“Fracking and the Revolving Door in Pennsylvania” on Gov. Corbett

excerpt from “Fracking and the Revolving Door in Pennsylvania,” a report by The Public Accountability Initiative, February 2013:

Tom Corbett (2011 – present)

Pennsylvania’s current governor took office in January 2011. Since he has been in office, Corbett has signed the controversial Act 13 into law, an overhaul of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas law that restricted municipalities’ right to zone against oil and gas development and subjected local laws regarding oil and gas development to review by the Public Utility Commission. The zoning prohibition has since been overturned in court, though the Corbett administration appealed the ruling.

Corbett also overturned Gov. Rendell’s late-term moratorium on oil and gas drilling in 60 state forests. Corbett has not been in office long enough for many of his staff to leave for positions in the gas industry, though he has accepted more than $1.8 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry according to Marcellus Money, a project of Common Cause PA and Conservation Votes of Pennsylvania.43

Further, Corbett’s appointments reflect his coziness with energy interests. Corbett’s Energy Executive, a cabinet-level position he created to advise the governor on energy issues, is Patrick Henderson, a former staffer for State Senator Mary Jo White, the chair of the Environmental Resources & Energy Committee and Act 13 supporter and a former vice president at Quaker State.

Michael Krancer, Corbett’s Secretary of Environmental Protection, is a former attorney for the energy company Exelon Energy as well as Blank Rome LLP, a law and lobbying firm with a number of gas industry clients. Krancer’s policies and links to the energy industry are detailed further in the DEP section below.

C. Alan Walker is Corbett’s Secretary of Community and Economic Development and a member of the governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. Walker is the President and CEO of Bradford Energy, a coal company, and has holdings in a variety of companies related to the oil and gas industry including a 30% stake in Gigo Oil and Gas, LLP.44 Walker is extremely influential in Pennsylvania politics; he and companies he controls have contributed almost $500,000 to candidates since 2000, including nearly $184,000 to Corbett since 2004.45

download the full report and see footnotes at The Public Accountability Initiative


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Filed under Environment, Energy, Science, PA govt & politics

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