But the story doesn't end there. One entity that indisputably has an interest in the industry is Rendell's longtime home outside of politics: the law firm Ballard Spahr of Philadelphia.
The firm touts its work "on the forefront" of the development of the Marcellus Shale, the formation under Pennsylvania and other states from which a vast quantity of natural gas is now being extracted.
In 2011, the publication AOL Energy named Ballard Spahr one of the top five energy law firms in the country. AOL cited Ballard Spahr's "deep presence in Pennsylvania" that "put it on the doorstep of the Marcellus Shale natural gas field," a "major source of controversy and legal work as developers work in heavily populated and closely monitored areas."
I know, I know...this is exactly the kind of thing that gets greeted with what my friend, the new Daily News columnist Helen Ubinas, calls "the Philly shrug." A revolving door between Harrisburg and big business -- stop the presses! But aren't you tired of it, tired of every top environmental regulator, Republican or Democrat, angling for a cushy job when they leave government? That's what they count on, people like you and me shrugging our shoulders. And so the Marcellus Shale isn't the only thing getting drilled.