Energy. Environment. Economy.

DEP Secretary Krancer is Stepping Down

Scott Detrow/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer is leaving the agency on April 15 to return to his former law firm, Blank Rome.

The Corbett Administration announced this morning that DEP Secretary Michael Krancer is leaving the agency on April 15.

He plans to return home to Montgomery County to practice law at his former firm, Blank Rome.

As StateImpact recently reported, Blank Rome has given Governor Corbett and his wife Susan over $15,000 in gifts since 2007.The firm has a lobbying arm and a Shale Oil and Gas Development team of lawyers that represent major oil and gas companies fighting environmental regulations.

Krancer has been a controversial figure as the head of the DEP. He has clashed with the EPA and been reluctant to embrace the scientific consensus surrounding climate change. Environmentalists have questioned his close ties to the drilling industry.

Here’s more from the press release:

 “Secretary Krancer has been an invaluable member of our team and I am grateful for his service,’’ Corbett said. “His impressive efforts at DEP have taken the agency back to basics, protecting the environment and making the permitting process more efficient.
Corbett appointed Krancer to his cabinet in January 2011, where Krancer oversaw many major initiatives, including the reorganization of the agency, which created an Oil and Gas deputate and improved consistency statewide in enforcing that industry’s regulations.
Krancer also oversaw the Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee, which have brought timeliness and consistency to the permitting process for all agency-regulated activities.
In April 2011, Krancer and the governor issued a call to Marcellus Shale operators to stop delivering shale gas drilling wastewater to plants that were not equipped to fully treat it, which resulted in a sea change overnight and improved the health of Pennsylvania’s waterways.
Krancer also made brownfields redevelopment and abandoned mine reclamation projects around the state a priority and oversaw the implementation of the Covered Device Recycling Act.
Krancer and his agency were also instrumental in facilitating new investments and potential investments around the state, including his role in Governor Corbett’s team efforts to save the three southeastern Pennsylvania refineries and attract to them new environmentally responsible investors, employers and projects.
Krancer also had the opportunity to testify as an expert before several U.S. Congressional committees on many topics.
“Serving Governor Corbett and DEP has been the greatest honor of my career,’’ Krancer said. “Pennsylvania is well on its way to becoming the focal point of an American energy revolution, and I am grateful to the governor for giving me this  role in assuring that natural gas and energy development happen in an environmentally sound and responsible manner.
“I owe a tremendous amount of thanks and appreciation to all of the talented, dedicated, hard-working professionals at DEP with whom I have been privileged to work as their Secretary,” he said.
DEP has 2,633 employees and a $655 million budget.
Krancer will rejoin his former law firm, Blank Rome LLP, an international law firm based in Philadelphia.
In addition to his previous legal work at Blank Rome, Krancer, 55, of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, served as a judge on the state’s Environmental Hearing Board for 10 years, including four years as chief judge and chairman. He has also worked as an attorney for Exelon Corp.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Krancer earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University.
“I appreciate Mike’s unwavering commitment to this job, knowing that it took him away from spending quality time with his wife and children,’’ Corbett said. “While I am sorry to lose his expertise in the administration, I am glad this is an opportunity for him to go back home.”
E. Christopher Abruzzo, deputy chief of staff for Governor Tom Corbett, will serve as acting secretary. Abruzzo, who works closely with Krancer and the DEP staff in his position as deputy chief of staff, will hold both positions until Corbett names Krancer’s successor.


  • Rev Styles

    It will be interesting to see who his replacement is. Do you think it will be someone with a background in environmental science, or a lawyer with ties to the oil and gas industry?

    • Sean Indignado Kitchen

      I say C. Allen Walker ;)

      • schlumberjay

        . . most likely either Gary Slagle or Lou D’Amico.

      • Liz Rosenbaum

        My only hope is that the next one accepts the reality climate change.

    • chedd

      You’re kidding, right? It will be another shill for shale, there’s little doubt about that. Which raises the question: why did he go now? What it merely to cash in again, as Juliann suggested above, or is some other shoe about to drop, perhaps as a result of the release of the records in the Range Resource-Hallowich case? It just seems an odd time to go without any previous indication that he was on his way out, especially since he’s done such a good job running interference for the O&G industry.

  • Julieann Wozniak

    Bet he’s walking through that revolving door and right into the embrace of one of the polluters he was supposed to protect us from!

  • John Slesinger

    Yep, getting hot in there, time to cash in and make room for the next guy to fill his pockets. The requirements are lack of concience, greed, be a liar and a thief and be willing to make a deal with the devil for your soul.

    • guido starcalli

      i tell you, i would leave in a Philly minute if I had to tolerate the democrats in Hsbg and statements from people such as yourself.

      • john slesinger

        I tell you, I would leave Pennsylvania in less than a philly minute if contaminated water had not ruined my property value. Just can’t find someone willing to drink water contaminated over 8x the limit for safe drinking water. Want some? A little barium, strontium, chloride, industrial soap, and acid won’t hurt you. This state has a serious government problem.

  • Joe Conway

    That is easy the new guy will be just like the old guy, and just like his boss> another shill for shale! As for climate change > They think that is what they get from the petro boys to stuff in their pockets! Until we get sick enough of them to get them out of Harrisburg. Republican gov, house and senate.

  • brandan malin

    Another case of inherited wealth and the ability to gain a plum political appointment due to a major contribution by daddy. His so called environmental expertise is shallow…don’t get me wrong he is a quick study and can somewhat walk the walk… but his scholarly background is religious studies. He can claim what he wants but he is a pretty standard 21st century political appointee whistling through the revolving doors from unearned wealth to more wealth. Have fun at your fancy balls Mr. Krancer.

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