Governor-elect Tom Corbett has tapped Bryn Mawr lawyer Michael Krancer to head Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Environmentalists and energy officials both say they’re optimistic about working with the appointee.
Krancer served as a judge on the state Environmental Hearing Board. He was assigned to that post by governors from both parties.
Doug Biden, president of the Electric Power Generation Association, said he thinks the experience of hearing environmental cases will make Krancer a well-rounded agency head.
“We’re optimistic that he’ll be fair and balanced, neither tilting toward one side or the other,” Biden said. “I think he got to see both sides of all issues in his role as an environmental hearing board judge.”
Krancer will head the DEP at a critical time — the agency is charged with overseeing natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
Jan Jarrett, president of the environmental advocacy group Penn Future, said she is looking for Krancer to keep the public well-informed about developments in natural gas drilling.
“We certainly hope he continues Governor Rendell’s commitment to transparency,” Jarrett said. “That’s one thing that’s been very helpful to the public as gas drilling picks up.”
Jarrett says that transparency is the only way to convince the public that drilling can be done safely.