News & Notes September 25, 2011

A Marcellus shale gas company (Chief Gathering LLC) is suing three families in Luzerne County for blocking a pipeline.  The people are opposing the construction through their development on covenant grounds.  Energy companies have gotten aggressive using litigation to steamroll their way through the Commonwealth.  This isn’t the way to gather public support for something many oppose.

Speaking of gas it appears wells drilled on state forest land procured with federal dollars may be illegal:

The law establishing the Land and Water Conservation Fund protects public park, forest and recreation lands acquired or developed with the program’s money from “conversion” to non-recreation use, like oil and gas wells, without prior approval by the Park Service. If such a conversion occurs, the state must buy land of at least equal value to compensate, and it must use any revenue from leases or royalties on such conversion lands for conservation and recreation purposes only.

A lot of wells in rural Pennsylvania have been sunk on our public lands.

Congressman Lou Barletta”>is angry over the 6% interest rate being charged by the Small Business Administration for loans to those cleaning up following last month’s storms.  This is the same Congressman who has steadily cut government programs.  You can’t have it both ways Lou:  either government is good or it’s bad.

Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll.  I actually saw a car last week with a Cain bumper sticker.  How crazy must you be to support this man much less advertise your stupidity to others?

Speaking of the insane Republican presidential field did you see the “deer in the headlights” look of Rick Perry at the last debate?  He was barely able to string coherent sentences together.  Suddenly Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum is looking like a contender in this sorry field.  Obama’s only hope of a second turn is the extremism on the GOP side.

State Senator Jane Orie has lost an appeal attempting to delay her retrial on public corruption charges.  Her day in court is scheduled for October 3rd.

Powerful State Representative Dwight Evans has been unmasked as a ruthless Mafia type backroom politico by Mayor Nutter’s office.  Anyone who has spent any time in Harrisburg already knows this but front page headlines in The Inquirer reveal how he forced a private company to back out of a contract it won to convert MLK public school to a privatized one.  Here’s yet one more example of how privatizing government and public services is an invitation to corruption.  The non profit Evans supported has provided him with campaign contributions, surprise, surprise.