EXPLAINER | Gov. Tom Wolf
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Gov. Tom Wolf

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Tom Wolf is the 47th governor of Pennsylvania. The Democrat easily defeated unpopular Republican Tom Corbett in the November 2014 election and won re-election against challenger Scott Wagner in 2018.

Wolf had never held elected office before becoming governor. He ran his family’s York County kitchen cabinet business for years.

He is the first person to defeat a sitting governor since the state constitution was changed in 1968, allowing governors to serve two terms. The wealthy businessman donated $10 million to his own campaign, allowing him to launch a slew of folksy TV commercials early on, which resonated with voters.

Over the years he’s been a major contributor to the Democratic party. After giving more than $200,000 to former Governor Ed Rendell, he was appointed state revenue secretary in 2007.

A central part of Wolf’s gubernatorial campaign focused on criticizing the way his predecessor handled Marcellus Shale gas development. Wolf pledged to do away with the current Marcellus Shale impact fee and enact a five percent severance tax on the gas industry, but that hasn’t happened — and if the state does adopt such a tax, it likely will be different than what Wolf proposed.

In early 2016, Wolf came under criticism from environmental advocates for what they say is a lack of action on issues such as climate change. Wolf cites a package of stronger regulations for Marcellus Shale gas drillers and a ban on further leasing of state park and forest land for oil and gas development as evidence he is getting things done despite a Republican-controlled Legislature.

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Gov. Tom Wolf visits Taggart Elementary School in South Philadelphia to stump for legislation that would tax natural gas extraction to pay for school improvements.

Governor Tom Wolf's severance tax proposals have become something of an annual tradition. In keeping with that tradition, Republicans have said they have no intention of passing his latest version of the plan.

Wolf wants to fund infrastructure with shale tax; Republicans say nope

The governor’s plan — if passed — would route money toward things like broadband expansion, flood remediation, and urban blight reduction.

By Katie Meyer

Scientists have been studying the link between climate change and extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy, shown here in a NASA image, which left more than 1.3 million Pennsylvanians in the dark in 2012.

After some awkward moments, kids dressed as the Lorax got to meet Gov. Wolf — and make their point

Wolf staffers initially said he was busy, but the children saw him walking into his office and pressured him to meet.

By Marie Cusick

Sarah Olexsak manages transportation electrification for Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Light.

The Bruce Mansfield Power Plant burns coal to generate electricity in Beaver County.

Gov. Wolf on climate change: ‘We are having real problems’

Governor Tom Wolf said climate change is, “one of the big issues we have to deal with.”

By Marie Cusick

The Horsham Air Guard Station in Bucks County, Pa. where the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam has been linked with contamination of local water supplies.

Wolf sets up government panel to study PFAS chemicals

Contamination has been found at sites including Montgomery, Bucks and Franklin counties. Pennsylvania doesn’t have health limits on the chemicals, and a Wolf administration spokesman said the governor wants the state to establish such limits.

By Jon Hurdle

Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline construction in Lancaster County. (March 2018)

The new law will help commercial property owners finance the upfront costs of installing clean energy upgrades, such as new solar panels.

FILE PHOTO: Shell flared off natural gas for three months in 2012, to alleviate subsurface pressure in Union Township, Tioga County, where one of its drilling sites got too close to an abandoned well

Wolf administration, two years after climate pledge: ‘no specific timeline’ on methane regulations

New requirements for oil and gas industry don't affect thousands of existing wells
By Marie Cusick

In this photo made on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, a worker walks on top of a container of chemicals used in the making of a brine water that is then pumped below the surface in a hydraulic fracturing process to release natural gas from shale deposits at a gas well site in Zelienople, Pa.

Wolf’s fracking-health record hammered by new industry opposition group

The group says Gov. Tom Wolf promised to help people who say they’ve been harmed by fracking, and hasn’t delivered. A spokesman said Wolf has taken a ‘balanced approach’ to the industry.

By Reid Frazier
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