Here we are in September with the Pennsylvania budget still unfinished.
While I am not surprised by this lack of progress, I am concerned that some of our elected officials have been willing to include devastating anti-environmental legislation in budget bills to date.
Specifically, the state Senate proposed a number of bills that put our air and water at risk. Provisions included in the Senate’s revenue plan – provisions, it should be noted, that have nothing to do with raising revenue – would compromise clean air and water standards by outsourcing the approval of air quality permits to hand-picked political appointees and place the natural gas industry’s permitting process with individuals selected by the industry and outside of the Department of Environmental Protection.
Why would we ever take clean air and clean water standards out of the hands of the professionals who serve Pennsylvania citizens?
With the Senate back on tap to act now that the House has taken its crack at a budget plan, we must ensure these anti-environmental riders are kept out of a final budget package.
Our legislature is supposed to work for the people, not for big industry and their polluting kin. Pennsylvania’s elected officials including Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. John Yudichak should oppose any state budget that strips away important protections from pollution that could harm their constituents.