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Archive: February, 2011

POSTED: Thursday, February 24, 2011, 12:13 PM

Governor Tom Corbett has appointed Robert F. Powelson of Chester County to serve as chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Powelson, the former president of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, has served as a PUC commissioner since June 2008 when he was nominated by then Gov. Rendell to a one-year term. He was renominated to a five-year term in Feb. 2009.

“As a commissioner, Robert Powelson has provided an active voice for Pennsylvania ratepayers on issues such as nuclear power production, competitive markets, renewable investment, broadband deployment, infrastructure development and other critical concerns,” Corbett said. “I am confident consumers and businesses will continue to be well-served by the PUC under Powelson’s leadership.”

Amy Worden @ 12:13 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 24, 2011, 8:17 AM

They say bald eagles mate for life. So, too, it seems, do Gov. Corbett’s nominees for top administrative posts.

Of 21 cabinet or cabinet level positions named by the new governor so far, virtually all are married and — in a statistic-defying feat — most are celebrating anniversaries well into the double digits.

As press releases began to roll out after Corbett took office Jan. 18, evident at the bottom of each was a line of data about length of marriage and number of children.

Amy Worden @ 8:17 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 10:32 AM

It may not be a "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"-style road trip, but Sen. Scarnati says he's willing to consider joining environmentalists for a tour of gasland - Marcellus Shale country that is.

Scarnati's chief of staff, Drew Crompton said via email the Senate president would consider joining PennEnvironment on an RV trip to see the effects of gas drilling providing it was "not a publicity stunt."

Crompton added, "if he wanted to do a worthwhile event in the district, the Senator would participate." 

Amy Worden @ 10:32 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 7:00 PM

Over the weekend, Gov. Corbett quietly repealed a Rendell policy designed, environmental advocates say, to help protect state parks and forests from drilling-related damage.

Now we learn Corbett's action was the first step toward removing a four-month-old moratorium on additional drilling on state land.

Corbett, a Republican, had promised he would lift the moratorium issued by his Democratic predecessor soon after taking office.

Angela Couloumbis @ 7:00 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, February 21, 2011, 1:29 PM

Gov. Corbett has made good on his promise to reverse one of Ed Rendell's last acts as governor: he has rescinded an effective moratorium on natural gas drilling on state lands.

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports today that the Rendell document called “Policy for the Evaluation of Impacts of Oil and Gas Development on State Parks and State Forests” has been rescinded and erased from the Department of Environmental Protection website.

The four-month-old policy required environmental impact assessments be conducted by the Department of Conservation and National Resources before a driller could apply for a permit with the DEP.

Amy Worden @ 1:29 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 8:44 AM

By a three-to-one margin voters say they like what Gov. Corbett's is doing one month into his term.

But an overwhelming number (95 percent) have "serious" concerns about the state budget and most don't believe the Republican governor will be able to stick to his no-tax pledge.

That's according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Amy Worden @ 8:44 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 12:38 PM

Steve Crawford, Gov. Rendell’s former chief of staff, is crossing 3rd Street in front of the Capitol for a new gig with a fancy new title: managing vice president at the lobbying powerhouse S. R. Wojdak & Associates.

In his new role, Crawford, who spent the last eight years tearing his hair out in negotiations with the legislature on behalf of Rendell’s policies, will now be tearing his hair out in negotiations with the legislature on behalf of Wojdak’s clients, which include Comcast, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Drexel University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Kimmel Center, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the City of Philadelphia.

Under the state’s so-called revolving door law, Crawford is barred from lobbying the governor's office for one year.

Angela Couloumbis @ 12:38 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 11:29 PM

Ok, so he's not sleeping on the job, but newly-elected U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan admits, he's sleeping at the job.

Now a government watchdog group is asking for a probe into the more than 30 members of Congress - Meehan among them - who are reportedly bunking in their Capitol offices.

The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, says the U.S. Capitol is turning into a "frat house" and the members living there are violating Congressional policy and federal tax laws.

Amy Worden @ 11:29 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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