Pennsylvania

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New Hanger ad features ‘Gasland’ residents

Gubernatorial candidate and former DEP Secretary John Hanger has released a new web video featuring residents from Dimock.

Susan Phillips/StateImpact Pennsylvania

Gubernatorial candidate and former DEP Secretary John Hanger has released a new web video featuring residents from Dimock.

This week in political ads, Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hanger has released a new web video positioning himself as a tough regulator of drilling. Hanger served as DEP Secretary under Governor Ed Rendell at the start of Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom.

It doesn’t have the cinematic style of an ad Governor Tom Corbett released earlier this month touting the benefits of Marcellus Shale gas development to Pennsylvania and the global economy.

This one also doesn’t have graphics or a booming narrator. Rather, it takes place at a press conference. Assembled behind Hanger are some residents from Dimock, a world-famous battleground over the impacts of drilling and hydraulic fracturing that was featured in the Josh Fox documentary Gasland.

“These are people who have lived with gas drilling, understand the challenges, understand the impacts,” Hanger says from the podium. “These are people who understand what government can do and should do and sometimes what government just cannot do.”

The video also features community activist Victoria Switzer from Gasland Part II delivering her endorsement of Hanger as ”the tough regulator of the gas industry that we need.”

Hanger also criticizes Corbett for ignoring and even being hostile toward renewable energy sources “like solar, wind and energy efficiency.”

Here’s the ad:

As governor, Hanger says he will push for a severance tax on shale gas. His plan would also call for more oversight of drilling activity, including hiring an ombudsman to investigate complaints.

Hanger is the former head of environmental group PennFuture, but has been criticized by hydraulic fracturing opponents like Josh Fox for the Rendell Administration’s embrace of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. Hanger has an unflattering cameo in Gasland and also appeared in an industry-funded response to the film.

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