Dauphin County Democratic Committee 2014 Annual Picnic & Swim

Our first fundraiser and get together will be a splash! Please join the Dauphin County Democratic Committee for our Annual Picnic on August 16. This year’s event will be at the Rainbow Hills Swim Club, 4075 Swatara Drive, Harrisburg. It is behind the Swatara Twp Police Station.

RSVP by Aug 13: administrator@dauphindems.com or 717.233.1321

$25 per person over 12, $15 person younger includes lunch.

DCDC Picnic Flyer

DCDC Picnic Flyer

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PEDF Stops Governor Corbett – from leasing gas rights under DCNR lands this year


The Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation [“PEDF”] has prevented the Governor from leasing gas rights under DCNR lands this year.

Commonwealth Court has entered an order in which Governor Corbett has agreed not to lease any more State Forest or Park land until the Court has made a decision on the merits of PEDF’s big [eight-point] court case against him.

With the fear of losing more Park and Forest land to new leases for gas extraction gone, PEDF is eager to get the main legal action case decided as quickly as possible [ see http://www.pedf.org for the details of the case].

The main part of PEDF’s legal action v. Governor Corbett is on schedule to complete the briefing of the issues by September 14. Oral Argument will then be held before the court in October, 2014.

It’s a reprieve for our State Parks. Support PEDF’s efforts by relaying this message to your local newspapers – and see below for supporting PEDF.

Yours in conservation,

Dick Martin

Mission: Good Stewardship of our Public Lands

Support Our Constitutional Right to Clean Air & Water !
Join Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation’s
legal action against Governor Corbett.


The PA Forest Coalition will match the first $4,000
donated – Just mention “PFC Matching”

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The True Cost of Oil and Gas in Our Public Lands

Never reported and always ignored. A $0 cost – not even a line item – in cost:benefit discussions about the subject of Oil & Gas extraction. The cost shown below is certainly worth more than $0 to our kids…it is to mine.

Dam Run Road, typical forestry road, Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming, Clinton, Potter, Tioga, and Union Counties, PA

Dam Run Road, typical forestry road, Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming, Clinton, Potter, Tioga, and Union Counties, PA

Okome Road, former forestry road expanded to accommodate O&G, Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming, Clinton, Potter, Tioga, and Union Counties, PA

Okome Road, former forestry road expanded to accommodate O&G, Tiadaghton State Forest, Lycoming, Clinton, Potter, Tioga, and Union Counties, PA

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LNG “Cleaner” Than Coal? Depends Who Measures and Where

Don’t fall for the old “well, there are a lot of numbers out there” trick.

This US Department of Energy’s May 29 report still uses a laughably low maximum of 1.6% leakage rate to “prove” Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is better than coal.

Conservatively double that leaks, from a well-run life cycle; Stanford puts it as high as 7.1%

This is like when an article about climate change pops up, and within minutes 18 anonymous posts with links from GlenBeck.com or similar sources “prove” the icecaps are growing and honey bees are happy.

It is true that emissions estimates range and vary…ever-increasingly to the detriment of NG.


For perspective on the effect of all these percentages of leakage:

“Chesapeake Climate Action Network, an environmental group…finds that if the oil and gas system methane leak rate exceeds 1.9%, U.S. natural gas loses its greenhouse gas advantage over European coal” (when US gas is shipped to Europe):


While EDF (Environmental Defense Foundation, a pro-gas environmental group) says: “An overall system leak of 1.2% of production…equals the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 112 million cars and 140 coal-fired power plants:”


“Over a 20-year time frame, natural gas is as bad as or worse than coal and oil as a driver of climate change,” according to Howarth, R. W. (2014). A bridge to nowhere: Methane emissions and the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas [Abstract]. Energy Science & Engineering. doi: 10.1002/ese3.35


Former Assistant Counsel to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Mark Wieder recently published that: “A research team lead by Cornell University concluded that up to 40% of oil and gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania might end up (or already are) leaking methane. The argument goes that it is unwise to rely on natural gas as a replacement for dirtier coal. Methane is a more dangerous greenhouse gas than the CO2, and the reductions in CO2 emissions gained by decreasing the use of coal are diminished or eliminated when methane escapes from natural gas wells.” He cites the widely circulated report:


This report ends with the striking revelation: “One surprise, he added, was that the researchers could not find any inspection reports at all for 8,000 wells, even though the state is supposed to inspect them all once a year.”

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PA House Democratic Policy Committee Hears of Gov. Corbett’s Plan for Leasing State Parks/Forests.

On Mon, 6/2 at 10 am, the PA House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing in the PA Capitol. The testimony pertained to Gov. Corbett’s Plan for Leasing State Parks/Forests.

Testimony Heard

John Quigley, Principal, John H. Quigley, LLC.; Former DCNR Secretary; John Childe, Attorney, Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation; Mark Szybist, Attorney, PennFuture; John Norbeck, Vice President and COO, PennFuture; and Curt Ashenfelter, Executive Director, Keystone Trails Association and Joanne Kilgour of Sierra Club PA.

Environmental hero of, by and for We The (actual, living, constituent) People Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, organized the hearing.

Following are my Tweets

Rep Sturla: if drilling prohibited under PA lands, then well will be its reach away from border. If allowed, well will be right on border.

Inspection reports NOT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE for many (in some case most) gas wells on PA public lands, per Joanne Kilgour of @SierraClubPA.

Using natural resources for General Fund maintenance is not conservation. Were using about $14M, @GovernorCorbett’s budget proposes $100M++. ~ Quigley

“Rural Wyoming is seeing smog worse than LA, solely due to natural gas extraction.” – Former DCNR Sec John Quigley.

“Fully one third of PA State Forest is currently open for (O&G) development. Monitoring is just getting off the ground.” – Quigley.

“Its pay me now or pay me later…Intent was to reinvest income back into State (landsF…to be a self-contained system.” – John Quigley.

Injunction against using O&G Fund will stop any Governor and General Assembly from leasing public lands for General Fund. – John Childe

“Spiderwab of gas development enhacncing the risk of flooding across” PA. – John Quigley.

John Childe: “The Commonwealth of PA is not the proprietor oof the Oil and Gas Fund.” It is a trust legally and solely for DCNR activities.

Atty John Childe on leasing PA Parks: O&G Fund is “a specific trust fund” for DCNR purposes. Gas extracted has been converted to private $.

Former DCNR Sec John Quigley on leasing PA Parks: “We are the conservators, not liquidators.” O&G Fund “I could argue, a trust fund.”

For Further Reading


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Alan Kennedy-Shaffer – DCDC Chair Candidate – announces Leadership Team, and Executive Slate

Alan said today: “I am honored to be running with Steelton Councilwoman Denae House (1st Vice Chair), Cole Goodman (2nd Vice Chair), Elizabeth Jones (Treasurer), and Steve Todd (Secretary). My leadership team also includes Harrisburg School Director Destini Hodges, Susquehanna Commissioner Mona Johnson, Swatara Commissioner Tom Connolly, former Lower Paxton Supervisor Jay Purdy, Ellis Roy, Frank Ferguson, Jennifer Kyung, and others.”

One thing many of the folks listed have in common: At times, we have had it with politics, and come close to throwing in the towel. Instead we have made the wiser choice: you can’t fight City Hall if you ain’t at City Hall. And you can’t fight it by shuffling the deck chairs a little.

Now: it is up to YOU, my fellow members of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee, to put us at City Hall. I will be humbled and honored if you would consider doing so. Thank you.

The New Face of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee. New Voices.  New Leaders. Don’t just shuffle the deck chairs, Dauphin Dems.

The New Face of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee.
New Voices. New Leaders.
Don’t just shuffle the deck chairs, Dauphin Dems.

When I posted this to my wall, a friend who happens to be on the Dauphin County Republican Committee commented: “Four more years of Marilyn!”

He was joking…I’m sure…sort of. My Republican friend gives the endorsement of the season…and the reason for the contest.

The Dauphin Democratic Committee will choose change or none. You will choose between Marilyn, her right hand woman / Vice-Chair…or someone with new ideas: Alan Kennedy-Shaffer is my choice given the lineup. Please choose wisely for the next 4 years.

Part of the following has been submitted to PennLive as a Letter to the Editor, all was entered as a comment to the following article about this race:


Fellow members of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee:

Please consider my strong recommendation to attend our June 11 reorganization, and vote for US Army First Lieutenant Alan Kennedy-Schaffer as our new Chair.

Full disclosure: I am on his leadership team. But I’ve endorsed Alan long before discussing that, and would have anyway. Kennedy-Shaffer sums it up here: “because of a failure of leadership.” Indeed.

What exactly has Marilyn Levin accomplished in Derry Twp? When I was running for Supervisor I asked the DCDC for a donation. She personally turned me down. Via email, one sentence, two max. Her responses came so quickly she could not have asked too many on the Committee, so I assumed it was her unilateral leadership decision. I was integrally involved in the elections of the only two Dems since the mid 70’s (long before she was involved). She played absolutely no part in either Sandy Ballard’s or my running mate Matt Weir’s election that I recall. I don’t recall any member of her leadership team offering any help, or communicating in any way. I very well could have missed it, but she should at a minimum say what her leadership did if she wants that notch on her belt. In fact, she did send out a mass email chastising both Derry and Middletown for going it alone in our wins – without DCDC. I sent a lengthy reply and we’ve since met and discussed that, but if we “went it alone”, then we didn’t receive her help. Can’t have it both ways. Pick one.

If DCDC hadn’t fought against Eric Papenfuse running for County Commissioner, we would have the majority Harris wants, now. Most active Dems will tell you that off the record, and why he was not backed, and why some lady named Wendy something came out of nowhere at the 11th hour, and was vigorous pushed by DCDC. I’d never heard of her before or since. Poor leadership…or something. I don’t know whether current Vice Chair Rogette Harris was in leadership at that time, but I’m pretty sure she was on Committee.

We need new leadership. I spent immense time recruiting for our Derry Twp committee. At least a half dozen active Dems told me they wouldn’t serve because of current leadership. Both of his opponents are current leadership (Marilyn Levin is current Chair, Rogette Harris is current Vice Chair).

Alan has shown leadership, by beating Tom Corbett, when ordered to stop hosting Harrisburg Hope debates. Alan appears to know Commonwealth law better than a legal team assembled by our former Attorney General…or outfought them, at any rate. His ability to improve our communications/public persona is publicly and regularly proven, at Harrisburg Hope and these pages. Lt Kennedy-Schaffer has my vote, and I hope he has yours.

~Steve Todd
Dauphin County Democratic Committee – Derry Township, Precinct 12

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Given a Choice…Or, Even If Not

Among the Republican Primary Voters: Wow. Robert Guzzardi – the guy the Corbsters spent $60,000 to kick off the ballot for the flimsiest reason – still took 3,501, or 14.46% of Allegheny county, Corbett’s home county. Additionally: Write-In took another 842, or 3.48% in Corbett’s home.

But hey, that left 82.06% for the unchallenged incumbent Governor. In his own primary. In his own home county.


Dauphin County-wide. Even after spending $60,000 to remove the only primary opponent by the flimsiest loophole, 303 – just over 3% – of Dauphin County Rs wrote in someone else. And Dauphin County Rs tend to do what they are told. They don’t stray too far off range, but did just a little here. Also, remember that Dauphin was one of the counties on which wasn’t on the ballot. That’s part of why Corbett did so well there.


According to my friend Ron Hess, it is obvious that with Guzzardi on ballot in York Co, similar results:
Corbett 76.48%
Guzzardi 17.45%
Other Write-ins 6.07%

In Elk County, 24% of Republicans voted for Lt Gov Jim Cawley, but not for Corbett. In Montour, 23% did so. That amount was only 7%…in Corbetts home of Allegheny County.


Outside of the Republican demographic? Arguably his key constituency – certainly in this writer’s mind – is the senior likely voter. He won 63% of the senior vote in 2010. Today, he polls 37% favorable but (more tellingly) 57% unfavorable among that group.


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