Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Natural Gas Industry HAMSTRINGS Doctors

Governor Corbett has signed the Natural Gas Industry Gift bill into law. The 174-page bill, HB1950, was signed on Feb 14, 2012.

In addition to removing local zoning control from communities with regards to where and what conditions the natural gas industry may operate, the bill also gags and hamstrings Physicians.

Excerpt from HB1950 - Natural Gas Industry Gift:

(10)  A vendor, service company or operator shall identify the specific identity and amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information to any health professional who requests the information in writing if the health professional executes a confidentiality agreement and provides a written statement of need for the information indicating all of the following:

(i)  The information is needed for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of an individual.

(ii)  The individual being diagnosed or treated may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical.

(iii)  Knowledge of information will assist in the diagnosis or treatment of an individual.

(11)  If a health professional determines that a medical emergency exists and the specific identity and amount of any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information are necessary for emergency treatment, the vendor, service provider or operator shall immediately disclose the information to the health professional upon a verbal acknowledgment by the health professional that the information may not be used for purposes other than the health needs asserted and that the health professional shall maintain the information as confidential. The vendor, service provider or operator may request, and the health professional shall provide upon request, a written statement of need and a confidentiality agreement from the health professional as soon as circumstances permit, in conformance with regulations promulgated under this chapter.

Fracking Industry Colludes With Pennsylvania Legislature to Create Dangerous New Law:  TruthOut:

    “[The bill] includes verbiage that says that when a patient comes in, sick due to exposure to chemicals, doctors have to request in writing info on [the chemicals patients might have been] exposed to (think of the time — and treatment delays involved in this process!) and then have to keep it confidential.  Also, the industry doesn't have to reveal compounds that have formed when all these chemicals and materials from underground come together, nor do they have to report exposure to heavy metals, radioactive substances, etc., from below.

    Given the problems with airborne and waterborne carcinogenic and neurotoxin substances from this industry's open pits of toxic wastes, compressor stations, and the like, this means that entire communities will still be exposed to chemicals that one or more people have had to see a doctor for, and that the doctors will have to keep it quiet while the communities are at risk.

    The fact that the industry has included verbiage in this bill that prevents doctors from revealing the chemicals their patients were exposed to:

    1. indicates that the industry knows that much of the substances they are using are a threat to public health - enough so that emergency room and other physicians would see cases of toxic exposure to fracking and related chemicals and substances on a regular basis, i.e. that this is not a safe process;

    2. indicates that the industry wants to keep it quiet - they know that if the health risks of their activities due to chemical exposure (in air and water) were to become public there would be such enormous outcry that they would be - appropriately - shut down;

    3.  [shows that industry knows fracking/ms] is a human rights and a civil rights violation to the residents and workers affected, and would ultimately contribute to a public health catastrophe;

    4. would guarantee that other individuals [and] families in the area would not be warned that they are being exposed on an on-going basis to highly hazardous chemicals that have made other individuals ill  — often seriously and irreversibly ill.

The bill also says that the industry will NOT provide information on compounds created by the chemicals or the interaction of the chemicals with things below ground or any of the substances that come up from underground.

This means that they'd provide info only on the frack fluids — which the doctor has to keep confidential — NOT on what's sitting in frack pits, for example. Considering that strontium. barium and arsenic are common problems, along with naturally occurring radioactive substances, and brine, doctors won't know that the health problem could be coming from these substances from below ground. If they don't know this, they won't be able to test for or treat for exposure to hazardous compounds formed by this soup of chemicals, heavy metals, NORMs, brine and bacteria from far beneath the surface.

Per: Rep. George:  Gas industry gets its Corbett Valentine

HARRISBURG, Feb. 14 – State Rep. Camille "Bud" George, Democratic chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, today said that industrial gas drillers received a sweetheart deal from the Corbett administration just in time for Valentine’s Day.

"A review of the 27 ‘suggestions’ the industry made to House Republican leaders for the final Marcellus shale legislation shows it got its wishes on 23 of them," said Rep. George, D-74 of Clearfield County. "Some were not complete compliance with industry desires, but an overall score of 85 percent is a pretty substantial kiss."

Rep. George said that on Jan. 12, the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania addressed correspondence to the House Speaker, the Majority Leader and Rep. Brian Ellis, R-Butler, the author of House Bill 1950, with "several" suggestions to amend the bill’s final language.

"The industry got its way on everything from reducing the presumed liability of a well polluting water sources to eliminating language requiring operators to conduct free pre-drilling surveys for landowners with wells between 2,500 and 5,000 feet from a well," said Rep. George of the bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Tom Corbett. "It seems the industry barked and the Republicans heeled."

Doctors swear an oath to do no harm.
It's obvious from this bill, that the oath sworn by the Natural Gas Industry and PA legislators is to do no harm to profits or campaign donations.

Terry Engelder says we are the sacrifice, this bill makes it abundantly clear that he was not talking metaphorically


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