February 20, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - The large coal and natural-gas company that treated Pennsylvania legislators to free Super Bowl trips this year made the same offer in 2009 to the state's top environmental regulator. John Hanger, then the acting secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Ed Rendell, turned down the offer from Consol Energy Inc., the company that paid for several state legislators to see the Pittsburgh Steelers in the two recent Super Bowls. "No, I didn't go," said Hanger, reached late last week for comment about Consol's offer.
February 18, 2011
AFTER getting into hot water over a Super Bowl trip paid for by a natural-gas-drilling company, state Senate President Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, promised this week that he'd reimburse the company out of his own pocket and with money from his campaign fund. This would be a good time to test your knowledge. What kinds of gifts can members of the Legislature accept from lobbyists? A. No gifts allowed B. Gifts that do not exceed $250 in value C. They can take pretty much anything they want.
February 17, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - A Democratic senator from Western Pennsylvania who has been an ally of the natural-gas industry joined the Republican Senate president on a free trip to the Super Bowl, paid for by one of the state's largest energy companies. Sen. Tim Solobay (D., Washington) had his flight to Texas and his hotel room paid for by Consol Energy Inc., one of the companies drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale. A spokeswoman said Solobay paid Consol $900 for his own ticket to the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, but gave no details about whether he used his own money or campaign funds to pay for it. Consol and its executives have contributed $9,600 to Solobay's campaigns since 2000, state records show.
February 16, 2011
It might be easier to reform Pennsylvania's legislature if the Steelers fail to reach the Super Bowl next year. Several state legislators took advantage of their clout to wangle tickets to the Super Bowl in Dallas. The most obnoxious example is Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson), who accepted plane travel to the game, tickets, and lodging courtesy of Consol Energy Inc. As you might expect, the folks at Consol have more than just a passing interest in the legislature.
February 16, 2011 |
Pennsylvania Senate President Joe Scarnati had a superior Super Bowl. His ticket, plane ride, and Dallas hotel bill were originally footed by Consol Energy Inc., a huge player in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale gas rush. Scarnati and fellow Senate Republicans have been cited by environmental activists and former Gov. Ed Rendell for obstructing passage of an extraction tax on shale drilling last year, despite the commonwealth's projected $4 billion budget deficit. Pennsylvania: Open for business!
February 15, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - The leader of Pennsylvania's Senate said Monday that he would repay one of the state's largest energy companies for his trip to this year's Super Bowl in Texas. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) announced through Twitter and Facebook that he would reimburse Consol Energy Inc. for the trip, which included airfare, hotel stay, and Super Bowl tickets. "I will fully reimburse Consol for Super Bowl expenses," Scarnati wrote. "Was planning to from the start, but don't have paperwork yet. " He could not be reached for further comment.
February 13, 2011 |
The state Senate president, a key player in the debate over natural-gas drilling in Pennsylvania, accepted a free trip from one of the state's largest energy companies to see the Pittsburgh Steelers play in the Super Bowl. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) had his ticket, plane ride, and hotel bill paid for by Consol Energy Inc., a major coal producer and one of the companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, according to Scarnati's top aide. Scarnati and other top Senate Republicans were frequently singled out by former Gov. Ed Rendell and environmental advocates for blocking an extraction tax on shale drilling, even in the face of a projected $4 billion state budget deficit.