According to a release last week by MarcellusMoney.org, the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry has spent $23 million in direct contributions to favored legislator campaigns and lobbying efforts since 2000.
The big winners in the Cash for Legislation sweepstakes between 2000 and April 2012 were:
- Republican Governor Tom Corbett, $1,813,205.59;
- Senate President Joseph Scarnati, R-25, $359,145.72;
- Rep. Dave Reed, R-62, $137,532.33;
- House Majority Leader Rep. Mike Turzai, R-28, $98,600; and
- Sen. Don White, R-41, $94,150.
Although fracking did not gain widespread public awareness until about 2010, the gas industry had, in fact, been laying groundwork longer than that. I talked to a woman who moved to Lycoming County “eight years ago,” and found convoys of trucks passing her house, using seismic devices to detect likely gas holding areas.
According to the Marcellus Money report, the natural gas industry invested $8 million since 2000, helping elect legislators favorable to the industry.
In 2006, the industry convinced the General Assembly to declare natural gas an “alternative fuel,” making it eligible for, among other things, federal subsidies.
Beginning in 2007, when development work began in earnest, the industry has spent nearly $16 million lobbying the lawmakers.
It’s been a worthwhile investment. So far, about $1 trillion in profits has been sucked out of the Commonwealth’s supporting strata.
“For their (nearly $24 million) political investment,” said Josh McNeil, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of PA. “gas companies avoided hundreds of millions in taxes that could have paid for thousands of teachers, roads and desperately needed environmental protections.”
(To see how much individual legislators have received from the natural gas industry, visit Marcellus Money.)
Photo by Marcellus Protest
Powered by Facebook Comments
- UNREDACTED, Finally. Derry’s Government Waste Continues ~ Dauphin County Watch, Featured, Pennsylvania Issues 20 Mar, at 12 : 24 PM
- The Rise and Fall of James Ellison ~ Dauphin County Watch, Haste Makes Waste 30 Oct, at 11 : 43 AM
- Coalition Forming to Challenge Corbett Administration’s Harrisburg Bailout Plans Involving LCSWMA Incinerator Purchase ~ Dauphin County Watch, Haste Makes Waste, Pennsylvania Issues, Political 24 Sep, at 11 : 58 AM
- Take It or Leave It: LCSWMA's Jim Warner Bristles at Tough Questions From Harrisburg City Council ~ Dauphin County Watch, Energy & Environment, Featured, Haste Makes Waste, Pennsylvania Issues, Political 13 Sep, at 18 : 30 PM
- Richard Nixon: The Last Liberal President? ~ Economy, Energy & Environment, Featured, Legal, Political 28 Jul, at 12 : 27 PM