Sandra Major, PA Republican state representative (Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming counties) is hosting a safety presentation for truckers and trucking business owners today in Montrose, PA. The influx of truck traffic from the natural gas industry is the primary concern, according to Major. She says that more trucks are being pulled over for inspection and being found not to be in compliance with the state's Motor Carrier Law. Representatives from the PA State Police and PennDOT will participate today.
Now who is footing the bill for this event? The taxpayers of the state of Pennsylvania, no doubt. Why should they provide this service to the gas drilling industry? The industry itself should be completely familiar with the laws governing trucks in PA, or the trucks should not be out on the roads. In fact, I don't believe that the industry will pay much attention to this seminar since there are too few inspectors and police available to monitor the hundreds of trucks on the roads these days. If they catch a few, great! But even when caught, the gas companies just pay the little fines and go on their merry way. It's a price of doing business. You see the signs posted that prohibit truck traffic weighing more than 10 tons. I think the trucks I see weigh 40 tons empty. So none of them should be on these country roads in Bradford County where I go in the summer months.
I have never met Rep. Major. And although this seems like a great idea- a meeting to provide information for truckers- it really won't accomplish anything in the long run. It is commendable that Ms. Major is bringing this issue to the fore. However, the citizens of PA should not have to provide remedial help for the gas industry in the first place. This has been the MO of the industry all along. Drill now; ask questions later. Or do it now and apologize later. Wouldn't we think it odd if public funds were used to educate dry cleaning businesses or chemical plants in regard to public and environmental safety? Wouldn't that be a responsibility of the industry? Why should the gas industry be given special treatment?
The new popular quotation of the gas industry should be, in the words of Steve Urkel (Family Matters, 90's TV sitcom), "Oh, did I do that?" Or in today's gargon, "Oopsey!"
Read the announcement of this event here.