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  August 18, 2011 Edition 


PA House Democrat Leadership Portrays Pennsylvania Workers as Drunks and Promiscuous ‘Womenfolk’

HARRISBURG (August 16, 2011) – In what should outrage every Pennsylvanian, at least one House Democrat leader has concluded that the only impact of Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania has been increased business at local establishments and promiscuity.

“Talk about wrong-headed, misinformed, archaic, and just shocking,” said Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming), the House Republican Caucus Chair. “The House Democrat leadership attitude, after studying the impacts of the Marcellus Shale industry in Pennsylvania, is insulting.”

“Drunks and promiscuous ‘womenfolk’ – that is what the House Democrat leaders are calling the hard-working men and women living within the Marcellus Shale region,” Rep. Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland County) said. “Who can really support such notions from leaders who think so little of those working in a growing industry?”

“The people of this Commonwealth deserve better than hyperbole or fear mongering.” Rep. Matt Baker (Bradford/Tioga Counties) said. “The hate-speech, misinformation, stereotyping and sensationalism from the House Democrat Policy Committee chairman is deplorable.”

House Democrat Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) emailed a response to a reporter in regards to a question regarding the impact of the Marcellus Shale industry. Sturla’s published email response to was (emphasis added):

“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...”

“These comments show the lack of comprehension of what is going on in this region,” Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) said. “We are living and working in the real world of providing record levels of jobs, economic development and working toward energy independence.”

Pickett and the other legislators said the various energy companies are working closely with local governments, and the governments, for the most part, are satisfied with the level of cooperation and concern expressed in the northern tier of Pennsylvania.

“These mischaracterizations and stereotypes of Marcellus workers, most of which are hard-working Pennsylvanians, does nothing productive,” Rep. Donna Oberlander (R- Armstrong and Clarion Counties) said. “These comments are absolutely inappropriate and cross the line of decency.”


Sen. Toomey Announces Legislation Repealing Onerous Street Sign Regulation

PhotoWashington, D. C -- U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) announced today he will be introducing legislation to repeal an onerous Department of Transportation regulation mandating new street signs in towns and municipalities across the country.

A longstanding Department of Transportation mandate would require all municipalities to replace their current street signs with new signs that meet federally approved reflectivity standards. According to the mandate, local towns will be responsible for paying for the replacement of current street signs.

Sen. Toomey announced his new legislation after meeting with local officials in Scranton to talk about the economic toll this regulation is having on already strapped municipal budgets.

"I appreciate Sen. Toomey's visit today and the legislation he is introducing," said Joe Chacke, president of Forty Fort Borough. "It's a great first step in the process of changing our government from a bureaucratic government back to a democratic government."

Sen. Toomey has already had success in alleviating this burden in Lower Merion in Montgomery County. Lower Merion officials argued that the street signs mandate was not only expensive, but would force the town to replace its cast-iron historical street signs, stripping the community of its historical character. Working with the Department of Transportation, Sen. Toomey achieved a historical exemption for Lower Merion.

"I have reached out to the Department of Transportation and look forward to working with them in alleviating the burden this regulation places on Pennsylvania municipalities and taxpayers," Sen. Toomey said. "At the same time, I am introducing legislation to make sure that communities like Scranton are not forced to foot the bill for expensive federal mandates. While I appreciate the Department of Transportation's safety concerns, these decisions are best made by local communities and municipalities."


Sen. Toomey Issues Statement On Super Committee Selection

Washington, D. C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) issued the following statement on the announcement that he will be selected to serve on the super committee created by the Budget Control Act:

"I am deeply honored for the opportunity to serve on this bipartisan committee and to be part of the important work we will be doing. In light of last week's events, with the nation's credit downgrade and the deep drop in the markets, it is all the more imperative that this committee do its job effectively and come up with a product that both tackles our debt crisis and can help revive our failing economy.

"Despite the difficulties ahead, I am committed to tackling this challenge and am hopeful that we can produce a proposal that seriously reduces our nation's deficits and grows our economy. Throughout the debate over the debt ceiling, I stressed that we need a solution that achieves the dual goals of putting our government on a path toward a balance budget, and maximizing economic growth and enabling us to create the jobs we badly need. I remain committed to both of these vital goals."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement regarding his selection of Sen. Toomey:

"From his first day in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Toomey has demonstrated a deep understanding of fiscal matters and is a leader on budget and deficit issues. He drafted a budget proposal that was widely supported by the Republican caucus and was actively involved in the recent debt limit debate. His years of experience in the financial sector and on the House Budget Committee will also serve him well in his new role, along with an unwavering commitment to the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility. The American people know that we cannot dig ourselves out of this situation by nibbling around the edges, and I am confident that the Senate Republican appointments to the joint committee can be counted on to propose solutions that put the interests of all Americans ahead of any one political party."


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