Harrisburg – May 2, 2011 – State Sen. Lisa Boscola today, along with Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, sent a letter today to Michael Krancer, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), accusing Krancer of misleading Senate Democrats on the day of his confirmation vote regarding an upcoming policy committee meeting held in Pittsburgh on gas drilling.

“We were hoping Sec. Krancer would have shown a willingness to work in a bi-partisan fashion on one of the most important issues affecting Pennsylvania,” said Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh/Monroe). “The agency is too important. Its responsibilities are too critical. And its actions are too crucial to our environment, the quality of our waterways and the health of millions of people.”

In the letter to Krancer, Boscola and Costa (D-Allegheny) stated that Krancer told Senate Democrats he would “personally see to it” that someone from DEP would contact them about participating in the Senate Democratic Policy Committee hearing in Pittsburgh last Thursday.

“The fact that you yourself pledged to handle the situation and allowed us to vote on your confirmation in good faith, was misleading and wrong,” Boscola and Costa stated.  

Boscola said no one from the 2,500-member DEP responded or even bothered to show up at the hearing, which featured industry officials, environmental experts, public safety representatives and citizens who testified on issues ranging from encouraging the growth of gas drilling to carefully regulating and holding the industry accountable for its impact on the environment and host communities.

Claiming that DEP officials testified at Republican-sponsored hearings just a week earlier, Boscola claimed that Krancer seems to only be interested in Republican ideas –disenfranchising more than 5 million Pennsylvanians represented by Senate Democrats.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is the text of the Costa-Boscola letter:

May 2, 2011

Dear Secretary Krancer:

​On behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus, we are writing to express our extreme disappointment in your failing to participate in our recent Policy Committee Hearing concerning Marcellus Shale issues held on April 28, 2011 in Pittsburgh.  

​What particularly disturbs us is the blatant lack of respect by which the matter was handled.  On April 26, 2011, just two days prior to the hearing, you appeared before our caucus and when we questioned why no one from your agency would agree to participate, you guaranteed us that you would personally see to it that we would be contacted by a representative of your office.  That same afternoon, following the assurance that our request would be addressed, we voted unanimously for your confirmation as Secretary on the Senate floor.   However, in the subsequent days following your confirmation, we were not even given the courtesy of a phone call, as promised.  

​Undoubtedly, our members now have serious concerns over what type of relationship we can expect to have with you and your agency in the future.  The problem behind this situation is two-fold.  First, it is difficult to fathom how an agency which employs nearly 2,500 people, could not find one representative to attend a legislative policy hearing pertaining to one of the most prominent issues currently before your agency, the General Assembly and the citizens of this Commonwealth.  Secondly, the fact that you yourself pledged to handle the situation and allowed us to vote on your confirmation in good faith, was misleading and wrong.  

​Again, we cannot emphasize how disconcerting your actions regarding this situation have been to our Caucus.  We look forward to hearing from you on this matter.

Sincerely,

Senators Jay Costa and Lisa Boscola