Friday, October 01, 2010


Check this out:, a project of Common Cause PA and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, tracks the more than $3 million that the natural gas industry has spent on campaign contributions and $5 million spent on lobbying efforts in the Commonwealth.

Yesterday, by a vote of 104 to 94, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted in favor of SB 1155, a bill to establish a tax on drilling companies that extract gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Though a victory for environmental protection, yesterday’s vote reveals just how insidious natural gas money has become.

The 104 who voted for the bill have taken an average of $824 from the natural gas industry, while the 94 legislators who voted against the bill took an average of $2,900 from the gas industry, or 3.5 times as much as those in favor of a severance tax. The vote split largely along party lines, with Democrats generally in favor, Republicans generally against. The vote count and accompanying data can be downloaded here:

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