Fracking “Gag Order” on Pennsylvania Physicians
On Valentine’s Day of this year, Pennsylvania Governor Corbett signed The Act Amending Title 59 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Act 13 of 2012) that contains long-overdue regulatory guidance as it will apply to the Marcellus Shale fracking industry. Troublesome to physicians and citizens alike is the provision’s mandate requiring physicians to sign a confidentiality agreement vowing that they will not disclose what they know about the chemical list to “others.”
Let’s put this into perspective by ignoring for a moment the things we don’t know, and just concentrate on the things we do know:
We know that congress investigated Halliburton (remember them?) in 2010 and discovered that they used 32 million gallons of diesel products.
We know that one reason that congress had to get involved is that in 2005, the industry applied for and received an exemption from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act.
We know that the industry is also exempt from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory, a program that granted concerned neighborhoods the right to know which chemicals are being used by companies operating near their homes.
In the words of the Philadelphia chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility’s president Dr. Tsou, “What is the big secret here…?
Photo Credit: thelibertyvoice.com