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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Updated: June 28, 2019 | 4:22 pm

Pennsylvania lawmakers seek to block any attempt at regulation of single-use plastics

The move comes as the city of Philadelphia seriously considers a ban on single-use plastic bags.

By Marie Cusick

Groups criticize state budget shifting $10 million from environmental fund

A coalition of sixteen environmental groups sent open letter to Governor Tom Wolf and legislators Tuesday decrying the transfer of approximately $10 million out of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Stewardship Fund.

By Marie Cusick

Calpine's York 2 Energy Center is an 828 megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant in York County, Pa.

Climate focus intensifies in Harrisburg, as budget negotiations and citizen-led petition advance

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is urging Republicans to authorize the state to join a regional consortium to limit greenhouse gases. At the same time, a citizen-led climate petition is under review at the state Department of Environmental Protection.

By Marie Cusick

File photo. A Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site in Bradford County, PA.

A drill rig in the Tiadaghton State Forest.

A tributary of Cedar Creek in Allentown that is part of the Delaware Watershed.

Protesters gather outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 1, 2017, to protest President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the Unites States from the Paris climate change accord.

Pennsylvania commits to Paris Agreement climate goals; state’s plan calls for 80 percent carbon cuts by 2050

Pennsylvania becomes the 24th state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance
By Susan Phillips

The Pennsylvania state Capitol is seen in this file photo.

Wolf aide won’t face charges following ethics investigation

Yesenia Bane, whose husband is a gas industry lobbyist, was involved in gas industry projects. But the Ethics Commission said it lacked evidence to find a violation.

By Marie Cusick

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
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