Read

Search form

Pennsylvania Greenlights Fracking on College Campuses

Pennsylvania Greenlights Fracking on College Campuses
Mon, 10/22/2012 - by RT News

Students in the Keystone State will have to get acquainted with the idea of cracking down in a way that's unrelated to their level of academic discipline. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has authorized schools to allow fracking on college campuses.

Governor Corbett signed his name to Pennsylvania Senate Bill 367 last week, and with it gave his seal of approval for schools to cut contracts with energy companies to open the door for oil drilling and coal mining corporations to set up shop on campuses across the state. By authorizing that act, companies that conduct hydraulic fracturing drills, or "fracking," will be allowed to conduct tests on school grounds.

Fracking has been hailed by its supporters as a way of milking the Earth's innards for natural gas to increase America's domestic dependency on energy sources. President Obama all but endorsed fracking during his 2012 State of the Union Address, insisting that America has a natural gas supply that can last for another century and that the country could create as many as 600,000 new jobs in the field by 2020.

The actual act of fracking, however, has caused opponents to question its safety — both long-term and short. Fracking operations typically involve injecting mass quantities of chemicals into the Earth in order to release resources buried within, but the contents of what's used in those exercises have been called into question and has even led some scientists to suggest fracking companies use known carcinogens during their drills.

Others have also pointed at fracking as the possible culprit behind a string of earthquakes that have erupted in the US in areas adjacent to fracking sites, and still others have cried foul over the opening of drill sites in already developed locales have led to the mass exodus of residents left with little to no options for relocation.

Now students in Pennsylvania will be left to consider the pros and cons of fracking on their own, with drilling companies being given the go-ahead to pursue contracts on college grounds.

Verbatim, Senate Bill 367, "establishes the Indigenous Mineral Resource Development Act, allowing the Department of General Services to make and execute contracts or leases for the mining or removal of coal, oil, natural gas, coal bed methane and limestone found in or beneath land owned by the state or state system of higher education."

Previously, similar contracts have been extended so that state agencies including the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Fish and Boat Commission can lease college land, and last year the Erie Times News quoted Gov. Corbett as saying schools "could ease their financial woes by tapping into Marcellus shale deposits beneath their campuses."

Common Dreams notes, however, that Gov. Corbett only suggests as much after slashing funding for more than a dozen schools under Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) by 18 percent, all the while extending a $1.7 billion tax break to Shell to tempt them into building a refinery in Western PA.

Under the just-signed act, 50 percent of all fees and royalties generated through fracking drills will be left for each specific host university to divvy as they wish, with another 35 percent being sent through the state system and 15 percent allocated to the side for tuition subsidies. Even if that means adding to the pockets of Pennsylvania schools scrounging for aid, though, some say it could come at just too large of a cost.

"Students need a place to learn and grow, but they're being forced to jeopardize their health to get that education," Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of Delaware Riverkeeper, tells Mother Jones. "This has been a big giveaway by the state of Pennsylvania to drilling interests, and it's at the expense of students and the public."

Add new comment

Sign Up

Article Tabs

carbon emissions, Pakistan coal plants, Pakistan coal generation, Pakistan energy policy

On its projected track, Pakistan will generate a total capacity of over 23,000 megawatts of electricity from coal in the next few years to overcome its steep energy requirements.

student loans, student debt, college debt, Student Loan Asset Backed Securities, subprime mortgage securities, collateralized debt, Federal Family Education Loan Program, Student Income Loans, Student Income Loans

A crucial difference between the subprime debt bubble and the student debt bubble is that the properties that comprised subprime mortgage securities served as collateral to the mortgage debt.

DiEM25, austerity policies, Brexit, Lexit, Democracy in Europe Movement, Grexit

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis responds to his critics and lays out DiEM25’s plan for resisting within the European Union.

Five Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, anti-corruption movement, populist politics, Euro-skeptic party, Italian political corruption, Silvio Berlusconi, Virginia Raggi, Chiara Appendino

The transparency and political openness that helped the 5 Star Movement rise to power must now bring the party's current and future proposals to the forefront if it hopes to achieve any lasting change.

Occupy Wall Street, rising inequality, park occupations, financialization, debt, David Graeber, Occupy legacy, social protests, economic justice, Jeremy Corbyn

Five years after Occupy, organizer and anthropologist David Graeber speaks to ROAR about the power of finance, the history of inequality and the legacy of the movement.

Wells Fargo crimes, Wells Fargo accounts scam, Wells Fargo foreclosures, mortgage-backed securities, subprime loans, Wall Street crimes, John Stumpf

Despite all of the fines paid to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Wells Fargo continues to deny any allegations of wrongdoing. Now a former employee is disputing that claim.

Posted 4 days 11 hours ago
blockchain currencies, blockchain technologies, crypto currencies, Bitcoin, Federal Reserve, Bank of England, fractional reserve lending, Central Bank Digital Currency, bank bailouts, bail-ins

Central Bank Digital Currencies could supplant the money now created by private banks.

Posted 5 days 12 hours ago
occupy, activism, creative activism, alt-right, white supremacy, neo-nazi, bigotry, racism, sexism, white nationalism, white genocide, Milo Yiannopoulos, Richard Bertrand Spencer, Gabriella Coleman, hacktivism, Anonymous, hacker, whistleblower, digital ac

We're introducing a new segment for all those times you think to yourself, "Wow, that's fucked up." First topic: white supremacists.

Posted 3 days 17 hours ago
carbon emissions, Pakistan coal plants, Pakistan coal generation, Pakistan energy policy

On its projected track, Pakistan will generate a total capacity of over 23,000 megawatts of electricity from coal in the next few years to overcome its steep energy requirements.

Posted 1 day 17 hours ago
Five Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, anti-corruption movement, populist politics, Euro-skeptic party, Italian political corruption, Silvio Berlusconi, Virginia Raggi, Chiara Appendino

The transparency and political openness that helped the 5 Star Movement rise to power must now bring the party's current and future proposals to the forefront if it hopes to achieve any lasting change.

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago
Five Star Movement, Beppe Grillo, anti-corruption movement, populist politics, Euro-skeptic party, Italian political corruption, Silvio Berlusconi, Virginia Raggi, Chiara Appendino

The transparency and political openness that helped the 5 Star Movement rise to power must now bring the party's current and future proposals to the forefront if it hopes to achieve any lasting change.

Wells Fargo crimes, Wells Fargo accounts scam, Wells Fargo foreclosures, mortgage-backed securities, subprime loans, Wall Street crimes, John Stumpf

Despite all of the fines paid to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Wells Fargo continues to deny any allegations of wrongdoing. Now a former employee is disputing that claim.

AFL-CIO, union organizing, Keystone XL pipeline, jobs versus environment, Dakota Access Pipeline, Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Standing Rock protests, Communications Workers of America, National Nurses United

In sharp contrast to Richard Trumka and the AFL-CIO, some unions really want to restrain climate change and are now vocally opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Mylan, EpiPen, pharmaceutical industry, Big Pharma, National Institutes of Health, Daraprim, Martin Shkreli, pharmaceutical greed, pharmaceutical lobbying

“Somewhere, right now, a cash-strapped parent or budget-limited patient will skip acquiring an EpiPen. And someday they will need it in a life-threatening situation, and they won’t have it, and they will die.”

carbon emissions, Pakistan coal plants, Pakistan coal generation, Pakistan energy policy

On its projected track, Pakistan will generate a total capacity of over 23,000 megawatts of electricity from coal in the next few years to overcome its steep energy requirements.