Everyone wondered why the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Health pulled out of their public presentations in Canonsburg, PA Town Park at the last minute. That story is covered in a September 30th blog here, and follow-up October 5th blog and video of that meeting here.
PITT and the PA DOH were to provide updates on their state, publicly-funded health studies regarding the Ewing Sarcoma cluster that developed in southwestern Pennsylvania as shale gas drilling and fracking ramped-up, dozens of compressor stations were built, and a huge cryogenic gas plant metastasized in the same area where many of the high school students lived.
Concerned citizens and grieving parents were anxious to hear from PITT and DOH.
There was speculation that undue influence was exerted on PITT and DOH to withdraw, and sure enough, a Right to Know filing revealed the following letter, penned by none other than oil & gas shill, and Pennsylvania state senator, Camera Chatham Bartolotta. Notice that her letter is dated Wednesday September 21st, and the PITT/DOH withdrawal was the following Thursday, September 29th.
Beyond denying citizens the right to hear from their state health department (that already has a deplorable history on helping with health problems around drilling and fracking), and also hearing from publicly-funded PITT researchers, Bartolotta went on to bash two non-profits, who have supported citizens on fossil fuel health and justice issues, for over a decade. I took particular note of her slanderous comments about the world class Environmental Health Project, which has served over the past 10 years as the only real health lifeline for those suffering ill-effects from their close proximity to drilling and fracking.
EHP defends public health in the face of shale gas development.
We provide frontline communities with timely monitoring, interpretation, and guidance. We engage diverse stakeholders: health professionals, researchers, community organizers, public servants, and others. We do so because knowledge protects health.
Bartolotta is like far too many politicos in southwestern Pennsylvania, mostly Republicans, who are ‘in the back pocket’ of the oil and gas industry. She’s even working with the likes of Senator Gene Yaw, to establish new incentives for the use of fossil-fueled vehicles while eliminating rebates and grants for hybrid and electric vehicles, as reported here.
Talk about ‘out of touch!’ She’s come a long way baby, since promoting e-Cigarettes in advertisements! “7 flavors!!“