After crunching the numbers, Common Cause of Pennsylvania says the natural gas industry has given $2.85 million to statewide candidates in the last 10 years.
Next week, Pennsylvania primary voters will go to the polls to choose the Republican and Democratic nominees for Governor. One issue on the next governor’s desk will be whether or not to tax natural gas companies, or lease more land to drilling in the state forests.
After crunching the numbers, Common Cause of Pennsylvania says the natural gas industry has given $2.85 million to statewide candidates in the last 10 years. And at more than $350,000, the top recipient of those donations is Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett.
Corbett is against taxing the industry. Democratic front-runner Dan Onorato began the campaign hesitant about taxing natural gas and now is in favor of a tax. The industry has contributed about $60,000 to Onorato.
“It’s one of the most contentious issues in the Governor’s race,” says Alex Kaplan of Common Cause of Pennsylvania. “There’s a clear split between the two front-runners, and also a clear split between the two front-runners and the people who aren’t doing as well.”
Those who aren’t doing as well include Democrat Jack Wagner, who received about $44,000 from the industry. Wagner supports a limited tax. Democrats Anthony Williams and Joe Hoeffel have not taken any natural gas money. Both candidates favor a tax on the industry.
All Democrats in the race oppose more drilling in state forests.