Election 2010 and Natural Gas Drilling, Who Stands Where

One of the biggest issues on voter’s minds in this year’s Pennsylvania elections is Natural Gas Drilling. Whether it is a Severance Tax, drilling on State Land, or imposing legislation to protect our environment, it seems everyone has an opinion, and that opinion is expected to weigh heavily in tomorrow’s election.

So, where do the candidates stand on drilling? Perhaps a look at the money trail and track record of each candidate will give us an accurate indication of where the candidates really stand.

PA Gubernatorial Race
Gubernatorial campaign contributions from the natural gas drilling industry stand at $826,520.00. Republican candidate Tom Corbett has received $752,220. Democrat Dan Onorato has received $119,300. Onorato supports a severance tax. With 91% of the gas money coming his way, Corbett has promised the industry he will keep PA severance-tax-free.

US Senate
Joe Sestak has joined Senator Bob Casey as a sponsor of the FRAC Act, which would restore Safe Drinking Water Act protections for Marcellus gas drilling operations. The bill would also require full disclosure of the composition the fracking fluid being injected into the ground to recover the gas. After a blowout and explosion at a drilling site in Clearfield County Pennsylvania, Congressman Sestak wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to urge improved safety measures to protect Pennsylvanians from the potentially detrimental effects of hydraulic fracturing noting that oversight was inadequate and putting workers at risk. Sestak rates a 96 on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard.

Pat Toomey has consistently opposed proposals to expand federal or local oversight of drilling. Toomey’s lifetime score on his votes on environmental issues is 11. He has had the dubious honor of being selected for the “Dirty Dozen” list compiled by the League of Conservation Voters.

Information obtained from the RDA

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