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Thu Aug 13, 2015, 07:46 AM

Missing Tom Corbett? Well, here's Katie McGinty! & her fracking husband too!

In January 2014, McGinty called fracking the “secret sauce” of economic growth (“McGinty: Gas is part of ‘secret sauce’ to drive economic growth” -NPR).

– The McGinty DEP permitted 586 Marcellus Shale wells across PA, according to the DEP Permit Report. (PA DEP Permit Report) (interactive map, click “Map of Latitude”)Screen shot 2015-07-24 at 3.30.40 PM

McGinty was reprimanded by the state Ethics Commission for giving the pro-fracking Pennsylvania Environmental Council $2.8 million in state grants while her husband, Karl Hausker, was employed as a consultant there. In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld an Ethics Commission ruling saying Cabinet secretaries in the future should have no role in grants that benefit spouses. (“Philly native Katie McGinty might be the political surprise of 2014“ -Philadelphia Inquirer)

– The PR firm McGinty hired to do communications for her gubernatorial campaign is SKDKnickerbocker, who also represents TransCanada, owner of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. From 2007-2013, her husband Karl Hausker was a vice president at ICM International, which was hired by the State Department to perform the environmental review of KXL and determined it would have no significant impact on the environment. (“Fracking’s Myriad Ties to Flawed State Dept Keystone XL Environmental Review” -DeSmogBlog)

- McGinty’s husband, Karl Hausker’s former firm, ICM International, wrote a report for the American Petroleum Institute praising shale gas exports. (“Ties That Bind: Ernest Moniz, Keystone XL Contractor, American Petroleum Institute and Fracked Gas Exports” – DeSmogBlog)

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Reply Missing Tom Corbett? Well, here's Katie McGinty! & her fracking husband too! (Original post)
Divernan Aug 2015 OP
blue neen Aug 2015 #1
Divernan Aug 2015 #2
blue neen Aug 2015 #3
JPZenger Aug 2015 #4
Divernan Aug 2015 #5

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 11:19 AM

1. Thanks for the info on Katie McGinty.

We need to know these things in order to make an educated decision.

With that being said, it seems unfair to equate McGinty with Tom Corbett at this point.

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Response to blue neen (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 11:31 AM

2. At least Corbett's spouse wasn't profiteering from fracking!

Not saying they're equal - but they're both committed to promoting fracking. Wonder what Corbett is up to now.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 11:41 AM

3. Sorry, comparing anyone to Tom Corbett is a low blow.

We need credibility for our decision-making for the upcoming U.S. Senate primary.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 01:24 PM

4. PA Environmental Council has favored strict regulation of gas industry

There are some people who still want to completely prohibit all fracking in PA. We are way past that point.

It is inaccurate to call the PA. Environmental Council "pro-fracking." They have been in favor of very strict environmental protections for fracking activities - which Corbett consistently opposed.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 13, 2015, 02:51 PM

5. The council is rife with energy industry lawyers & revolving door energy/govt. folks

I started researching the backgrounds of the officers and board members to the council, and it is SO skewed toward representing profiteering interests and not the citizens of the commonwealth. As a retired attorney, it is no surprise to me that the large national and even international law firms of board members of the Council are not making their millions from representing plaintiffs in actions for clean water, clean air, cleanups of toxic spills, etc.
For instance a Council board member, Seth Cooley of Duane Morris, LLP, represents PPRs (Potentially Responsible Parties) in Superfund class action suits, when he's not representing defendants in civil and criminal actions brought under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, etc.
The President of the Council, Carol McCabe, specializes in defense against agency enforcement actions.
Board member, John T. Hines, at the DEP for 18 years and a deputy secretary for water management and later executive deputy secretary to Mr. Krancer, quit to join Shell Oil Co. as government relations adviser.
These officers/board members are making big legal bucks defending and representing members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition - forgive my disbelief that these folks are in any way, shape or form in favor of strict environmental protections for fracking activities.

Is there a member from the Sierra Club? No.

What about a member from Protect Our Children (POC) is a coalition of parents, concerned citizens, and advocacy organizations, dedicated to protecting school children from the health risks of shale gas drilling and infrastructure? "We aim to mobilize communities to prevent shale gas infrastructure near schools, through connecting local groups to shared resources and information needed to protect our children’s health and safety. Our goal is to limit children's exposure to harmful pollutants by keeping shale gas drilling and infrastructure at least one mile away from schools." Fat chance! http://www.protectourchildrencoalition.org/

What about any citizen advocacy group? Nope.

A government accountability group? Nope.

Interesting article about the revolving door between govt. jobs & Big Energy jobs under both Democratic and Republican administrations:
45 State Officials Have Ties to Fracking Industry in Pa.
Many of the state's policymakers and regulators have come from or go straight to jobs in the oil and gas industry they oversee, according to a report that questions the impacts of such a "revolving door" on public policy decisions. (subheadline)
March 12, 2013

By Don Hopey

Many of Pennsylvania's policymakers, regulators and enforcement workers have come from the oil and gas industry they oversee, or they leave state jobs for industry jobs, according to a recent report that questions the impacts of such a "revolving door" on public policy decisions. A report titled "Fracking and the Revolving Door in Pennsylvania" identified 45 current or former state officials who have links to the energy industry and gas drilling and fracking regulation, including 28 who have left to take industry jobs.

The 30-page report, released two weeks ago by the Public Accountability Initiative (public-accountability.org), a Buffalo, N.Y.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization focused on corporate and government accountability, said that attrition from government jobs to positions in the regulated industry calls into question the commitment of those employees to enforce regulations on companies they could soon work for. Enforcement could also be hurt, the report said, when industry executives move into regulatory positions in government.

According to the report, the last four governors, including Tom Corbett, have "strong ties to the natural gas industry," as do a number of administrators from previous governors' offices, and 20 DEP administrators and employees, Democrats and Republicans alike, including all five DEP secretaries since the department was created in 1995.

A two-year gap needed?

The "revolving door" issue was also raised at the House Democratic Policy Committee hearing in Washington, Pa., where Judy Armstrong Stiles of Bradford County spoke about how incomplete reporting of water well test results by the DEP allowed her family to continue using contaminated water that damaged their health.

Also at that hearing, Craig Stevens, a resident of Silver Lake Township in Susquehanna County, told the policy committee that "the DEP looks like it's run by the industry," and "there should be a two-year moratorium on people from [the department] going to the industry."

Barry Kauffman, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, a government accountability advocate, said ex-government workers can be a significant resource for oil and gas drilling companies, and the public "should be vigilant about conflicts of interest that may arise from the transition of government administrators or lower-level employees to private companies they may have regulated." He said the state ethics law has very narrow and limited prohibitions only against government administrators lobbying the departments they worked for, and then only for a year. So, for example, a person who worked for the governor's office could legally lobby the DEP the day after he quits state government. "The prohibition for lobbying should be extended to two years and extended to the entire state government," Mr. Kauffman said.

Taking the revolving door - Among those politicians and bureaucrats who passed through the revolving door from government to the oil and gas industry, or from industry to government, according to the PAI study, are:

Pennsylvania's previous three governors: Tom Ridge's firms received a $900,000 lobbying contract from the Marcellus Shale Coalition; Mark Schweiker joined a firm that lobbies for the gas drilling industry; and Ed Rendell is a partner in a private equity firm with investments in fracking services companies. He recently lobbied on behalf of Range Resources in a dispute with federal regulators in Texas.

K. Scott Roy, Mr. Rendell's deputy chief of staff, who left state government in 2010 to work for Range Resources, where he is vice president of regulator and government affairs.
Sarah Battisti, Mr. Rendell's deputy chief of staff, who quit in 2010 to work for BG Group, a British gas company with Marcellus Shale gas holdings, where she was director of government and public affairs and co-chaired the Marcellus Shale Coalition's legislative committee. Ms. Battisti now works at the Bravo Group, a public relations company where she is head of the government relations section of the firm's energy practice. She is a registered lobbyist for The Energy Association of Pennsylvania, America's Natural Gas Alliance, Southwest Energy and UGI Energy Services.
Eric Battisti, Sarah's husband and Mr. Rendell's senior deputy secretary for legislative affairs, works as a government relations specialist in Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney's oil and gas practice, where he lobbies for gas industry clients EQT, Williams Cos., NRG and Koch Cos.
Barbara Sexton was DEP executive deputy secretary and helped persuade then-Secretary John Hanger to cut the state's Conservation District offices out of the gas drilling permit approval process because they were an obstacle to quick permit approval. She held the department's second-highest office from 2001 until she left in 2010 to take a job with Chesapeake Energy as director of governmental affairs.

Range Resources, Chesapeake Energy and Atlas Energy together also have hired at least four former well-site inspectors to work in environmental compliance and other aspects of their Marcellus Shale operations.

But that revolving door spins much more frequently between government and industry, said Jeff Schmidt, executive director of the Sierra Club in Pennsylvania and a longtime observer of the Harrisburg political scene. When it occurs on the administrative and lobbying levels, it can drain experienced administrators from government, and result in reduced regulation and enforcement of industries, like oil and gas, where there are much more lucrative employment opportunities. "There's a concern about people in state government providing favors to industries that might hire them, in effect helping to feather the nest they land in," Mr. Schmidt said. He also has concerns about former industry executives coming to government and being in positions to weaken or reduce enforcement.

(c)2013 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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