Energy. Environment. Economy.

Wolf defends cabinet picks: ‘I want the industry to succeed’

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf.

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf says he wants his administration to be a partner with Pennsylvania's gas industry.

Governor-elect Tom Wolf is praising his nominees for the state’s top environmental posts, and says he wants his administration to be a partner with gas drillers. But some members of the industry are worried about his choices.

Wolf chose John Quigley to head the state Department of Environmental Protection and Cindy Dunn to lead the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Quigley ran DCNR during the Rendell administration and backed a moratorium on new gas leasing of public land. Dunn is CEO of the environmental advocacy group, PennFuture, which has been critical of how the state has handled the Marcellus Shale boom.

“I want the industry to succeed,” Wolf told reporters at a press conference today. “[Quigley and Dunn] share with me the understanding that we have to be a partner with the gas industry in making this work.”

But some members of the gas industry worry these nominees will be hostile to drilling.

Wolf called those concerns “nonsense.”

“It’s remarkably unbelievable Mr. Wolf can say with a straight face that these two activists will check their wildly out of the mainstream views at the door,” said one industry source.

When asked by a reporter, Wolf said he doubts either nominee will face substantial opposition in the confirmation process from the Republican majority in the state senate.

“My experience is senators look at the qualifications, not the ideology,” he said. “I think they’ll look at the overall picture and say, ‘Are these people competent and qualified?’ and I think the answer has to be ‘Yes.’”

Wolf also dismissed criticism that many of his cabinet picks served in the Rendell administration.

“I have people who were cabinet officers in the Casey administration,” he said. “People who were in the Ridge administration, the Schweiker administration, the Rendell administration, the Corbett administration. So take your pick.”


  • Fracked

    You know the gas industry never ceases to amaze me! They have had a free pass here in PA from day one. If they are doing everything safely and without “incidents” they have nothing to worry about! DEP is supposed to regulate the industry NOT cheerlead for them. The survival of Penn’s Woods hangs in the balance. I want the gas industry to be so worried. They have every reason to be.

    • Fracked

      balance would be a nice change! Let’s balance the downside with the upside and no longer ignore the downside. Can’t the gas industry handle that?

      • Hal Donahue

        Short answer is no they cannot.

  • JimBarth

    “It’s remarkably unbelievable Mr. Wolf can say with a straight face that these two activists will check their wildly out of the mainstream views at the door,” said one industry source”.
    I don’t think reporters should quote anonymous industry “sources” who perform the same function as an anonymous industry blogger.
    Based on the election in PA (Corbett / Wolf), it is this industry “source” whose view is “wildly out of the mainstream”, along with his industry, and his colleagues.
    They are the radical outsiders who can stomach neither truth, nor common sense regulation. Truth and regulation get in the way of their profitability. Profitability is their raison d’etre. Frack the industry, spare Pennsylvania.

  • Hal Donahue

    The natural gas industry has behaved badly and bullied their way around the state. They should fear accountability. The responsible producers will now thrive

  • kenneth weir

    Why is an anonymous source ever, ever quoted in an article on anything.? If you wont put your name to your mouth , what good is it. Shame on the reporter for even putting that “quote” in the report at all. No name ,no news ,period . End of story!!!

  • anonymouslyme13

    Interesting how their views are “wildly out of the mainstream” when surveys show the majority of Pennsylvanians are NOT on board with fracking.

  • wendylynnelee

    Radical activists? Hardly. John Quigley may be well-intended, but we have little reason to believe he’ll act other than to promote the politically expedient and popular ‘saving” of a few remaining acres of state forest. Cindy Dunn represents a similar position at PennFuture. Both are more than willing to horse-trade the farms and fen of Pennsylvania Citizens for the preserves of those whose affluence buys them what amount to park dioramas surrounded by a drilling wasteland. One thing’s for certain–neither Quigley nor Dunn are going to act in any fashion that gets in the way of this Gas Wolf Governor’s aspirations to “have his cake and eat it too.” The trouble is that that “cake” will be baked out of drill cuttings shipped out of the sacrifice zones left for those citizens who don’t have the same access to the governor as his $273,000 worth of donors–including IREWX whose life dream is to gut the Clean Air Act.

    Here’s the central question Wolf’s cabinet appointees ought to be asking the new governor: Why aren’t Pennsylvanians worth as much as New Yorkers?

  • Scott Cannon

    How about Wolf’s transition team picks that are hostile to the environment, like Nick DeBenedictis and Julien Gaudion: from Aqua America who is featured in this video, and Shari Williams: Community Outreach Manager, Marcellus Shale Coalition, the public relations arm of the gas industry who’s sole purpose is to promote willful ignorance of fracking.

    • JimBarth

      Thanks for posting your video, Scott. Did you follow up on what the people you taped did after the forced move?

  • 900seca

    I like how the gas industry characterizes itself as “mainstream in this article”. they dont have a cule what is mainstream and are simply trying to bully Wolf as if EVERYBODY thinks lng is a good idea. Its time for renewables to get the attention they deserve. 5X the jobs of gas, no pollution, no cancer and no global warming. THATS… mainstream and its what people want. When you are a fossil fuel industry and have truckloads of money, you can get people to print BS and pretend its factual. They’ve been doin it for a long time. Pay day is finally coming. We want jobs that sustain people without damaging our water, air and health. Wind and solar produce more, better jobs without the hidden costs of pollution, warming and disease. Not to mention destruction to the beautiful Penns Woods that most of us love and want to keep.

  • winterarrives

    Success meaning turning Pennsylvania into a pincushion full of toxic chemicals and air full of carcinogenic VOC’s, a child’s nearest pond being a radioactive waste filled
    one! Wow, where are the leaders we need that will take us out of the fossil fuel era and who will give us hopefor tomorrows with clean renewable energy that doesn’t pollute, poison, explode and spew greenhouse gases. I am fearful.

  • Melody Susan

    Wolf ran on a platform that he would regulate the fracking industry to make it safe for Pennsylvanians and that he would support renewable energy. Now, he says he wants to “partner” with this toxic industry and make sure it succeeds!! Succeeds in what? – completely ruining our state forests, drinking water, agricultural lands, organic farms, our health and destroy our property values, not to mention destroying the planet with global warming from fugitive methane?

  • politicianssuck

    Same old story, different governor.. Sickening!!!………

  • Kathleen3

    “Take your pick” of any and everybody who served in another administration, handpicked to serve in the administration of a man so far in over his head and my bet is citizens will be begging Tom Corbett to return within two years.

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