Recently, I received some very disturbing news from Penn Environment concerning Senate Bill 411 sponsored by state Sen. Richard A. Kasunic of Fayette County. This bill has a backdoor proposal to amend the Environmental Good Samaritan Act's liability protections, which means that the oil and gas industry will be exempt from accidents or spills that can damage property and destroy lives.
And the bill is so vague that it is unclear if fracking companies will even be held accountable under our existing laws if they chose to violate them.
According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, Article 1, Section 27, Natural Resources and the Public Estate, the people have a right to clean air, pure water and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.
Kasunic's bill takes away our rights and hands them over to the big oil and gas industry. This bill allows for the destruction and the devaluation of our property and has real potential to destroy our water, air and the environment.
A public hearing should have been held before any such bill was even considered.
I urge all Pennsylvanians to contact Kasunic and tell him to abolish this bill in its present form now. And don't be fooled by any excuses. Senate Bill 411 is a bad bill and a bad deal for all of Pennsylvania and for generations to come.
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