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Gas Drilling Industry Spent $379,500 on the PA Governors Race in 97 Days

Gas Drilling Industry Spent $379,500 on the PA Governors Race in 97 Days

Corbett Received $334,500; Onorato Received $45,000

Harrisburg – MarcellusMoney.org, a project of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania (CVPA) and Common Cause PA, tracks campaign contributions from natural gas industry PACs and executives to candidates for Pennsylvania state office. 

Today, MarcellusMoney.org released the gas contribution figures for gubernatorial candidates Dan Onorato and Tom Corbett from campaign finance reporting cycle 4, which covered the 97 days between June 7 to September 13, 2010.  If the Department of State releases the rest of the cycle 4 data as planned, MarcellusMoney.org should be updated with cycle 4 data for all candidates by October 20.  The following numbers reflect the data available at this time.

Download the data sheet here: http://marcellusmoney.org/sites/marcellusmoney.org/files/images/Governor%20marcellus%20shale%20Cycle%204%20natural%20gas%20donations_0.xlsx

In cycle 4, Democratic candidate Dan Onorato received a total of $45,000 from the natural gas industry, an average of $463.91 per day.  During the first six months of 2010 (cycles 1, 2 & 3), Onorato received a total of $17,000, an average of $108.28 per day.  Onorato has received a total of $119,300 in reported contributions from the gas drilling industry in the last decade.  

In cycle 4, Republican candidate Tom Corbett received a total of $334,500, an average of $3448.45 per day.  During the first six months of 2010 (cycles 1, 2 & 3), Corbett received a total of $23,275.18, an average of $148.25 per day.  Corbett has received a total of $707,220.18 in reported contributions from the gas drilling industry in the last decade.  

If the Pennsylvania Senate fails to pass a severance tax on Marcellus Shale drillers today, it will be up to one of these two men to ensure that drilling is done cleanly, that drillers pay their fair share, and that local communities have the resources to deal with drilling’s impacts. Dan Onorato has a realistic plan to make drillers contribute to Pennsylvania’s environmental and economic health with a severance tax. Tom Corbett refuses to consider a reasonable and responsible tax that every other gas producing state has already implemented. 

It is estimated that the severance tax recently passed out of the House of Representatives would raise approximately $316 million in 2011-12 and as much as $570 million by 2014-15 to support environmental protections, conservation programs and local communities.  

“Spending $707,220 on a gubernatorial candidate who promises to save you $570 million makes a lot of economic sense if you’re a gas driller – that’s a 80,000% return on investment,” Josh McNeil of CVPA said.  “But taxpayers in Pennsylvania should know that every dollar that drillers aren’t paying to clean up their own messes is a dollar that our citizens will soon have to pay instead.  For $3,448 a day, Tom Corbett may be a good investment for the drilling industry, but he’s a subprime mortgage for Pennsylvania’s future.”

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