Watchdog Group: Gas Drilling Industry ‘Supports’ Politicians With Big Money Gifts

From the SunGazette

With the Marcellus Shale bringing the potential for plenty of jobs and economic opportunity, it’s no surprise to a citizens lobbying group that gas drilling companies and other related businesses and organizations standing to profit from the industry have become politically involved by reaching into their wallets.

Common Cause has noted that the natural gas industry made $2.85 million in campaign contributions to Pennsylvania candidates, committees and political action groups between 2001 and 2010.

“Everyone knows that money plays a huge role,” said Common Cause’s Alex Kaplan.

“We have absolutely no position on gas drilling,” he said of Common Cause. “Our foremost mission is to help people understand the influence of money on politics.”

Kaplan noted that more than half of the $691,000 contributed by gas industry concerns in 2009 went to the three top gubernatorial candidates: Republican Tom Corbett, $284,000, Democrat Dan Onorato, $59,000, and Democrat Jack Wagner, $9,000.

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