The state's head environmental official is in denial about global warming, Rep. Steve Santarsiero said in a statement Wednesday.
Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection secretary would not say whether he believes in global warming after being asked by Santarsiero, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, the lawmaker said in a press release.
According to Santarsiero, who is Newtown's state representative, he asked DEP Secretary Michael Krancer the question during budget testimony Wednesday. "While Krancer did acknowledge that fewer carbon emissions were better, he could not say why he believed that to be the case," the press release said.
"It's amazing to me that the highest environmental official in Pennsylvania cannot offer an opinion about the issue of global warming despite acknowledging that it would be better for our environment to have lower carbon emissions,” Santarsiero said. “The constraints on the secretary are yet another example of how environmental protection is not a priority of this governor.”
Santarsiero, who represents the 31st Legislative District, said he also asked the secretary why the Corbett administration continues to zero out funding for the state's flood control program. "Krancer could not offer an explanation as to why the program was cut, instead referring Santarsiero to the budget secretary," the release said
"The flood control program is critical for our communities along the Delaware River, such as Lower Makefield, Upper Makefield and Yardley,” Santarsiero said. “I am very concerned that we cannot yet get an answer out of this administration as to why it chose to eliminate a critical program without replacing it with dedicated funding to address flood prevention and mitigation."
The House Appropriations Committee will hear morning and afternoon budget presentations from state agencies on Mondays through March 7.