Corbett was greeted by about three dozen protesters who picketed the event at the Franklin Institute but were turned away at the door. The protesters carried placards denouncing the Republican governor's policies on education, health care, and shale gas.
"At no point did they say it was an invitation-only event," said Iris Marie Bloom, the leader of Protecting Our Waters, a Philadelphia anti-drilling group, who had registered for the free event but was declined entry.
About five demonstrators confronted the governor's vehicle as he departed. There were no arrests, a Philadelphia Police Department spokeswoman said. Corbett did not respond to questions.
The governor noted the protesters in his 15-minute address while touting his administration's record of regulating the natural gas industry.
"You may hear some people on the outside complaining that I don't believe in the environment and public health," he said. "That couldn't be any further from the truth. We do believe in it. We believe that it can be dealt with in a very safe, logical, scientific, well-thought-out way, removing emotion from the issue."
Corbett's support for the natural-gas industry has become a centerpiece of his administration's pro-business policy. He credited shale gas with creating jobs, saving troubled Philadelphia refineries, and driving down prices of natural gas and electricity for consumers.
Speakers at the summit included representatives of the American Petroleum Institute, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., Braskem America Inc., the Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region, and Philadelphia Gas Works.
Contact Andrew Maykuth at firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-854-2947 or @Maykuth on Twitter.