John Hanger for Governor – part 2 (edited 1/3/14)

From the movie Lincoln: President Lincoln is talking to abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens of PA about the path to the 13th Amendment to end slavery. Stevens is unhappy with the compromises and deal-making that Lincoln is doing.

Thaddeus Stevens: You know that the inner compass that should direct the soul toward justice has ossified in white men and women, north and south, unto utter uselessness through tolerating the evil of slavery.

Abraham Lincoln: A compass, I learned when I was surveying, it’ll… it’ll point you True North from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp… What’s the use of knowing True North?

 ***********************

Hello to all who have commented on my post endorsing John Hanger for Governor, and also to those who have read it without comment.

I hope I made it clear in the original post that my endorsement of John is more about us than it is about him. (To use a little shorthand for “us,” I mean the movement to end fracking and to halt and reverse climate change resulting from reliance on fossil fuels for most of our energy supply). Yet this endorsement is also about John Hanger. He’s a real person who has stepped into the public square and asked to be sized up.  That takes courage.  Perhaps especially for one bearing the scars of past battles.

So let me say a little more about why he impresses me more so than other Democratic candidates wanting to be Governor. I ask again that you speak up for the candidate you think to be a better choice than Hanger.

Here is a little thought experiment to start. Put fracking and energy and environment and climate change aside for a moment and think only of the following issues as the ones on which you might judge John and all the candidates. Pretend for a moment that climate change is not the preeminent issue of our times, and that all we care about in this choice for governor are the following issues.

I’ll pose each as a question and answer it regarding Hanger’s positions as best I know from his website and conversations with him.

  • Does the candidate support accepting Medicaid from the federal government to provide health care for 700,000 low-income Pennsylvanians? [Yes]
  • Does the candidate support a single payer healthcare system for PA? [Yes]
  • Does the candidate have a specific plan for improving public education? Is the candidate a staunch defender of public education? [Yes]
  • Does the candidate talk specifics of how he or she will create jobs? [Yes]
  • Is the candidate a strong supporter of unions? [Yes]
  • Does the candidate have a strong position on a woman’s reproductive choice? [Yes]
  • Does the candidate defend the rights of the LGBT community? [Yes]
  • Does the candidate favor legalization of marijuana for medical uses, to reduce mass incarceration and ameliorate racial discrimination in arrests, and to save money? [Yes]
  • Does the candidate favor doing away with the death penalty? [Yes]

Based on this thought experiment that leaves energy and environment aside, by any standard John Hanger would be considered a full-blown progressive (we used to call them, us, “liberals”). If you like progressive issues and candidates, you should at least consider these aspects of John Hanger. We can look at the other candidates and see what they have to say on these issues.

There is probably more agreement than disagreement between the candidates on such issues. Among our movement that intends to end fracking altogether, however, it often seems as though none of the rest of the Hanger platform means anything at all. That is because he does not support a blanket moratorium or ban. That one issue seems to obscure all others.

Now let us take a look at energy, environment and climate change.  This is where the real differences emerge in terms of past experience and concrete plans for the future. I set aside the idea of a blanket moratorium, since only Max Myers seems to have said he would support that, but there is no indication yet that he has any realistic chance of doing so. Besides, of all the candidates it may be Max Myers who diverges most from some of the progressive positions noted above with the conservative cultural values that he sincerely holds.

What does John Hanger have to say to recommend his candidacy to voters concerned about clean air, clean water, the environment and climate change?  And who else in the field can claim this kind of experience or plans for the futures? Much as our movement rejects the idea that natural gas is a “bridge fuel” to a renewable energy future, still some sort of building of that future is long overdue. As former DCNR Secretary John Quigley put it to me, if we are bridging to a different energy future with gas in the picture for now, then “the bridge needs to be wide and short.”  Who has the most specific plans to do that?

Here is what Hanger told me, close to word for word, letting him speak for himself.

I became Secretary of DEP in September 2008 and found just 88 employees in the oil and gas program. I was able to convince Governor Rendell to allow me to add to the gas oversight staff. When I left there were 210 employees in DEP dedicated to regulating the gas industry. I then told that staff to enforce the rules and they issued 1,200 violations to the gas industry in 2010 alone. I found the law/regulations were inadequate. Simply put, I didn’t like them. So I started a regulatory blitz to pass five new gas drilling regulations–on water withdrawals, disposal of wastewater, buffers, gas well drilling standards and disclosure of drilling chemicals, and the fees charged to the gas industry for a drilling application. When I became Secretary the fee to apply for a drilling permit was a ridiculous $100 and had never been raised after it was set more than 20 years earlier. I raised the application fee to on average more than $3,000 and used all of that money to hire more inspectors and gas regulators. There were many things that I found that I didn’t like at all. And I worked hard to change those that I could in the two years and four months I was there before Corbett arrived and ended real oversight

(In my career) my support for wind, solar, energy efficiency, climate action plan has been much more than talk.  Over the last 20 years I have done more, achieved more than any other Pennsylvanian on behalf of renewables and energy efficiency in PA. I have fought for every single wind farm in PA–all 24 of them. I have fought for and helped build every one of the 7,000 solar facilities. I am the guy who made it legal to connect solar and wind to the grid. I am the guy who wrote the AEPS (Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards) that created the credits that were essential to all renewables. I am the guy who got ACT 1 passed that included $100 million for solar. I am the guy who set up the PA Sunshine Program. I am the guy who wrote Act 129, the energy efficiency bill that requires electric utilities to spend $2 billion on energy efficiency. I am the guy who wrote and passed Act 70 that required DEP to write the PA Climate Action Plan, and the guy who wrote that plan with 52 recommendations that would cut PA emissions by 30% by 2020. I am the guy who led the successful effort to pass the $645 million Growing Greener program in 2005. I wrote with John Quigley the moratorium on state forests and have pledged to continue it. Further, I imposed a company-specific, geographic-specific moratorium against Cabot Oil and Gas in 2010 at Dimock that continues in part to this day. I have said that I will again impose company-specific moratoriums, as I did in the Cabot case. My record is exceptional.”

And what does John Hanger propose to do going forward, short of a blanket moratorium? What does he actually propose to do? Here I paraphrase and summarize John’s communications with me, with specific quotes in “quotation marks.” [And if anyone knows these plans or assertions to be false, then speak up here in this space and I will ask John to respond, as I did on the first issue below about campaign contributions.]

  • Accept no campaign contributions from the gas industry; instead run a people-funded campaign: “I have not received money from the gas industry and will not get any. I don’t have a specific policy against taking money from any individuals. If there are issues with an individual donation, I will deal with those on a case by case basis. But I will not take gas industry PAC money. I am the only candidate to call for Public Financing of Governor’s races and for spending limits on governor’s races.  Money in politics is toxic. My finance reform positions are key for all progressive issues.”
  • Hire right away another 105 regulators for DEP, increasing regulatory enforcement.
  • Establish much tighter controls over fugitive methane emissions from natural gas infrastructure that make the industry’s climate change impact as bad as coal.
  • Continue moratorium in the Delaware River Basin until a comprehensive environmental impact assessment is completed; provide resources to DRBC, and encourage other DRBC governors to do the same, to conduct the assessment.
  • Delaware River Basin Commission proposed rules are not sufficient. Advocate that any change in DRBC policy must have the support of four (4) members and not be the result of a 3-2 (and thus more politicized) vote.
  • Maintain all current state forest moratoriums.
  • Implement a $3 million impact fee, per well, in state forests where fracking may happen because the state does not own the mineral rights, the fee to be used for remediation of damages to the forest. (This alone may stop drilling in these forests.)
  • No drilling in the Loyalsock forest.
  • Advance a real proposal to keep drilling out of state parks.
  • Support with funds at executive disposal, and/or demand funds from the legislature, to conduct a comprehensive public health study in the southwest and north central/northeast areas of Pennsylvania where the drilling has been most concentrated.
  • Enact a true and fair severance tax on the gas industry.
  • Ban open impoundments pits (they are still legal, in fact they are explicitly allowed).
  • Ban all discharges of untreated wastewater into Pennsylvania waterways.
  • Continue to impose moratoriums (stop the drilling) on companies and in specific geographic areas where bad behavior and environmental harm occurs.
  • Require green completions that include the end of open air flaring.
  • Require very best pollution controls; cut emissions by 90% at compressor stations.
  • Create a citizens drilling complaint office, an ombudsman to hear the complaints.
  • Regarding water test suite codes initiated 15 years ago, these were not meant to conceal information, but that has happened; all information should be made available to residents.
  • Require drillers to pay twice the property value of a home at which methane pollutes the water well, even if it methane is remediated.
  • Implement the PA Climate Action Plan, doubling energy efficiency, and doubling renewable energy. Get us out of the box of relying on the four traditional energy sources for the 90% of energy they provide now – all of them ugly choices in some ways.
  • Increase Pennsylvania’s 24 wind farms and about 1,400 megawatts of wind energy by four (4) times in eight (8) years and increase solar in PA at least ten times from what is currently at about 200 megawatts and 7,000 solar facilities.
  • Immediately fire climate-change-denying DEP Secretary Abruzzo along with “Energy Czar” Patrick Henderson, and shut down the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.

Do these proposals address all our movement’s issues? Of course not. There is still the matter of long-term risk of irreparable harm to aquifers under half of Pennsylvania from steel and concrete casings that will inevitably fail and must hold up in perpetuity if they are to keep the aquifers free of contamination from below (a ridiculous assumption). There is still the matter of exporting the gas from Pennsylvania, but on that we need to know how much control the Governor actually has over in interstate and international commerce of “private property.” There are still major pipeline issues, some under state control and some federally regulated. What about the fracked Bakken Shale oil that is rolling on railroads through our state, right through heavily populated areas in Philadelphia, and who knows where else, because CSX does not have to say? What happens if we have a derailment and massive fire on one of these rail lines as has happened four times in the past six months?  What about exporting LNG to overseas markets? Is there any way a Governor can make it harder to export natural gas? Will the industry be stripped of its federal exemptions and can the governor of any state take unilateral action on that? Will Hanger convene a climate commission, as Governor Brown of California has done, one comprised of the nation’s top climate scientists (and fracking experts like Dr. Anthony Ingraffea who is studying PA emissions) to consider a complete moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing as a means for extracting oil and natural gas?

More issues abound, but the big question for now, in this primary season, is this: How does John’s experience and his proposals compare with what other candidates have had to say? In my view the other candidates have spoken only in vague generalities about letting the drilling continue but “doing it right,” so what does that tell us about the courage of their convictions and what we can expect from them?  How do we avoid being sold a pig in a poke by the others?

Here is my answer.

The gubernatorial election is not a referendum on our movement or on hydraulic fracturing. It is going to happen with or without us. Do we want to pass up a chance to get a great deal of what we want by supporting Hanger? Do we want to know what is inside the slick packaging of the other candidates only after the election is over? How do we make a difference in getting our issues properly considered in this election cycle?

The only way we can see comparisons between John Hanger and the rest of the field on the issues that matter most to us is to insist that we have at least two debates in the Democrat primary cycle, one on each side of the state for maximum participation, focused solely on energy and environment issues. PennEnvironment is convening a “Sustainability Forum” on January 13 in Philadelphia, much of it focused on fracking. Congratulations go to PennEnvironment for making that happen.  However, that forum is too inaccessible to the people in western Pennsylvania’s gas fields. So may I suggest that Earth Day 2014 (April 22, 2014) would make a fine day for demanding that every candidate still in the race come to western Pennsylvania to face off specifically and only on the energy, environment and global sustainability issues. The forum could be in Pittsburgh or even nearby Canonsburg, home base of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

It is my view at this point that only John Hanger would welcome such a second debate so close to the primary vote. It is in the best interests of our movement to help make that happen. Otherwise we will see the other candidates run out the clock without having to be responsive to our movement, facing the questions we have here in western Pennsylvania.

Do we have the strength as a movement to demand such a forum? Can we command the attendance of all candidates? Other upcoming forums will cover a range of issues, and we can predict that not enough attention will be given to our issues. We need a focused forum. How do we make it happen?

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About jstephencleghorn

My name is Dr. J. Stephen Cleghorn. I am now a resident of Baltimore, MD. I continue to own a 50-acre certified organic farm in Jefferson County, PA that I operated with my late wife Lucinda between 2005 and 2011 when she passed away from cancer. The farm is now under lease to organic farmers and protected by "The Dr. Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez Conservation Easement” which protects it for organic agriculture and against the threats of industrial development that would violate the Rights of Nature. The blog’s name is taken from the writings of Saint Augustine who believed “Hope” to be the greatest of spiritual gifts. And, says Saint Augustine, Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage. Anger so that what must not be may not be; courage so that what should be can be. Anger and Courage. Now in late 2016, after the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, these are the spiritual gifts that must come to the fore if we are to have “Hope” for a loving culture and a sustainable world for future generations. When I first created this blog it was focused on the extreme form of fossil fuel extraction known as “fracking” that was threatening much of the state of Pennsylvania and many other parts of the United States. At the root of that struggle was and is a struggle to halt and reverse climate change. Now the struggle has turned to resisting an incoming Trump Administration that is an existential threat to the climate with its plans to ramp up extraction and use of fossil fuels. This blog will be about having the courage to stand up to the massive global corporations that would ruin our planet and its climate, take their profits and leave the mess to future generations of to clean up. We need to rise up, my friends, and be not afraid.
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17 Responses to John Hanger for Governor – part 2 (edited 1/3/14)

  1. T.Lyle Ferderber says:

    Folks, If the True North is to get Hanger elected, take another look at the questions you pose. The political center generally determines election outcomes (left votes for left, right for right, whoever moves the center wins) and consider re-phrasing the very left questions: “strong supporter of unions” may sway voters negatively, “strong supporter of public ed” could be rephrased too in a way that does not negate the necessity of unions, but does say that budget balance is important too. I guess those are my only 2 question points. I met Ed Pawlowski, mayor of Allentown, who is a candidate and he seemed good to me too (esp. as an executive with job creation exp.), as well as McGinty who has a strong environmental record as well (esp. in terms of Growing Greener and solar support).

    • Hi, T. Lyle – you make some good points, but I do think Hanger is pretty left-liberal-progressive on unions and public education. That seems to be accurate on his positions. But be that as it may, for me “True North” is not electing Hanger as governor. True North is ending fracking and doing whatever we can do, and doing it fast, to halt and reverse climate change. I know many anti-fracking folks out there are politically conservative. That’s okay. They may reject Hanger on those other grounds. But I think Hanger, better than anyone, is framing the agenda on energy more openly and honestly than the others. I’ll be interested to see where Pawlowski comes out on the energy and environment issues. Even if he is good-hearted about as we’d like him to be, will he support a moratorium, or does he know enough about pushing the renewable energy technologies? Do we have time for on-the-job-training on these climate and energy issues? As for McGinty, she is pretty closely associated with the drilling industry. I’d like to see her say that she will accept no gas industry money (from companies or PACs), as Hanger has said. My deepest intention in publishing these two posts is to get people talking about the prospects of blanket moratorium as one result of the governor’s race (not likely in my view), versus steps short of that which will slow down the industry, protect us from some of its harms, and give us more time to build the case in localities for stopping the drilling, perhaps drawing upon the precedent that may have been set in the recent Supreme Court ruling on Act 13. Local moratoriums and even bans may be more possible now that the environmental rights amendment of the PA constitution has been affirmed at the highest level. Yet who among the Democrat candidates can slow down and control the industry the best, can maintain or impose moratoriums in state forests and parks, and is committed to major new development of renewable energy technologies? Hanger stands out on all those for me, at least until I hear the others at least speak up in specifics about all that. True North is a sustainable planet for future generations.

  2. T.Lyle Ferderber says:

    Thanks, you state that very well.

  3. thanks, Stephen, for a well-written and well-rounded article with a lot of excellent points; I can agree on most of it and will spread this around. I like the last point especially:

    “Immediately fire climate-change-denying DEP Secretary Abruzzo along with “Energy Czar” Patrick Henderson, and shut down the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.”

    • Thank you, Vera. I think the open and frank dialogue about our choices has to happen right now, before any sort of choice gets away from us and the elites of the Democratic Party choose the candidate instead of us choosing him or her. The fact that John Hanger has a lot of good positions is making some of my friends nervous (some even quite upset with me). On the other hand I am starting to learn more about what other candidates are doing on climate change and energy issues. That’s a good thing.

      • yes, let us know what good things you learn about the other candidates — thanks,

      • See Jenny Lisak’s comments below. She is one of my mentors, the one who put me on the warpath to stop shale gas. She’s a little upset at me now, but doing what she does best – research. Take a look at her comments about McGinty and McCord. Maybe we’ll see some follow-up on them, or the others. This is a difficult task, all the more reason we need a couple of focused forums on both sides of the state just getting these candidates to talk about energy and climate and a sustainable planet.

  4. Tom Frost says:

    “Abraham Lincoln: A compass, I learned when I was surveying, it’ll… it’ll point you True North from where you’re standing, but it’s got no advice about the swamps and deserts and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination, you plunge ahead, heedless of obstacles, and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp… What’s the use of knowing True North?”

    TF: I’ll have to watch the movie “Lincoln” again, because I seem to have missed that part. But more to the point, that’s a such an EXCELLENT analogy that I’ll ignore my suspicion that, to nitpick, the real Lincoln probably knew that a compass only points to magnetic north.

    NOT EVEN knowing the difference between true north and magnetic north is, sadly, a good analogy of the extent to which the fractivist community has matured so far, and that is why we’ll likely get another four years of Tom Corbett.

    • Thank you, Tom. You can look up the script of Lincoln online if you like. I think the scriptwriter Tony Kushner may have erred a bit as you suggest, but that is not why I quoted that part of the movie. My point in using that quote is that “true north” for me, for us should be the end of fracking and deployment of sustainable energy technologies that would halt global warming and perhaps arrest climate change before it is too late. We have some bogs to traverse before we get there. There is not a magic candidate out there who will ban fracking, and I think it irresponsible to waste our votes as a movement. So basically I wanted to break this conversation about choices out into the open. That seems to be happening, but I have some good friends kind of upset with me for the time being. But at least they are beginning to write about what/who they might support, and why.

  5. jenny says:

    I think that Mr Hanger is only speaking in vague generalities as well. Do we want to pass up a chance to great deal of what we want? Where do you see this as a great deal of what we want?
    Everything points to Hanger’s relationship to the gas industry like his promotion of gas, including exports and CNG.He speaks about gas and regulation more than the other candidates because he is a gas guy! Hanger is not found being the keynote speaker at renewable energy conferences, it all about gas. McGinty said she helped usher in the first renewable energy portfolio standards to be adopted by a coal-producing state, which helped Pennsylvania become No. 1 in the country with regard to jobs generated by the wind turbine industry and No. 2 in terms of jobs in the solar sector.
    Here we have Hanger speaking at a conference “The Compelling Case for Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) in Public and Private Fleets” http://www.cleanvehicle.org/workshop/images/pittsburgh_Agenda.pdf
    And here with industry reps from Chesapeake and EQT. representing Eckart Seamens
    Driving our Way to a Cleaner Future Shale from Shale Gas Insight John Hanger moderator. http://shaleinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Marcellus_Program_2012.pdf

    “As for McGinty, she is pretty closely associated with the drilling industry.” Well it seems Hanger is in that same category.
    I don’t believe that McCord is associated with the gas industry and after a very close look at the contributions for his treasurer post, I could not see any identifiable as coming from any gas industry. He addressed climate change in this piece he coauthored “SEC’s climate change transparency”
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/36238.html

    another industry speaking engagement ..for Hanger
    North American Gas Summit http://www.natgasamerica.com/page/john-hanger

    So Hanger is for natural gas powered vehicles, as I mentioned in a previous comment, that in India when CNG was mandated nitrous oxides increased, smog forming nitrous oxides that are 300 times a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2.Of course that would cause even more gas production.

    He is critical of Robert Howarth. Hanger..”The Chesapeake Bay Foundation does important work and has made real contributions to the protection of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. As a result, it is painful to see CBF associate with Prof. Howarth, and the association undermines CBF’s credibility and mission.” http://johnhanger.blogspot.com/2011/12/chesapeake-bay-foundation-uses-prof.html

    Howarth’s methane emission concerns were recently vindicated by the latest research “Study Finds Methane Emissions From Natural Gas Production Far Higher Than EPA Estimates” http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/11/25/2988801/study-methane-emissions-natural-gas-production/

    Is he for banning exports, No!, Hanger from the North American Gas Summit “I think more gas will be exported, but exports of gas will be controversial. I don’t think huge amounts of natural gas will be exported. The public will not tolerate a significant impact on domestic natural gas prices caused by export amounts. I think the public will accept and has accepted some exports in natural gas historically, but the public is price sensitive.”

    JOHN HANGER, ECKERT SEAMANS: “For gas to make large and rapid gains in transportation, public policy must be put in place to deploy fuelling infrastructure and natural gas vehicles.”

    http://www.natgasamerica.com/page/john-hanger

    On gas in his own words from the checks and balances project.

    I didn’t look exhaustively, but Hanger doesn’t seem to be a key figure at renewable energy circles or at renewable energy and climate conferences. When he is an invited to speak at one he talks about natural gas http://www.sustainable-energy-conference.org/2012/video/04-20-Keynote4-Hanger-Talk/04-20-Keynote4-Hanger-Talk.html

    He is knee deep in gas and that seems to be his expertise and obviously the direction of his campaign is to promote and endorse gas. I think endorsing him as a candidate based on what I’ve found researching his positions ( since I did not get answers to the questions I posted) is unwise.

    I think it might be better to have a candidate who is not so steeped in gas. Hanger seems to think that just because gas dominates, gas should dominate. He appears to be obstinate in his belief that gas is not a detriment to climate. We can only hope that The other candidates will have something more sane to offer when we consider what climate scientists predict. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/03/1265854/-The-Boulevard-Of-Climate-Catastrophe-Humanity-s-Path-To-Perdition-The-Moral-Imperative-To-Act?detail=hide

    • Thank you, Jenny. I’d like to see more about McGinty and McCord. What you have presented is quite interesting, but I want to see more in-depth information about where each stands on an overall moratorium, on limited moratoriums (like Hanger proposes), on ramping up renewable energy technologies, on other progressive issues, and on many other specifics re fracking (especially) that the Hanger campaign has put out there. This helps to start looking as deeply at other candidates as I have looked at Hanger. I hope you or someone else will ask McGinty and McCord to provide the sort of responses to questions that John has provided to me and I have passed on through this blog. Your friend. – Stephen

  6. Jay Sweeney says:

    Stephen,

    You ask for information about other candidates. Please see http://blogs.philadelphiaweekly.com/phillynow/2013/12/17/meet-potential-green-party-gov-candidate-paul-glover/ and http://www.paulglover.org/. Since the first article was written, Paul Glover has announced his intention to run on the Green Party ticket. Paul Glover and the Green Party of Pennsylvania support a ban on fracking. Please note,
    The Libertarian Party will also run a candidate for Governor.

    You say, “The gubernatorial election is not a referendum on our movement or on hydraulic fracturing.” I say, let’s make it so. This is the biggest issue facing us. It is a threat to our survival. We were never asked before or since what our opinion is. We should not support a candidate who supports the continued destruction of our Commonwealth in any way shape or form.

    Don’t forget that Ed Rendell welcomed the natural gas industry to Pennsylvania without any impact study, bonding, plan for protecting residents or the environment and he was a Democrat. He was also the one who leased large portions of our State Forests before issuing a moratorium on the remainder. Ed Rendell was also the industry’s self proclaimed “biggest cheerleader”.

    You might also want to look into John Hanger’s confirmation hearing for DEP Secretary and Senator Mary Jo White’s criticism of him regarding his work at Penn Future. As CEO of Penn Future, he took State funds and either did not complete the tasks at all or submitted shoddy results according to Senator White.

    If you are a Democrat and you want to influence the selection of your candidate by all means do so. It is your right. However, don’t forget the Primary election system is inherently unfair. It is paid for with taxpayer dollars, but, many are shut out. The Democrats and Republicans should fund their candidate selection process by convention at their own expense.

    Before dismissing supporting a Green candidate as unlikely to win or likely to return Corbett to office, consider the last 8 years. I see little difference between who was Governor and the impact on our Commonwealth.

    I am angry at both the Democrats and Republicans for what they have done to our Commonwealth and our nation. Have the courage to leave them and support and vote for people who share our beliefs.

    Sincerely,

    Jay Sweeney
    Chair
    Green Party of Pennsylvania

    • Thank you, Jay. I’ll be sure to take a look at Glover’s experience, positions and viability as a candidate. I really appreciate you sending this along. I think others reading along this blog will appreciate it, too. – Steve

      • Jay Sweeney says:

        Thanks to you too, Steve, for your commitment in the struggle to save our Commonwealth!

        Jay

    • tlyle2014 says:

      And thank you too Jay for spreading the word about your candidate. I confess to not taking, nor currently having, the time to research (It is Monday morn and a business needs run) your candidate and party’s positions. And I see too many similarities between the two parties, but I also see enough difference to be a dem. My hope for a left third party is that sights get set lower (PA House?) which legitimizes the party/candidate and allows for more public acceptance on a state level. And I do understand how third parties run uphill to get on tickets and for that I am embarrassed at both parties.

      • Jay Sweeney says:

        Thank you tlyle2014! The Green Party has been running candidates for lower office for the past 20 years. We have officers currently serving as Auditors, Judges of Election and other local offices. We have run many candidates for State Rep. We will continue to do so. However, we do believe that no one is representing our position regarding natural gas extraction and for that reason we will seek to put a candidate on the ballot for Governor. As you mention it is an arduous task. Pa election law is supposed to provide for “free and fair” elections, but, requires third party and independent candidates to collect signatures of registered voters instead of participating in the primary election that we all pay for. The Green Party will need at least 17,000 signatures to put a candidate for Governor on the ballot.

  7. John Trallo says:

    Stephen, Once again, I say with all due respect, John Hanger is as much pro-gas, pro-industry, as any other candidate, save for Max Myers and Paul Glover. Whether they have a chance at winning is irrelevant. This is an election, not a horse race. In an election, the point is to cast your vote for what and who you want, nit who you think will “win”.
    As for Hanger’s other non-gas related policies, they are, for all intents and purposes, not different that any other candidate seeking the nomination of the democrat party.
    As I said before, the people of PA need to start leading and developing their leaders. I don’t want to know what the candidates think, what they believe, or what they plan to do. We need candidates that will represent the will of the people, and do what we require them to do.
    As long as we THINK we live in a two party duopoly, and as long as we expect our elected officials to be our democratic MOMMMYS or republican DADDYS, we will never have a representative government.
    Andrew Cuomo is as pro-gas as Corbett. The difference is, the people of NY aren’t afraid to get in his face, and the face of other elected officials, or candidates, and TELL THEM WHAT TO DO.
    Maybe it’s a rural PA-thing, and the people are so used to being made to feel powerless, that they no longer know how to stand up for themselves because they’ve been effectively conditioned to accepting the lesser of two evils.
    As I’ve said before, John Hanger is all about “balancing the needs of the industry with the environment and protecting public health” (his words, not mine), and that means acceptable sacrifices, unintended consequences to public health and safety, because Hanger, by his own admission, will never shut this industry down. When I asked him about the people who are being exposed to carcinogens, and may lose their life from exposure to this industry, he said, “For those who become terminally ill, or lose their life, there could never be any compensation, and I’m not saying that’s not going to happen. That’s just the reality. My regulations will hopefully minimize those serious impacts.”
    Stephen, I know that you have suffered the loss of your wife. So have I. I lost her to a cancer that was directly related to the widespread use of DDT where she grew up in NJ. She was only 42 years old and left me with a 5 year old son who never got to really know his mother and three teenaged daughters to raise. You may remember, DDT was also “regulated”, and was claimed to be “safe” for thirty years until it was finally banned.
    I left the Phila/NJ area to get my family away from industrial activity and raise my son in a healthy and safe environment. a place where my children and grandchildren can visit, or call home someday. All of the reasons I relocated to NEPA are vanishing before my eyes.
    So, when I hear people talk about “regulations, best management practices, necessary sacrifices, unintended consequences, and balancing the pros + cons”, I want to scream. Too many people have made impossible sacrifices already.
    To those who choose to believe that this can be managed and those “necessary sacrifices” are acceptable, To them I say… you first. My family and I have sacrificed enough, and I will not, can not, in good conscience support any candidate who believes that any number of “necessary sacrifices” to public health, safety, or our life-sustaining natural resources are an “acceptable risk”.
    There is no middle ground to dance around on the issue of extreme fossil fuel extraction. Not with the information we have available.

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