Protesters demand emergency clinic at site of closed UPMC hospital
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
By Len Barcousky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jan McMannis of Braddock Hills passes out information Monday in front of the Allegheny County Courthouse on Grant Street to question County Executive Dan Onorato’s actions regarding the closure of UPMC Braddock. Mr. Onorato is a Democratic candidate for governor.
Protesters upset about the closing of UPMC Braddock want assurances that any site redevelopment plans include an emergency medical clinic.
About a dozen protesters, members of a citizens group Save Our Community Hospitals, set up informational picket lines Monday around the Allegheny County Courthouse.
Whatever the final form of federal financial services reform legislation, one thing is now certain: The biggest of the big banks will still be calling the shots.
That was confirmed Thursday evening, when the Senate by a 61-33 vote rejected a move to eliminate the danger posed to both the federal treasury and the U.S. economy by “too-big-to-fail” banks.
Democratic Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ted Kaufman of Delaware had proposed an amendment to limit the size of the nation’s largest banks as a means of reining in the financial sector.
They lost. And so too did the prospect that the federal government might establish meaningful control of the banking sector.
What does the defeat mean? The “financial oligarchy,” as economist Simon Johnson described the big banks, will remain in place. And, to further quote Johnson, the federal government will remain “helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.”
The Justice Department is investigating the Bush bureaucrats in the Mine Safety and Health Administration – MSHA. They rewrote regulations so full of loopholes that Massey Coal could operate a mine that was a ticking time bomb that killed 29 workers.
The Justice Department must investigate the Minerals Management Service- MMS, that rewrote the safety regulations for the Deepwater Horizon drilling operation. They exempted BP from filing a safety plan to deal with a blow out. The Bush hacks and the oil companies agreed that it “wasn’t likely to happen” so there was no need to prepare for it. Eleven roughnecks died on that rig, blown to kingdom come, just like the miners.
The despicable 109th Congress, led by Tom DeLay and Bill Frist, and full of criminals now serving time, passed the Halliburton exemption in 2005. This allows the gas drillers to run roughshod over Pennsylvania and other states in complete disregard of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other laws to protect our lives and property from poisoning and destruction. In Pennsylvania, what the gas drillers are doing would be a crime if done by any other enterprise. But the Bush era Congress of criminals gave them a get out of jail free card. This law must be repealed. The gas drillers must be held accountable for the destruction of human lives, animals, forests, crops, land, infrastructure, water, and air.
DEP secretary issues warning at Marcellus shale conference at Duquesne University
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania needs tougher regulations for Marcellus shale gas drilling, aggressive, independent enforcement, and a severance tax on the gas extracted, according to state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger.
And yesterday would not be soon enough to get all of that done and “done right” to protect the state’s water resources, said Mr. Hanger in a forceful keynote speech opening the Marcellus Shale Policy Conference at Duquesne University on Monday.
“Let me be clear: Self-regulation doesn’t work. That’s not contestable,” Mr. Hanger told the audience of about 250, including a significant number of gas industry representatives. “We’ve made mistakes before. We have to get this right or the costs will overwhelm the benefits.”