The phrase “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is often used when talking about war or major social conflicts. But last week, John Quigley, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), seemed to be committing the same mistake.
In commenting to a reporter about water supply problems in the Woodlands area of Butler County, Quigley said, “I don't think it would be a productive use of my time to review how the agency handled certain cases…I'm much more interested in ongoing instances of pollution of the waterways of the commonwealth.”
The chaotic destruction of productive farmland, beautiful badlands and people’s lives in North Dakota to exact oil is unnecessary. The oil could be extracted without destroying the place in the process.
State officials have allowed the oil industry to produce a product before the industry made sure it had transportation, disposal of its radioactive waste, safety, housing, law enforcement and most other infrastructure available. Now, to fix their poor planning, they want you and me to take the risk for their contamination, exploding trains, and other problems.
The impacts of this fast-as-possible oil extraction reaches across North America.