By Tom Waring
Wire Staff Writer
Kevin Strouse, the Democratic candidate in the 8th Congressional District, called on U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick to denounce Gov. Tom Corbett’s executive order that allows fracking in state parks and forests.
Strouse cited the timing of the announcement — late on the Friday afternoon before the Memorial Day weekend — as evidence that the governor knew he was acting against the will of the people.
“This is only the latest example of Congressman Fitzpatrick standing by while one of his top allies benefits from a back-room deal that harms Pennsylvania families. Our commonwealth’s 120 state parks and 2.2 million acres of state forests are specifically designated for the conservation of our natural resources, and not to be turned over to Gov. Corbett’s friends in the fracking industry,” Strouse said.
“By signing this executive order on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, knowing that people’s attention would rightly be focused on remembering the sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives to keep our country free, Gov. Corbett proved he is grossly out of touch with Pennsylvania’s families. His actions are disgraceful, and I call on Congressman Fitzpatrick to repudiate them and ask his party’s governor to reverse this executive order.”
Pennsylvania remains one of the few gas-producing states that does not tax natural gas production.
Strouse advocates for repealing what is known as the “Halliburton loophole,” an exemption in federal environmental regulations that exempts fracking companies from abiding by the standards of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. Strouse is also an advocate for the moratorium on drilling in the Delaware River Basin.
“When I am elected to Congress, I will support legislation to require the natural gas industry to disclose all chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process, and I will fight to repeal the Halliburton loophole and bring natural gas drilling under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act,” he said.
Strouse is a former Army Ranger, CIA counterterrorism analyst and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives in Middletown with his wife and two young children. He is program director of Teach2Serve, a nonprofit that teaches social entrepreneurship to local high school students.
The National Republican Congressional Committee is watching to see if Strouse will support President Obama’s global warming regulation that will cut carbon pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants by up to 20 percent.
The proposed regulation was written by the Environmental Protection Agency. It will allow each state to come up with a plan to cut emissions.
Coal plants are a source of greenhouse gases, which many scientists say cause global warming. A recent study, issued by the United States Chamber of Commerce, found that Obama’s edict will force more than a “third of the coal-fired power capacity to close by 2030.”
“Not only will this new Obama regulation cost billions of dollars for taxpayers, but it will limit American energy production and spike electricity prices — hurting families across America,” said NRCC communications director Andrea Bozek. “Pennsylvania families deserve a Republican leader in Congress that will stand up to President Obama and his administration’s job-destroying regulations.”
Meanwhile, the NRCC has sent Strouse a petition titled “My Pledge Against Nancy Pelosi.”
The petition highlights what the NRCC calls the minority leader’s failed liberal agenda, and asks Strouse to pledge that he will not vote for Pelosi as speaker, should he be elected to Congress.
“Nancy Pelosi’s policies have been horrible for families and workers all across America,” said NRCC communications director Andrea Bozek.
The pledge states, “I recognize that Nancy Pelosi’s liberal, out-of-touch agenda is bad for the hard-working families and small businesses in my district and I hereby pledge that, should I be elected to Congress, I will not vote for Pelosi as Speaker of the House. I further agree to publicly demand that House Majority PAC and any other outside organization affiliated with the Pelosi agenda not participate in any way in my election.”