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Pennsylvania’s Fracking Insiders

This just in from the Public Accountability Initiative (PAI):

Our latest report is an extensive look at the revolving door between the gas industry and the governmental officers and entities responsible for its regulation. We found that numerous top government officers and environmental regulators in Pennsylvania have either left their public jobs for careers in the oil and gas industry or come to government from the industry.

While some of these relationships have been written about in the past, such as former governor Tom Ridge’s lobbying for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, PAI found several remarkable relationships that have previously gone unreported:

Former Gov. Ed Rendell and his Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty have a financial stake in companies servicing the fracking industry. Rendell and McGinty are operating partners in Element Partners, a private equity firm that invests in the energy sector. Several of the companies serve the natural gas industry, such as 212 Resources, Agility Fuel Systems, and Environmental Drilling Solutions.

Secretary of Environmental Protection Michael Krancer’s Executive Deputy Secretary for programs is now a lobbyist for Shell. John T. Hines, the author of a 2011 leaked e-mail revealing a new DEP policy requiring Krancer’s approval of all notices of violation in the Marcellus Shale, is now a government relations advisor for Shell Oil Company.

Husband and wife Eric and Sarah Battisti left the Rendell administration to lobby for the gas industry. While Sarah Battisti’s departure for BG Group was noted in the press, it was not reported that her husband, Eric Battisti, a senior deputy secretary to Rendell, left to work for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney where he lobbies for EQT and Williams Companies.

Several prominent law firms that are destinations for regulators and public officers after they leave government are members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney, K&L Gates, and Blank Rome are three of the most renowned law firms in Pennsylvania, and many regulators and public officers are hired after leaving government or come to government from one of the three firms. All three also lobby for companies engaged in fracking and are members of the gas industry advocacy group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

Click here to read the full report.