Candidate Katie McGinty: The “Environmentalist” For Fracking Fact Sheet

Screen shot 2015-07-24 at 3.39.02 PMFormer PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, gas industry consultant, and governor’s chief of staff Kathleen McGinty is planning a run for US Senate against sitting Senator Pat Toomey and primary challenger Joe Sestak. She says she’s an “environmentalist”, but voters ought to know her relationship and ties with the shale gas industry before the primary polls open in April 2016.

Link to Fact Sheet PDF:  http://tinyurl.com/McGintyFacts

 

Official Stance:

McGinty supports full development of the Marcellus and Utica shales as long as it is taxed and done with more oversight. In January 2014, McGinty called fracking the “secret sauce” of economic growth (McGinty: Gas is part of ‘secret sauce’ to drive economic growth” -NPR).

Her Record:

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

During her appointment as Chief of Staff for Gov. Tom Wolf, there have been 1,085 fracking permits issued in Pennsylvania through July 17, 2015. In 178 business days, that is an average of one permit every 79 minutes of each eight-hour workday. At least 15 of those permits were for wells to be drilled in State Game Lands or State Forest land. (PA DEP Permit Report)

 

McGinty supports fracking, pipelines, and related infrastructure in more than half of Pennsylvania’s public lands. She opposes further leasing in state-owned forest lands and parks, but she supports drilling on already leased land. PA DCNR states that 385,400 acres have already been leased and 290,000 acres could be developed through private leases where the Commonwealth does not own the subsurface rights (PA DCNR Marcellus Fact Sheet, Bad Call: PA Governor Wolf Pursues Drilling on 700,000 Acres of State Land).

 

After DEP, McGinty went to work as Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Strategic Growth at Weston Solutions, Inc., a gas industry consulting firm and member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, enjoying the revolving door open to regulators among companies they are supposed to oversee. (McGinty’s LinkedIn Profile)

 

- McGinty more recently has worked for the shale gas industry as a business partner of Ed Rendell’s at Element Partners, which provides investment capital to shale gas industry start-ups. (“Keystone XL Influence Peddling Web Extends into PA Governor’s Race Via Katie McGinty” -DeSmogBlog)

 

When McGinty ran for governor in 2014, she hired Mike Mikus to be her campaign manager. Mikus is a V. P. of IES Solutions, an energy consulting firm that represents the Colorado Oil & Gas Association and he is Executive Director for Consumer Energy Alliance’s Mid-Atlantic region which supports drilling on public lands. (http://www.solutions-ies.com/, “CEA Applauds Approval of Marcellus Shale Production on Airport Land by Allegheny County Council” -CEA)


The gas industry donated $72,500 to Katie McGinty’s gubernatorial campaign in 2013-14.
A new study finds a 47% increase in campaign donations from the natural gas industry to Pennsylvania politicians in the 2013-2014 election cycle (over 2011-2012). Lobbying expenditures reached $17.9 million, up $2.1 million from the previous two-year cycle. (“How Gas Drillers Rented Pennsylvania’s Government” – MarcellusMoney.org) 

 

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)

 

Dimock Township, Susquehanna County was absolutely assaulted by her agency and Cabot Oil & Gas. In total, 21 wells in Dimock Township were permitted by McGinty’s DEP and residents are taking their civil case to federal jury trial in November. (map above). The resulting water contamination due to drilling and failed well casings put Dimock in the national spotlight when the HBO documentary Gasland premiered and was nominated for an Academy Award and won an Emmy Award in 2010. Dimock residents confronted McGinty with their contaminated water at a campaign stop in Scranton, April 14, 2014 where she appeared with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Photos Attached).

 

There were two wells permitted by the McGinty DEP in the Delaware River Basin before the Delaware River Basin Commission halted permitting in New York City and Philadelphia’s drinking water supply with an indefinite moratorium. The two permits were named Matoushek 1 and Geuther 1, issued to Stone Energy in Clinton Township, Wayne County on 3/14/2008 and 4/28/2008, respectively. (PA DEP Permits Report)

 

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)

 

- McGinty appeared as a speaker for the industry’s Shale Gas Insight 2012 conference in Philadelphia. In a corresponding letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer she fawned, “Moreover, with abundant and affordable natural gas, we are attracting companies that use natural gas to produce things like chemicals and fertilizers, and good manufacturing jobs are being created in these new or expanded plants.” (“Energy: Clear benefits of Obama’s forward-looking agenda” -Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

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PHOTOS FROM THURSDAY, APRIL 18 2014 PRESS CONFERENCE

 

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[Link to Photo] Susquehanna County residents Sarita Farnelli (above), Craig Stevens, (lower left), and Ray Kemble (lower right) speak about their experiences living with contaminated water due to shale gas drilling and the need for leadership from candidates. (Photo by Alyssa Tsuchiya)

 

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[Link to Photo] Sarita Farnelli, Dimock Resident speaks about her experience with contaminated water in her family’s home on Carter Rd after drilling operations. (Photo by Alyssa Tsuchiya)

 

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[Link to Photo] Craig Stevens, Silver Lake Township Resident, speaks to Katie McGinty, inviting her to come to Susquehanna County for a shalefield tour, which she agreed to. (Photo by Alyssa Tsuchiya)

 

Screen shot 2015-07-24 at 3.39.12 PM

[Link to Photo] Ray Kemble speaks to Robert Kennedy Jr. about his experiences formerly working for the gas industry and living with contaminated water due to drilling operations. (Photo by Alyssa Tsuchiya)

 

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[Link to Photo] Ray Kemble speaks to Katie McGinty about his experiences formerly working for the gas industry and living with contaminated water due to drilling operations. (Photo by Alyssa Tsuchiya)