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Letters To The Editor 12/25/2018

December 25, 2018
YOUR OPINION

Redistricting reform

Editor: It can be difficult to define the word “representative” in Pennsylvania.

Fair Districts PA has had its work cut out by simply trying to meet with representatives to discuss why they feel it is OK that some votes don’t count. The restoration of fairness in voting is an issue that has encouraged more bipartisan support, yet some representatives simply ignore it. This ignorance undermines the everyday lives of taxpaying citizens and especially frustrates Fair Districts PA members.

Shouldn’t this matter concern those who represent us, regardless of party? A good redistricting reform bill like House Bill 722, with plenty of bipartisan support, should have at least been given a vote in committee. Instead, when it was finally introduced to the House and would have established an independent commission to draw fair districts, it was held hostage for 19 months before being dismissed by a single representative. How was that possible?

Simply put, those who benefit from current district lines are not interested in listening to the people they have taken an oath to represent. The need to address these issues is crucial right now as votes for new rulings take place in early January. Call your representative and ask him to reform the rules that allowed HB 722 to be buried. The next chance for any reform is two years ahead.

As more citizens become aware, they have started voting for candidates who do not simply think about holding on to their jobs. Thankfully, there is more transparency. There are also candidates who do not believe that party should come before fairness and values and candidates who do not simply seek the power to rule.

There are those who actually remember what their title means and who back government reform.

MARILYN OLENICK

FAIR DISTRICTS PA,

SHAVERTOWN

 

Learning tool on way

Editor: For the first time the Appalachian basin will get its very own mobile oil field learning unit

It is a traveling exhibition run by the Oilfield Energy Center that teaches students in grades five to eight about energy and the technologies and sciences involved with the oil and natural gas industry. A prior version of the unit traveled to 20 schools across Northeast Pennsylvania and due to popular demand from educators and industry sponsors, the region will get its own unit.

The unit’s activities correlate with next generation national science standards and are based around science, technology, engineering and math subjects. The activities illustrate concepts that are often new to students like porosity, permeability, distillation and thermal energy and how they relate to the energy industry. Showing students these concepts at a younger age helps to teach them about the possibilities for employment once they finish school. Thanks to the natural gas industry many of these positions can now be found in-state.

The American Petroleum Institute projects there will be nearly 1.9 million direct job opportunities through 2035 in the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries, which speak to the continuing importance of these industries in the U.S. economy and to individuals and families looking for well-paying career opportunities. With Pennsylvania being the second-largest producer of natural gas in the country, the state will be among the few that support this coming workforce demand.

DONNA WHEELER

HOUSTON

Editor’s note: The writer is mobile oil field learning unit manager at the Offshore Energy Center, an industry display near Houston.

 

Progress ignored

Editor: Given planned modernizations to the federal rules relating to existing emission sources, it would be prudent for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to avoid more regulatory uncertainty by delaying any new proposals until the federal rules are finalized.

Those planned revisions are a key fact omitted from the Dec. 17 editorial, “State right to curb leakage.”

Let’s not forget that in Pennsylvania, gas companies are investing in new technology to quickly identify and repair leaks and ultimately reduce emissions. Collaborative efforts continue among the nation’s top oil and natural gas producers to share and implement best practices and technologies aimed at reducing methane and other air emissions.

The industry has made significant progress through these voluntary efforts, which occur in addition to Pennsylvania’s robust regulatory framework requiring regular leak detection and repair, monitoring and reporting.

State, federal and independent analysis demonstrates this progress. Pennsylvania methane emissions dropped by 8.5 percent alongside a 330 percent increase in natural gas production from 2011 to 2015. Peer-reviewed research from Penn State University scientists released in 2017 concluded that methane emissions in the Marcellus region are “significantly lower” than other areas and amount to less than one-half of 1 percent of production.

Through job-creating natural gas, we continue to make significant environmental strides. We are proud of the gains we collectively have achieved and remain focused on solutions that move Pennsylvania’s environment and economy forward. Despite negative press, our industry and our members remain focused on enhancing Pennsylvania’s air quality.

DAVID SPIGELMYER

MARCELLUS SHALE COALITION,

PITTSBURGH

 

Learn from past

Editor: The United States is in its second civil war, involving red and blue.

Now, our country is plagued by hate and violence. Our fearless leader seems to be fascinated with dictators and killers.

We run a course somewhat parallel to a country in the 1930s and 1940s. A man got big business to back him in his quest to lead the nation, talking loud and promised the poor and workers things at any cost. When he was in power, he made the media his enemy for writing bad things about him. As we know from history, this leader turned his back on surrounding nations and allies and took men, women and innocent children and imprisoned them in camps. Advisers and generals who disagreed with his thinking were dismissed. All this came to pass in his effort to build a superior white race.

Many of these things can be found in a book, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”

All of us must be conscious of the past.

GERARD RICE

DUNMORE

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