On March 23, the Post-Gazette reported the intention of Mike Krancer to step down from his position as secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection ("Pennsylvania Environmental Secretary to Step Down"). The department, even in its own words, is the agency responsible for administering environmental laws and regulations, minimizing pollution and protecting the quality of our natural resources.
The secretary of this agency is charged with setting and implementing policies that will enable DEP to carry out these functions, and to promote public participation in the protection of the environment. The job of the secretary, despite what we have seen in recent years, is not about promoting oil and gas interests and economic development at the expense of human health and the environment.
The departure of Mr. Krancer provides an opportunity for DEP to regain the confidence of the citizens and to return to its mission to prevent pollution and restore our natural resources.
We hope that the next DEP secretary will seize this opportunity, understanding his or her obligation to the people and to the environment. It should be considered an honor to be the leader of an agency that has the power to ensure cleaner air and water, healthier ecosystems, and improved human health for Pennsylvania. Plenty of other professionals, such as lobbyists and corporate interest groups, will work to promote the position of industry. What the commonwealth needs now is someone to represent the interests of the people and the many natural resources we are so fortunate to have in our state.
Chair, Mining Issues Committee
Allegheny Group, Sierra Club