What if you held a protest to stop the destruction of the environment, and instead demonstrated that you couldn’t tell the difference?   The nation’s fastest-growing public-employee union put a new meaning to the phrase close enough for government work.  The SEIU’s protest of shale drilling and tax policy literally didn’t come within miles of actual shale drilling:

When union workers and environmental activists picked a Hastings-area site to protest inaction on a Marcellus Shale severance tax, they made one mistake.

Marcellus activity isn’t occurring within miles of it.

Service Employees International Union officials issued an apology Monday, saying they mistakenly set up their protest Thursday – and a makeshift tollbooth asking the industry to pay its fair share – next to a surface well property that has been around for years and isn’t set up for shale drilling.

“There is no Marcellus Shale drilling on that property, and we’ve contacted the property owners and apologized. It was a mistake, and there was no malice intended even when we thought it was a Marcellus well,” said Neil Bhaerman, a SEIU Healthcare spokesman. “It was an honest mistake that we are going to take extra care to ensure never happens again.”

What?  All of the expertise that we’ve come to expect from agencies like the Departments of Education, Transportation, and Health and Human Services, and they couldn’t figure out how to read a map?  How utterly … unsurprising.

The Boss Emeritus has some fun with this:

SEIU stands for Sorry, Error in Unionizing! …

Question: If hapless SEIU members collected sick pay while on protest duty, will they have to give it back now?

Just remember, the same people who couldn’t find an actual Marcellus shale site with both hands and a map will be the same people expected to administer ObamaCare.

More seriously, let’s ask this question: what exactly is the SEIU’s interest in Marcellus shale?  If this doesn’t affect their compensation or working conditions, why did this PEU stage the protest at all?  Just as we saw in Wisconsin, the PEUs are no longer about representing workers, but acting as a political party in defense of a hard-Left agenda.  It’s a good example of why government at all levels should be curtailing PEU power by setting open-shop rules and voluntary contributions.  When PEUs focus on actual worker issues, then let the workers make the decision to fund their activities rather than forcing them to contribute and making government their bagman.