including it in her autobiography, All That is Bitter and Sweet.

A staff aide called Judd “critical . . .  of traditional Christianity [and] anti-sort-of-traditional American family.” What the aide meant was that Judd opposes sexism in the Christian church, supports the Affordable Care Act, is pro-choice, believes in the rights of gays to marry, is an animal rights advocate who spoke against Sarah Palin’s campaign to eradicate wolves by shooting them in their dens, and opposes the use of coal and other fossil fuels to try to avoid climate change that could destroy the earth’s ozone layer.

McConnell and the staff also didn’t say that while McConnell has led the “Party of No” into blocking almost all major appointments and meaningful legislation, Judd is a recognized humanitarian who has worked vigorously to expose the wrongs committed against society’s most vulnerable. They also didn’t mention she is a Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate of the University of Kentucky, and earned a master’s in public administration from Harvard. They seemed more focused upon sliming her personal life and the fact her cell phone has a San Francisco area code.

In a subsequent story, Mother Jones revealed that some of the staff in the room when the recording was made, and that others who did the research about Judd, were Senate staffers. If they did the work on their own time, did not use any federal resources (including telephones and other communications devices), and did not do their work in any federal office they would not have violated the Senate’s own ethics standards. However, as Mother Jones reported, the three senior McConnell staffers they contacted “did not respond.”

Bound in a political black hole from which truth never escapes, McConnell and his staff launched a “scorch-earth” attack to divert the public from the facts on the leaked tape was the far greater sin than what was said.

Innumerable politicians, especially in the past decade, have proven that dirty politics has become the politics of choice. By attacking how the information was obtained and disseminated, unable to defend his own words and tactics, McConnell has made it obvious that truth and decency no longer have a place in either his campaign or his elected position.

[Dr. Brasch’s current book is Fracking Pennsylvania, an in-depth investigation of the controversial practice of hydraulic horizontal fracking. The book looks at the health, environmental, worker safety, and economic impact of fracking, and also discusses the collusion between politicians and Big Energy.]

 

Mitch McConnell’s ‘Whack-a-Mole’ Dirty Politics Campaign

by Walter Brasch

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was mad. Not the kind of mad you get when your favorite team blows a big lead and loses its eighth straight game, but Red-Faced-Exploding-Blood-Pressure Mad.

“This is what you get from the political Left in America,” McConnell bellowed to the media. “That is what the political Left does these days.”

McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, added his opinion-“We’ve always said the Left would stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell.” They demanded the FBI launch a criminal investigation. The FBI response to the media was, “[W]e are looking into the matter.” Not long after, McConnell approved a campaign slogan, exhorting voters to “Stand with McConnell against the liberal media’s illegal and underhanded tactics.”

What McConnell and Benton were furious about was a leaked tape that revealed possible tactics they would use against movie star Ashley Judd if she were to oppose McConnell in the 2014 Senate race.

McConnell had no evidence there was any liberal plot or that the tape was the result of a bug deliberately planted in campaign headquarters, but tried to spin in circles to make people believe it was a liberal invasion of his soul.

David Corn of Mother Jones, which this week published a transcript of the tape that was made  Feb. 2, said the tape was not the result of any bugging operation. It is entirely possible that the tape was made by someone in that room, not unlike the videotape of Mitt Romney who told a fundraising meeting of wealthy supporters that 47 percent of Americans were takers. However, unlike McConnell’s fury, Romney took the high road and tried to dance around his words rather than blame the liberals for leaking the tape that may have been the turning point in the campaign.

But the tactics of a five-term senator and his senior staff may be just as damaging to their campaign as the “47 percent tape” was to Romney’s. McConnell said he and his campaign should launch a “whack-a-mole” campaign-“when anybody sticks their head up, do them out.” In this case, McConnell’s team planned to attack Judd’s mental health, her political activism, her loyalty to President Obama, and that she is an “out of touch” Hollywood liberal.

“She’s clearly, this sounds extreme, but she is emotionally unbalanced,” said one of the staff, emphasizing the campaign could go after Judd for past bouts of depression that led to her being hospitalized. Laughter about her depression could be heard on the tape. Judd readily acknowledged that time in her life, even including it in her autobiography, All That is Bitter and Sweet.

A staff aide called Judd “critical . . .  of traditional Christianity [and] anti-sort-of-traditional American family.” What the aide meant was that Judd opposes sexism in the Christian church, supports the Affordable Care Act, is pro-choice, believes in the rights of gays to marry, is an animal rights advocate who spoke against Sarah Palin’s campaign to eradicate wolves by shooting them in their dens, and opposes the use of coal and other fossil fuels to try to avoid climate change that could destroy the earth’s ozone layer.

McConnell and the staff also didn’t say that while McConnell has led the “Party of No” into blocking almost all major appointments and meaningful legislation, Judd is a recognized humanitarian who has worked vigorously to expose the wrongs committed against society’s most vulnerable. They also didn’t mention she is a Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate of the University of Kentucky, and earned a master’s in public administration from Harvard. They seemed more focused upon sliming her personal life and the fact her cell phone has a San Francisco area code.

In a subsequent story, Mother Jones revealed that some of the staff in the room when the recording was made, and that others who did the research about Judd, were Senate staffers. If they did the work on their own time, did not use any federal resources (including telephones and other communications devices), and did not do their work in any federal office they would not have violated the Senate’s own ethics standards. However, as Mother Jones reported, the three senior McConnell staffers they contacted “did not respond.”

Bound in a political black hole from which truth never escapes, McConnell and his staff launched a “scorch-earth” attack to divert the public from the facts on the leaked tape was the far greater sin than what was said.

Innumerable politicians, especially in the past decade, have proven that dirty politics has become the politics of choice. By attacking how the information was obtained and disseminated, unable to defend his own words and tactics, McConnell has made it obvious that truth and decency no longer have a place in either his campaign or his elected position.

[Dr. Brasch’s current book is Fracking Pennsylvania, an in-depth investigation of the controversial practice of hydraulic horizontal fracking. The book looks at the health, environmental, worker safety, and economic impact of fracking, and also discusses the collusion between politicians and Big Energy.]

 

Schwartz Officially Enters Gubernatorial Race

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz officially launched her campaign for Governor yesterday.  Tom Corbett is rated the most vulnerable incumbent Governor in the country and prominent Democrats are lining up to evict him from Front Street in Harrisburg.  Schwartz joins former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, former DEP Secretary John Hanger and evangelical fundamentalist preacher Max Myers in the field.  State Treasurer Rob McCord will enter the race soon and rumors continue to circulate around Admiral Joe Sestak.

Gov. Gasbag’s painfully low approval numbers (26%) and high disapproval (49%) have led to a strong field of challengers.  Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor has launched a website in preparation of a GOP challenge and another Montco Commish Josh Shapiro is also considering a run.

The fact Corbett slashed education funding while giving those funds to corporations as tax breaks has driven his poll numbers to the basement.  

Schwartz is progressive on social issues but not economic social ones.  Her record is something of a corporate Democrat and would normally allow the Pennsylvania progressive community to get behind such a candidacy.  In this race however both Wolf and McCord easily outpace her in progressive credentials.  With another strong turnout of women voters however she could win the primary.  There is substantial doubt about her ability to win statewide due to her past ties to a Philadelphia abortion clinic.  Though that should not actually hurt her (abortion is a constitutionally protected right) it will in western Pennsylvania where even the Democrats are conservative.

It’s going to be a heck of a race.

Ed Rendell’s Frack Attack

By Sharon Ward, Third and State

Former Governor Ed Rendell got into some hot water last week with an op-ed in the New York Daily News touting the economic benefits of hydrofracking. ProPublica quickly outed the Governor for his ties to the drilling industry, and Rendell owned up to the fact that he is a consultant to Element Partners, which has investments in the gas industry. The Daily News has added a note to its web site disclosing the financial arrangement.

Rendell’s piece touts the industry’s economic benefits, repeating the claims of an IHS/U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis that the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center critiqued back in December for overstating the employment and tax benefits of shale. 

The natural gas industry in Pennsylvania is like a new baby: it’s tiny but gets all the attention. Through a coordinated and well-financed public relations effort (remember My Range Resources?) and a legion of lobbyists, the industry has given an impression of its importance that just doesn’t square with the facts.

In 2012, the natural gas industry provided one-half of one percent of all jobs in Pennsylvania. The IHS report claims the industry contributed $900 million in state and local corporate tax revenue, one-third of all corporate taxes collected by the state in 2012, but the Department of Revenue puts the number at less than one-fifth of that amount (see Table 2).


Don Gilliland of The Patriot-News made a similar point in a column after a Chamber of Commerce event in Harrisburg in July, announcing a multi-million dollar “Shale Works for Us” public relations campaign. Gilliland ripped into the industry for stating — in a promotional effort the sponsors claimed was designed to “get out the facts” — that shale created 140,000 jobs in 2010 alone, while the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported just 23,618 shale jobs since 2008. (The Chamber numbers came from the infamous “Penn State” study that Penn State subsequently disowned — see here and here).

So why does this matter? The industry cleverly uses this economic promise to beat back regulation or any other attempt to limit or manage natural gas development. Gilliland cleverly gets the chamber spokeswoman Karen Harbert on record about its strategy, to use its PR effort to “ensure no hindrance or regulatory barriers” to natural gas drillers.

Rendell urges New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to seize the opportunity that gas drilling provides, but Cuomo should use Pennsylvania as a cautionary tale rather than a guide. The economic benefits of gas development in Pennsylvania have been routinely overstated, while its costs have been minimized or ignored. The hype has only served to undermine reasonable environmental and land use restrictions necessary to blunt the short-term impacts and limit long-term harm.