Pennsylvania Rep. Boback Throws An Old Bone to Fractivists

Pennsylvania Representative Karen Boback is resurrecting a long ago defeated proposal for a state health registry, throwing a bone to her fractivist friends.

Pennsylvania State Representative Karen Boback, Republican of Luzerne County, has never been a friend of natural gas and she loves to posture on it. Eight years ago, in fact, she introduced legislation asking for “a comprehensive study of the Commonwealth’s current laws and regulations … to ensure that we are effectively protecting our citizens and our environment from the potentially harmful impact of natural gas drilling.” claiming shale drilling was “deeper than was possible when many of the laws regulating the industry were written.”

That was false—Pennsylvania had numerous deeper wells long before the shale revolution—and the legislation went nowhere but Boback got her desired press and now she wants more. She’s introduced another bill to establish “a health registry for collection of health-related data associated with unconventional gas well drilling” within the Department of Health. It’s another version of a bill that failed in 2012. Designed to grab more press, the legislation, in the unlikely event it were ever enacted, would simply become another tool in the fractivist arsenal. Boback is simply throwing them an old bone.

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