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A ban on banning plastic bags / Pipeline protesters on the hook?

Written by Rich Copeland | May 11, 2017 8:00 PM
On the Friday, May 12th edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

Plastic bags are a significant source of pollution. According to the Plastic Bag Ban Report, a national advocacy group, 165 cities around the U.S. have some form of legislation to restrict the use of plastic shopping bags.

But a bill that recently passed the state House would prohibit cities from imposing bans or fees on plastic bags. It's supported by most Republicans and opposed by most Democrats. But the measure was co-sponsored by Representative Mike Hanna, the House Democratic whip, who says he's trying to protect jobs at Novolex, a plastic bag manufacturer in his Centre County district.

GUESTS:                    -  Richard Schuettler - Executive Director, Pennsylvania Municipal League

                                    - Jane Patton - Managing Director, Plastic Pollution Coalition

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Richard Schuettler - Executive Director, Pennsylvania Municipal League / Jane Patton - Managing Director, Plastic Pollution Coalition

Plus, new pipelines designed to carry Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale gas have taken center stage in a controversy over climate change, private property rights, and the nation's energy future. Protests have emerged all over the country, including an encampment in Lancaster County, where activists hope to disrupt or prevent construction of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline--an interstate gas transmission line approved by federal regulators earlier this year.

After the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline last year led to millions of dollars in clean up and law enforcement costs, Sen. Scott Martin (R- Lancaster) plans to introduce legislation that will put the cost of a protest back onto the protesters. However, the move could raise First Amendment issues, and it's part of a larger national trend among state legislators to curb or limit protesting.

GUESTS:     - Mark Clatterbuck - Founder, Lancaster Against Pipelines

                     - Joe Wertz - Reporter, StateImpact Oklahoma

                     - Pennsylvania State Senator Scott Martin (R-13th)

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Mark Clatterbuck - Founder, Lancaster Against Pipelines / Joe Wertz - Reporter, StateImpact Oklahoma / Pennsylvania State Senator Scott Martin (R-13th)



on ban on plastic bag bans:

- In Europe plastic bags are biodegradable.  We can do that here as well.  Both sides can be satisfied.     - Carole, Elizabethville

- What do you mean by "single use" plastic bags? And what role do recycled plastic bags play in this political issue?        - Lisa, Lititz

-  1.  We are required to put our trash/garbage in plastic bags for pickup. I re-use the bags my groceries come in instead of buying new ones. The ones that have holes I stuff in a clean bread bag & recycle at the grocery store. In Lancaster County the trash is incinerated or buried. I fail to see why reusing is not acceptable but buying new ones is - except to prop up a small business.

2.  Education about why & how to recycle must be taught in the schools - NOT only once!!! I see batteries thrown away over & over again. It is unbelievable how many functionally illiterate people there are. And unfortunately these are the people most likely to buy cheaper toys & balloons with batteries that are just thrown away. Batteries contain heavy metals that cause infertility or birth defects. Notice there is no longer the claims that polar bears are dying because of melting polar ice? Samples of polar bear meat found many of the bears are unable to reproduce. Check how much health care money is for infertility.

3.  I can't believe our legislators are wasting time on plastic bags when PA has 4 of the top 25 most polluted air in the US & Lancaster is most polluted this side of Utah (Smart Talk - clean air report)!

4.  I will no longer buy unbagged produce because of how often I have seen "supervised" kids wipe/pick their noses, then pick up up item, get told to put it back. Or knock on floor. Or even lick!

5.  The reason for the switch to plastic was to reduce the weight, since the heavier the load, the more it costs to ship - whether by plane, train, or truck. The most environmentally friendly is to grow your own or buy locally. (But when you can't breathe well, you can't find the energy.)

 BTW - Thank you so much for not obsessing about the spoiled brat in the White House. I do think that if "climate change" where labeled "pollution" with how much is spent on medications for pollution caused asthma, might get the message through!                           - anon

on atlantic sunrise pipeline:

- Senator Martin's 'Prepared to respond' proposed bill is nothing more than a pre-emptive intimidation tactic and is farcical on its face. The costs to our environment FAR OUTWEIGH the 'emergency management costs!!     - Phillip

- Felt the need to comment on the person who commented on the pipelines in Sullivan County being no problem.  He mentioned, I think a 20-foot ROW on his property, which no doubt refers to a gathering line, not a 42 inch transmission line.  This means he probably got to negotiate for that pipeline, either directly or through a lease he signed - so he undoubtedly made a tidy profit, unlike the people along the Atlantic Sunrise who have lost any power of negotiation or right of refusal because they are subject to eminent domain.

Perhaps he has also forgotten the 2015 Transco rupture just over the county line from Sullivan County in Lycoming County.

I've seen lots of poor pipeline construction in Sullivan County - there was a huge slope failure on the stream just down the road from our cabin that sat unattended for weeks if not months.  The environmental impact alone of these pipelines is huge, yet is simply addressed by FERC as of little as no consequence - not to mention the safety implications of the actual pipelines, and especially not to mention the entire health implications of the natural gas industry that are already being documented in PA.

I don't know of anyone involved in this protest against pipelines that wants to be doing this; we all have lives we would much rather be living - but when people are given no chance to say no to something that obviously is designed to provide a corporate profit at the expense of their own family's safety and their personal financial loss, what other choice do they have?           - Ann

- Do people know that there are already 25 or more pipelines already in Lancaster County? Including a 24-inch, two 30-inch, and a 36-in pipeline?  They have been there for many years.                - Tom, Carlisle

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