PA Rep. Makes Hilarious Comment on Fracking, STDs
As is well known, there’s a fight going on over whether to tax gas development in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Corbett and most state Republicans say no, the minority party in the state House and Senate (Democrats) say yes. The debate has shifted hard to the right since former Gov. Rendell’s tenure. And since Corbett has come into power, there’ve been a number of compromise proposals put forth, the most media-prone being making gas companies help out the communities in which they drill.
Some Democrats still don’t like this. And Rep. Mike Sturla may have taken the whole “drilling” thing way too euphemistically.
The Democrat of Lancaster County had been sharing a number of emails with Capitol Wire reporter Pete DeCoursey regarding the gas industry (Sturla is in favor of taxation) and got downright pissed regarding the “gas drillers helping out the community” talking point. Here’s the quote:
“Also, aside from building roads so their trucks can get to drill sites and doing a little stream work to mitigate damage from their road building, exactly what are all those things the drillers are doing for the local communities? Patronizing the bars at night? Driving up the cost of rental housing? Spreading sexually transmitted disease amongst the womenfolk? Causing school districts to ask local governments to ban truck traffic on local roads during school bus pick up and drop off times so kids don’t get killed? Upgrading emergency preparedness equipment to handle a well blow out? Running compressor stations that have decibel levels equal to a jet engine?…Really community oriented stuff.”
The gas industry isn’t taking the “they have diseases” accusation sitting down. They’re calling his comments “downright arrogant, inflammatory and, above all else, patently false.” They’re also reminding him that “womenfolk” isn’t a term used much anymore. (Womenfolk!) They claim more than 140,000 Pennsylvanians have already been put to work on the Marcellus Shale development plan and that many more Pennsylvanians are hoping gas will be a sparkplug for Pennsylvania’s economic recovery, which is set to begin any day now.
The House Republican caucus has piled on, too, calling his comments “shocking,” “hate speech,” “fear mongering,” and other things. We’re not sure if this is going to go anywhere (calls for Dude to resign in 3…2…1…) but we know this: Shale debate is restarting in a few weeks and what a great way to kick this thing off.