What chance do citizens have against drillers’ cash?

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I read with great interest your article “Range Resources’ John Day Waste Impoundment Leak a Bigger Problem” (June 12). Wastewater that leaked from one Range Resources facility has contaminated groundwater and more than 650 truckloads of soil. Matt Pitzarella, Range spokesman, was quoted elsewhere previously saying, “There’s no reason to believe there is a notable threat to the environment, and [there’s] no threat to the community.” Mr. Pitzarella is so right. This leak is not a threat, it is a reality.

The citizens of Pennsylvania have no choice but to rely upon their elected officials to protect their interests in their environment. Unfortunately, the elected officials (from the county executive to the governor) are motivated primarily by the money they need to be (re-)elected. Companies like Range Resources have found that money spent on politicians is a tremendous investment. It pays off many times over in terms of savings that come from industry-friendly legislation and enforcement. Average citizens are essentially helpless in the battle for the loyalty of elected politicians.

In the long run, big money will win as usual. Pennsylvanians should roll over and get ready, because like Range says, “Drilling is just the beginning.”

Bradford Woods

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