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.

He’s running for re-election, and several Republicans have entered the primary field in a bid to oppose him.

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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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

A wellpad in the Loyalsock State Forest.

FILE PHOTO: Gov. Tom Wolf aide, Yesenia Bane, speaking on a panel discussion at the Marcellus Shale Coalition's annual conference in Pittsburgh in September 2016.

A shale gas drilling rig in Washington, Pa.

Rapper Meek Mill, center left, looks on with his son, left, and actor Kevin Hart, center, as 76ers' co-owner Michael Rubin, center right, looks at Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's phone, right, during the first half in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 104-91. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

At the Steamfitters Union Local 449 near Pittsburgh, apprentices practice pipe welding in the union's new training facility. Photo: Reid R. Frazier
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