EDITORIAL: Gutsy move for climate

The Dispatch Editorial Board
Attendees walk out of the York County Commissioners meeting after the commissioners voted to sell the Pleasant Acres Nursing Home, Wednesday, May 2, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

Thumbs up to Gov. Tom Wolf for his executive order that could drastically reduce the Pennsylvania's greenhouse gas emissions should the state follow through. 

On Thursday, Wolf signed the order that directs state regulators to bring Pennsylvania in line with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

It was a gutsy move in a state where natural gas drillers wield substantial political influence. Unsurprisingly, legislative Republicans howled in protest. All the while, Pennsylvania remains among the country's worst air polluters and its cities are choked by substandard air quality.

Thumbs down to York County Commissioners for picking a political dispute, but lacking the collective spine to fight it.

In July, commissioners rightly raised a ruckus after Sheriff Richard Keuerleber gave to local businessman and felon Bill Hynes special access to a county facility.

In the public rebuke, York County's three commissioners blasted what they deemed a security breach. The statement then on to pledge action from commissioners, who formed a committee that, at the time, they said would exercise the county board's oversight authority. 

Fast forward a few months.

That committee hasn't taken meaningful action. It's only real move was to create yet another committee — this one composed entirely of staff — which has in turn done nothing.

When reached this week for comment, commissioners made clear they had no appetite for a power struggle with Keuerleber.

Thing is, commissioners picked this fight in July when they blasted Keuerleber. The censure's force was compounded by the fact that it's an election year and Keuerleber faces probably the toughest re-election bid of his career. 

Since the Hynes story broke, it has consumed the race.

And yet, York County's grenade-throwing commissioners — who wield power of the purse over the sheriff — can only cut-and-run without following through with meaningful action. 

Thumbs up to the state Department of Agriculture, which this week launched its restaurant inspection app, EatSafePA.

The move allows consumers information about cleanliness and food-safety in near real-time. Both are likely to prove valuable.