Dear Editor:

Governor Corbett visited Schuylkill County this month and was quoted as saying "everyone wants money, money is tight". It didn't have to be this way, the Corbett way. There was one prominently conspicuous opportunity that was incredibly discounted by Corbett. Instead of harnessing the opportunity that presented itself in the form of the Marcellus Shale, the Governor used his pen to sign the 2011-12 state budget that denied all of us this opportunity.

Corbett's pen may as well have been a chain saw. Because the Corbett budget that we are now tormented with, gashed open a gaping wound that: leaked out almost $1 million from the Tamaqua Area School District budget, squirted away emergency response dollars from PEMA, drained the environmental oversight accounts of DEP and the county Conservation Districts and made 4,000 jobs disappear in school districts all across the Commonwealth.

Instead of embracing this Marcellus Shale opportunity and returning to the Commonwealth a small portion of the proceeds that foreign companies seized by drilling into our State Forest Land, the PA Wilds Area and the rolling rural farmland of our state, the Governor has allowed foreign companies to prosper at the peril of kindergartners, college kids and our environment. I twice voted as a member of the PA General Assembly, for this opportunity and in defense of our students, emergency responders and the environment. My votes would have produced over half a billion dollars by now and a whole lot of money for the future to keep Pennsylvanians educated, protected and working. The Corbett plan might produce $195 million six years down the road, but truly is a band aid that will not begin to reattach our severed economy and environment.

Unfortunately, almost all of our current Schuylkill County legislators have chosen to stand with Corbett. Senator Argall, Rep Knowles and Rep Tobash have all helped oil up the Corbett chain saw by voting for the Corbett budget and against Pennsylvania.

Tim Seip

Past State Representative

125th Legislative District