Pennsylvania

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Who’s giving money to the people setting Pennsylvania’s energy policy?

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Report: Veteran lobbyist tells industry to ‘win ugly or lose pretty’

The New York Times reports a veteran lobbyist instructed the oil and gas industry to fight dirty against environmentalists who oppose expanding drilling operations. According to the Times, the advice came from Richard Berman, who heads a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm that has solicited up to $3 million from the oil and gas industry for [...]

Democrat Tom Wolf talks extraction tax and protecting the environment

Democrat Tom Wolf talks to reporters at the WHYY studio in Philadelphia.

StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips sat down with both candidates for governor and pressed them on energy issues. The candidates visited WHYY in Philadelphia, where several reporters interviewed them for about ten minutes each. Wolf has proposed taxing the Marcellus Shale gas differently than Governor Corbett. Wolf wants to charge a 5 percent tax on the [...]

DEP Secretary Abruzzo implicated in sexually explicit email exchange

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Chris Abruzzo is one of eight prominent state employees who “sent or received hundreds of sexually explicit photos, videos and messages from state email accounts between 2008 and 2012.” A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s office confirmed to WITF that Abruzzo sent eight of the [...]

Gas industry group launches election season ad blitz

With election day just over a month away, Pennsylvania’s biggest gas industry trade group is launching a statewide ad campaign to promote the benefits of the drilling boom and reclaim the word “fracking.”  At its annual Shale Insight conference Wednesday, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) announced it’s running a series of radio, television, and print [...]

State plans to give industry group $150K grant to study effects of gas drilling

The state Department of Environmental Protection has approved a $150,000 grant earmarked in the state budget for “independent research regarding natural gas drilling” to an industry-backed nonprofit organization. The funding was approved on a non-competitive basis– other groups were not able to apply for the money. The Pittsburgh-based Shale Alliance for Energy Research (SAFER PA) [...]

Billionaire enviro targeting Pa. governor’s race over climate change

Reuters reports billionaire Tom Steyer, an environmental activist and retired investor from California, has his eye – and his check book – on Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race and other political contests. The issue he’s targeting: climate change. More from Reuters: NextGen Climate, Steyer’s political group, said Thursday it would back candidates in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire [...]

Did pro-drilling rally get special treatment from state police?

Last week when thousands Marcellus Shale supporters descended on the state Capitol for a rally, the Pennsylvania State Police bus safety detail showed up to do spot inspections of their parked buses on Harrisburg’s City Island. According to ABC27 News, the Governor’s Office intervened, and the head of the State Police told the inspectors to [...]

McGinty contributor got fast-tracked permit for coal plant when she ran DEP

In 2005, as the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty fast-tracked a permit for a controversial waste coal power plant in western Pennsylvania. In recent months, McGinty has accepted $120,000 in campaign contributions from a coal executive behind the project. The Beech Hollow power plant was ultimately never built. [...]

McGinty returned campaign check from Pa. businessman tied to West Virginia spill

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty has returned campaign donations from a Western Pennsylvania coal executive tied to the West Virginia chemical spill. According to Capitolwire, McGinty’s campaign was unaware of the connection between the donor and Freedom Industries– the company at the center of the January accident which left thousands of people without water.

Senior DEP official invested in natural gas industry

For several years a high-ranking official at the state Department of Environmental Protection invested his personal money in the natural gas industry. Jeffrey Logan was appointed to be the DEP’s Executive Deputy Secretary for Administration and Management by Governor Corbett in January 2011. Since then, ethics filings show Logan held several natural gas investments, including Cabot [...]

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