Wednesday, August 17, 2011

STDs Migrating To Pennsylvania

Those Texas roughnecks sure like to whore. At least, that's what Democratic Rep. Michael Sturla of Lancaster County claims. His comments have PA Republicans in a tizzy:

The state Republican Party on Tuesday evening called the remark offensive and incredibly stupid, and called on Sturla to apologize. However, Sturla was apparently citing testimony by Troy Community Hospital from May that says among its experiences with the influx of drilling crews is an increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

All the drama surrounding the Marcellus Shale is very entertaining. Sturla comes off as a xenophobe and a sexist. The GOP continues wear rose colored glasses when looking at the drilling. Sturla's rhetoric aside, he has a legitimate beef. The trouble in Carrizo Springs, Texas:

“The whole world is changing here. This little community was deader than hell, but now that we have all these people coming in, we’re changing, things are happening,” said Eloy Rodriguez, the Dimmit County code compliance officer.

A quiet community of 5,700 residents tucked away in the brush country about two hours southwest of San Antonio, Carrizo Springs was completely unprepared for the dramatic economic and social changes now buffeting it.

Much of it is welcome. But while the county tax base and sales tax revenue are both doubling, and there are oil field jobs aplenty, the flip side is seen in the $1,200 two-bedroom rental house that a year ago went for $250, causing some locals to be shoved out.

And, as everyone learned this summer, there can be an unsavory side to an oil boom.

Shock waves followed the news that out-of-town strip club operators wanted to bring their neon fleshpots to the county. Rumors followed that other forms of big city vice and wickedness already had arrived.

“The majority of citizens are offended and aghast that we now have to deal with this problem, when never before did we even consider it,” Pastor Pete Perez of the Grace of God Community Church said of the strip clubs.

The way the PA GOP tells it, the boom is all local jobs and royalties. Never mind that the numbers are grossly inflated, the employment impact limited, and much of the work is done by roustabouts who legally reside in other states. On top of all that, let's pretend there are no negative side effects.

At this point, that is all the pro-industry politicians can do: Lie. Along with the Marcellus Shale Coalition, they've painted themselves into a corner. They are stuck with a policy narrative appropriate for Candyland. They must deny what is obviously the case. It is a public relations disaster.

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