I worked closely with Dave Hess when he was Executive Deputy Secretary and I was Special Deputy Secretary under Jim Seif and Governor Ridge. Dave was responsible for PADEP's environmental digest that provided fresh news about activities at the Department and around the state that concerned environmental protection. These days, I get into my office and each morning, I log onto Dave's website to read all of the latest articles on environmental topics that effect the Commonwealth. This morning, Dave provides his own personal and very thoughtful analysis of the Governor's proposed Marcellus Shale Impact fee in an opinion piece entitled "Will we get a Chevy or a Pinto out of the Upcoming Marcellus Shale Debate." In his analysis, Dave asks and answers the most important questions facing the General Assembly as it reviews and assesses the Governor's proposal. I'm very much with Dave in spirit on this. In my mind, in a perfect world, the fee/tax imposed on Marcellus Shale gas extraction would provide a dedicated funding stream for HSCA that is sorely needed. In addition to addressing local impacts, it would also provide some amount of funding for Growing Greener, Environmental Stewardship and other funds that support brownfield redevelopment, land conservation, stream protection, and other important environmental projects throughout the Commonwealth. Again, I thank Dave for his thoughtful analysis and I urge everyone to read it.
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