Saturday, June 20, 2009

Doug McLinko, Gas and the Family Farm

A Bradford County PA Resident Speaks Out

Dear Editor,

Normally, when I open up The Daily Review I find the usual dose of local news. However, every so often I am confronted with a passage containing quotes from some of our elected officials. On Wednesday June 10, 2009 I opened up to a small article in the “local and state” section in which Doug McLinko stated, “If you believe in agriculture preservation and preserving the family farm, this gas play has done more than any government program could ever do.” It took me awhile to put my brain back together because a statement that devoid of sense can really blow ones mind. Let’s begin with the obvious logical fallacy in McLinko’s statement, how on earth does he expect the preservation of agriculture and the family farm if land used for farming and other agricultural enterprises is being leased and used for drilling? These operations require heavy equipment that isn’t easy on land, exploratory practices that are definitely not easy on land, and pipelines through land, not to mention the effect on roads and water, more on water later. Why doesn’t he just go ahead and say, “I’m lobbying for the gas companies in order to line my own pockets, and I’m not nor was I ever, interested in working with the current or past commissioners to serve the citizens of Bradford County.” It would be a lot easier for him to say that, because I feel like I may not be the only one who can see right through his intentions. The PA Dept. of Agriculture is a part of the PA state government, Doug, and it provides numerous services to farmers in PA. These are services that actually contribute to the preservation of LAND that farmers use to produce, annual reports and publications, and right-to-know services. Many bureaus also lobby on their behalf in Harrisburg, one bureau being the aptly named Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. PA Conservation Districts as well as programs like the Penn State Agricultural Extension help shape agricultural policy within the commonwealth. Do the gas companies provide that for the 58,000 farming families in Pennsylvania? Or are they too busy lobbying for every tax break possible for themselves? I believe it is quite clear that the gas companies do not lobby for anyone but themselves and no one else, save for the minority of landowners who sit on land rich with natural gas. The gas companies have no interest in the preservation of land either; quite the opposite if you paid any attention while you visited Texas, Doug.
You know you’re really in trouble, Doug, when Tina Pickett actually introduces legislation aimed at the interests of her constituents while you are off vehemently defending gas companies who serve no one but themselves and irresponsibly wreck the pristine environment of Bradford County. That’s right folks, Tina Pickett introduced constructive legislation! It only took her 8 years to find an issue in which she could shape policy in, granted its an issue that covers 75% of the earth. I’m speaking of course about water in reference to an article printed the very same day in the Review. Interestingly enough Tina Pickett is an elected official, in a government whose purpose is to SERVE its constituents. I think Doug McLinko could learn a lesson from such behavior. It is my belief that the majority of farmers in the state, and perhaps the county, would agree that an instrument of government in the form of the PA Dept. of Agriculture, and groups like the PA Farm Bureau, The Conservation Districts throughout PA, and programs like the Penn State Agricultural Extension PA serves their interests in preservation of agriculture far more than both the gas companies and Doug McLinko ever has.

Christopher S. Bradley



  1. Doug McKlinko scores again with the most preposterous idea that gas drillers are saving our farmers and our farmland. This goes beyond the laugh test! I remember well the day Mr. McKlinko admitted publicly that he did not realize the gas industry is exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act. I long for a public servant who knows what's going on! People will die because of the gas drilling that is going on in Bradford County. And this county commissioner simply can't be well enough informed to know the basic information. It is appalling!

  2. My family came to our current homes from the Susquehanna River Valley many many years ago. Its breaks our hearts and infuriates us that natural gas drillers are destroying your homeland...our homeland. All across Pennsylvania people in elected office are making comments that people are taking as true...just because the office they hold. Unless they are chemist, medical scientist, hydro-geologist, gas industry insider all-in-one that they could NOT possibly have anything educated to say about the subject. Dollars and jobs do not cure cancer.....cure Diabetes or any other suffering caused by these horrible chemicals. Can you inagine how society would have reacted to this perpetration of evil upon their way of life 100 years ago?? They wouldnt be tolerating it the way we have.

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