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Friday, April 29, 2011

"These corporations are having a party in our house for their own benefit and they're trashing our state,"

Speakers, activists protest shale drilling at Oakland meeting

Friday, April 29, 2011

As a rule, state Senate and House hearings in Pennsylvania don't include time for public comments. More...

That wasn't the case Thursday, when the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a Marcellus Shale hearing at the Holiday Inn in Oakland with a variety of featured speakers - and added a public comments section at the end that led to a raucous, emotional hearing with boos, clapping and laughs, and even a rally. More...

What resulted was a public venting of angst with the natural gas industry.

In all, 29 members of the public spoke, all of them either opposed to drilling or supportive of stronger regulation or a severance tax against drillers.

The speakers, many of them from Pittsburgh, but some from as far away as Fayette County, took issue with everything from Gov. Tom Corbett's support for drilling, to lax enforcement, to the problems they face in their own homes. More...

As her 4-year-old daughter stood at her side, Michelle Boyle, a nurse from Highland Park, reminisced about the world she grew up in compared to her children and the damage being wrought by natural gas drilling.

"These corporations are having a party in our house for their own benefit and they're trashing our state," she told the committee. More...


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