PA GOP Picks Fight with Shapiro over Fracking
Specifically, the Republicans are attacking Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro for comments he made in his speech to the PA Press Club.
“Using my bully pulpit, I’ll advocate for legislative changes where I see fit. Now that’s outside the scope of the legal work we’ll be doing day-to-day in the AG’s office, but there’s nothing stopping me from rendering my opinion, and my opinion on this is that there should be greater authority vested in the AG’s Office. What we don’t necessarily need is a referral from a District Attorney or [Department of Environmental Protection] in order to pursue an environmental crime.”
The GOP believes that Shapiro’s desire for a “bully pulpit”, along with his past advocacy for fracking accountability, will cause harm to the natural gas industry.
“Josh Shapiro is more concerned with attacking Pennsylvania’s energy jobs than actually performing the duties of Attorney General,” PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney said. “Josh Shapiro is running to be the most political Attorney General in the country, so it’s not surprising he wants to declare war on Pennsylvania’s energy jobs.
“We can’t afford to have a top law enforcement official who’s more interested in politics than restoring honor and integrity to the Office of the Attorney General,” Sweeney concludes. “We need someone who will keep politics out of Attorney General’s Office instead of doubling-down on the failed policies of the past.”
PoliticsPA reached out to the Shapiro campaign for a response.
“Apparently Sen. Rafferty thinks properly enforcing the law to ensure clean drinking water isn’t the Attorney General’s job – Josh couldn’t disagree more and both common-sense and PA law is on his side,” Shapiro Campaign Manager Joe Radosevich stated. “Sen. Rafferty is wrong to think special interests should have a different set of rules that put the health and safety of Pennsylvania families at risk and hurts responsible companies that do follow the rules. Josh will go after those that break the law. Letting bad actors off the hook is what hurts Pennsylvania’s economy and kills jobs.”
The Democratic nominee is the Chair of Montgomery County Commissioners and is running against Republican nominee and State Senator John Rafferty for the open Attorney General seat in the November 8th general election.
UPDATE: Rafferty Campaign Manager Mike Barley sent the following response to PoliticsPA:
“First of all, unlike Commissioner Josh Shapiro, John Rafferty is the only candidate who has a long history of protecting the environment, including voting for some of the toughest regulations on the natural gas industry in the nation.
“Let’s set the record straight, Commissioner Shapiro is campaigning on a blanket statement that its time to get tough on frackers. Commissioner Shapiro is not saying that he is going after bad actors, he is saying that he will go after all natural gas companies because he wants to be an activist attorney general. Pennsylvanians don’t want an activist attorney general that is going to go after the entire natural gas industry because he personally believes demonizing them benefits his political campaigns. In this scenario, while Shapiro is playing politics with an entire industry, Pennsylvanians are losing family-sustaining jobs in the energy industry. That is a dangerous precedent and that is just one of the reasons that Commissioner Shapiro is a terrible fit for the Attorney General’s office.
“John Rafferty is going to go after criminals because they break laws, not based on a political agenda.”