Posted: April 11, 2012

THE Daily News' editorial, "Hush, Doctors: Gas industry gags physicians" is false and shows a lack of understanding by the Daily News and Sen. Leach of Act 13's disclosure provisions. Some due diligence would have revealed that Act 13 contains one of the nation's most forward-thinking disclosure requirements. Our law, which provides for disclosure through the publicly accessible online database known as FracFocus.org, was modeled after Colorado's new law. The Colorado law was embraced by a broad spectrum of environmental groups, such as the Environmental Defense Fund.

The assertion that physicians are "gagged" is nonsense. In addition to ensuring transparency through FracFocus, our disclosure law mandates disclosure - even of proprietary information - to health-care professionals for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment, and immediately in an emergency. These health-care professionals can share the information with their patients, as well as other health-care professionals as needed to care for the patient. Previously, there were no such disclosure requirements in Pennsylvania regarding health-care professionals.

We agree with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) when it stated that Act 13's disclosure provisions "ensure that medical professionals can quickly get direct access to chemical information for which trade-secret protections have been claimed in cases where it's needed for diagnosis or treatment of a patient. . . . [w]ithout such language, there's nothing to guarantee that a doctor will be able to compel companies to turn over trade-secret information quickly or even at all."

PEC also said that Act 13's provisions for confidentiality, which call for the information to be used only for the purpose of medical care, "replicates the same process that has been in place for the same purpose in other states and that has existed for decades in the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) and the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA)."

It is regretful that Sen. Leach voted against increasing required disclosure to health-care personnel.

Mike Krancer


Pennsylvania Department

of Environmental Protection

Our dole-ful Guv

Governor Corbett, please try to give up your salary for one year - even six months - and I would like for you to try to live on the welfare system and see if you can provide for your family.

And if you want to cut the funding for people who need help with drug and alcohol addictions, you obviously do not have family members who are in need of treatment.

Try to live on unemployment after you lose your job and let me know how things are going for you and your family. I will make sure that I will have no problem understanding the depression and grief you will have on the welfare system. It isn't much, but it's all some people rely on or have.

Rich Maher


Without god, we trust

To Christine Flowers: Thank you for your brave Good Friday column, but although I respect your choices, I have a very difficult time accepting the concept that a sustainable basis for human dignity cannot be possible " . . . without a God who guarantees it."

I can only speak for myself but the dignity I feel for others and the dignity we all owe each other doesn't necessarily need to be based on any religious belief nor any specific religious teachings. I worry that blind belief without thought is a large part of what drives the religious fanaticism we see in the world today.

Call me a cafeteria Catholic, if you will, but mutual respect for the beliefs of others, including atheists and agnostics, does more to buttress human dignity than blind faith in one's religious choices.

May you and your family enjoy the Easter of your choice. This is not a sarcastic wish . . . I really mean it.

Joe Ridgway

Marlton, N.J.

World-class taxes

Stu Bykofsky: Thank you for your article. The taxes and fees in this city are off the hook. They are everywhere and slowly choking the life out of this city, not to mention making living/working in this city a very unpleasant experience.

It's horrible. Instead of operating like a real, for-profit business that wants to keep costs down and customers happy, the city just keeps hitting all of us over and over again everytime there is a need for more money or a new revenue source.

It just never ends. It's painful. And we will never be a world-class city until we start acting like it.

Tim McAdams


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