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PennEnvironment Endorses Onorato – Praising His Plan For Economic Growth, Environmental Protection

PennEnvironment Endorses Onorato – Praising His Plan For Economic Growth, Environmental Protection

Statewide Environmental Group Blasts Corbett for Launching Attack Ad to Defend Oil and Gas Industry
PITTSBURGH: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato today accepted the endorsement of PennEnvironment, a statewide citizen-based advocacy organization that said Onorato is the only candidate who will protect Pennsylvania’s taxpayers and environment on Marcellus shale issues.
“PennEnvironment is confident that Dan Onorato will take much-needed and critical steps to protect Pennsylvania’s environment,” said David Masur, PennEnvironment director. “I was shocked and appalled at the misinformation included in Tom Corbett’s recent ad attacking Dan Onorato for his common-sense position regarding the natural gas severance tax. Sadly, Tom Corbett’s position is out of touch with that of the public, most of the environmental community, and many of his Republican colleagues in Harrisburg. This is more political mudslinging instead of having a real dialogue based on the facts.”
PennEnvironment has been fighting to protect Pennsylvania’s air, water and open spaces for over 30 years. It is the second major environmental group to endorse Onorato, following the Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.
“Marcellus shale is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our state,” said Onorato. “But we have to make sure it is done correctly. Tom Corbett wants Pennsylvania taxpayers to pick up the bill and take on the risk.”
Onorato has issued a detailed policy paper calling for the successful and safe development of Marcellus shale resources in order to create jobs for Pennsylvanians, foster economic development and protect the environment. His plan includes environmental safeguards and a workforce development strategy to ensure that Pennsylvanians are ready for Marcellus shale-related employment.
Onorato backs a competitive severance tax on Marcellus shale drilling, and he would use the proceeds to fund enforcement by the Department of Environmental Protection, to help local communities address the impact of drilling on their roads and other services, and to pay for the renewal of Growing Greener – the state’s major environmental conservation and preservation programs.
Corbett opposes a severance tax, so that the oil and gas industry can evade its responsibility to taxpayers and force residents and other businesses to bear the costs of drilling. Even Corbett’s allies in the Senate Republican caucus have agreed to enact a severance tax and 12 House Republicans voted for a severance tax earlier this week, putting Corbett in the extreme wing of his party.
A May report by Common Cause Pennsylvania revealed that Corbett is the #1 Pennsylvania recipient of contributions from the gas industry over the last decade. The oil and gas industry also helped save Corbett’s political career during his initial tight race for Attorney General in 2004. At the time, Corbett refused to reveal the source of nearly a half-million dollars funneled through the Republican State Leadership Committee, but campaign finance filings later made clear that the bulk of it was from the CEO of an Oklahoma oil-and-gas company.
A life-long Pennsylvanian, Dan Onorato was raised in a working class neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side. He graduated college from Penn State and received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Onorato has served as Allegheny County Executive since 2004 and was unopposed for re-election in 2007.  Prior to being elected County Executive, Onorato served as Allegheny County Controller and a Pittsburgh City Councilman.  Dan and his wife Shelly reside in the Brighton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh with their three children.


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