Look at the DEP nominee's whole statement

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Your editorial “Not Good Enough: The Pick for DEP Fails the Knowledge Test” (Dec. 9) fails to note the state Senate Environmental Committee reported out the nomination of Christopher Abruzzo as Department of Environmental Protection secretary on a motion made by both the Republican and Democratic chairs of the committee.

The debate over Mr. Abruzzo’s comments about climate change — where he said clearly, unlike his immediate predecessor, that climate change is real, is affected by humans and that he believes the people of Pennsylvania are doing their share to address the issue, which demands a global response — diverts us from the real issues that need to be addressed.

Where’s the debate over how $1.9 billion in environmental funding has been cut or diverted to other programs over the last 11 years and that DEP’s staff has been cut nearly 20 percent, almost all the cuts coming during the Rendell administration?

Where’s the debate over how Pennsylvania is going to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution to meet the next Chesapeake Bay cleanup milestones?

Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin, Mr. Abruzzo’s home district senator who knows him well, told the committee Mr. Abruzzo’s experience as a township commissioner and prosecutor make him an excellent candidate for DEP secretary because he has practical, real-world experience with environmental programs and their impacts.

Let’s look at Mr. Abruzzo’s entire statement before the committee, not just the part that might fit someone’s political strategy or already written press release.

DAVID E. HESS
Harrisburg

The writer is the former secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection under Govs. Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker.


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