Katie McGinty: Bad for the Environment, Health

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-8-18-03-amPennsylvania Senate candidate Katie McGinty addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, but many voters don’t know about her destructive past.

McGinty profoundly supports the practice of hydraulic fracturing, worked to bring “fracking” to Pennsylvania as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, and then left her post to work for the same industry she was in charge of regulating.

Ever since McGinty condemned the fates Pennsylvania’s rural shalefield residents, environmentalists across the state have been opposed to her candidacies for governor and now, US Senator.

Fact Sheet (PDF)

 

Official Stance On Fracking: McGinty supports full development of the Marcellus and Utica shales. 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, ushering in the fracking industry, which she referred to as the “secret sauce” of economic development. (PA DEP Permit Report) (interactive map, click “Map of Latitude”)

- Dimock Township, Susquehanna County residents recently won a unanimous jury verdict that wells permitted by the McGinty DEP and drilled by Cabot Oil & Gas contaminated their water wells. The families were awarded $4.24 million. (Jury Awards Two Dimock Twp. Couples $4.24 Million – Scranton Times-Tribune March 11) The resulting water contamination due to drilling and failed well casings put Dimock in the national spotlight when the HBO documentary Gasland premiered.

- During her appointment as Chief of Staff for Gov. Tom Wolf, there were 1,104 fracking permits issued in Pennsylvania through July 22, 2015. In 128 business days, that is an average of one permit every 65 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)

- In October 2008, McGinty took a board position with NRG Energy, a company that owns natural-gas and coal energy facilities across the state. Between 2008 and 2013, when Ms. McGinty left the board, she received $1.1 million in cash and stock awards, SEC filings show. (Senate candidate McGinty’s role in energy industry is questioned, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

- McGinty more recently has worked for the shale gas industry as an operating 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)

- McGinty has 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)

- 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)