This post is in cooperation with and Blog Action Day.

Earlier, I posted about Marcellus Shale and Tom Corbett’s desire to allow Gas and Oil companies to drill and bring in an estimated one trillion dollars, tax free. In the post, I focused only on a part of the economics of the Marcellus Shale debate, but there is another aspect of this issue that deserves attention. Corbett’s opponent in the race for Governor supports a fair tax on Marcellus Shale with the proceeds used to protect the environment. You would think that after the Gulf Oil Spill, this would be a no brainer, but unless we elect Dan Onorato governor, there may be no money set aside to help protect the state’s natural resources including ground water.

Tom Corbett has received about 5% of his total fundraising from the Gas and Oil companies and has spent considerable time in Texas, fundraising. These same companies are already guilty of damaging drinking water in the state.

In Dimock, Susquehanna County, it appears undisputed that Cabot Oil and Gas has contaminated the drinking water for 15 families there. In November of 2009, Cabot Oil and Gas, from Houston ,Texas entered into Consent Decree acknowledging that it failed to properly cement well casings causing methane and other toxic chemicals to contaminate the water at Dimock.

In September of 2010, 13 families filed suit against Southwestern Energy Co, also from Houston, Texas, claiming that its fracking technique contaminated their drinking water. Scientific testing found elevated levels of barium, iron manganese and strontium in their water, but there is an ongoing dispute as to whether or not there is a casual link between the fracking operations and the pollution of the underground water. DEP agrees that the water is contaminated but has not established a casual link between fracking and contamination in the second Susquehanna claim. The matter is in litigation and Peter Cambs of Port Washington, New York is representing the Plaintiffs.

If we care about ground water in Pennsylvania, and we want the Gas and Oil companies to be accountable, we need to defeat Tom Corbett at the ballot box and elect a governor who will take care of the people of the state instead of taking care of the multi-billion dollar corporations and their profits.

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