Heading into our fourth month without a budget, the alleged light at the end of the tunnel is proving itself to be on oncoming train for those who care about the environment.
The framework deal envisioned by the Governor and leadership in the General Assembly will likely divert or cut hundreds of millions of dollars from agency and environmental programs, eliminate a fund that for more than fifty years has been used to protect public resources, and remove any resource management and stewardship from the equation by opening untold acres of public land for additional gas extraction.
Our agencies are facing budgetary cuts that will force them to eliminate, not just reduce, programs that protect public health and sustain our communities and public resources.
Time is running out, but it’s not too late. Public reaction has been swift, and legislators are hearing our call. Last week PEC participated in a press event with members of the General Assembly vowing to vote against this budget framework if it continues to include this unprecedented assault on environmental needs.
Now is the time for you to join the call. Please contact your legislator today and tell them:
1. You oppose mandating further extraction on public lands without first conducting a true analysis of the resource and community impacts resulting from extraction activities; and that any future extraction should be conducted pursuant to sound resource management by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
2. You oppose elimination of the Oil & Gas Lease Fund, which for more than fifty years has reinvested in our public resources for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.
3. You oppose the drastic reductions in agency funding to the Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Conservation & Natural Resources. Now is the time to identify meaningful and long-term revenue sources that don’t at the same time rob from other environmental programs or promote additional impacts to our public resources.