Sunday, February 14, 2016

Natural-gas exec paid for Corbett 2011 vacation

Natural-gas exec paid for Corbett 2011 vacation

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett unveils his 2012-13 budget proposal before a joint session in the Pennsylvania State House Chamber February 7, 2012. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer ) EDITORS NOTE:127085 PE1BUDGET08aTG Tue 2/7/2012 Location: State Capitol Harrisburg Story: PE1BUDGET08 / Gov. Corbett delivers his 2012-2013 budget address, expecting cuts across the board with deepest likely to hit higher ed. Also several hundred Occupy protestors planning to protest and confront administration officials in Capitol. Reporter: Worden, Couloumbis


Gov. Tom Corbett and his wife accepted a Rhode Island vacation last year from a businessman even as regulators from the state Department of Environmental Conservation were looking into his firm's operation of a natural-gas waste transfer station without a permit.

The StateImpact Pennsylvania project is reporting that the governor just last month amended his original 2011 ethics filing to add that John Moran Jr. of Moran Industries had paid $1,422 to fly Corbett and his wife to a hotel in Rhode Island and put them up in a hotel for a long weekend in July of that year.

Moran -- also identified as a major Corbett donor who has given at least $75,000 to his campaigns and was named by the governor to his privatization panel -- is a trucking executive who launched an oil-and-gas subsidiary. He told a reporter at last year's opening of his "natural gas park" in Williamsport that the rise of the gas industry here is "a gift from God."

In December of last year -- or five months after Moran paid for the Corbetts' vacation -- the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, reported that Pennsylvania regulators had been investigating for more than a year Moran's operation of the Sunbury, Pa., waste-transfer site . The facility had been shipping drilling waste by rail to a landfill in Ohio without a permit. It said that Moran had claimed he didn't need a permit because of a loophole in federal railroad law.

Local residents had angrily complained about Moran's operation, according to the website Pennsylvania From Below, raising questions about strong chemical odors coming from trucks entering the facility and asking what exactly was in the drill-cutting waste from Marcellus Shale fracking sites that were being transported there.

StateImpact Pennsylvania reported that in addition to the Rhode Island vacation, Moran also paid $901 to fly Corbett on a private plane to events in Williamsport and in Pittsburgh in September 2011. It said Moran was one of Pennsylvania's representatives on a six-day European trade mission touting the benefits of fracking in the Marcellus Shale.

Since taking office last year, Corbett has been under fire to his ties to the gas-drilling industry, which  donated more than $900,000 to his winning campaign. Critics say there's been lax industry oversight and criticized Corbett's reluctance to tax drilling, although he eventually agreed this year to an impact fee on gas rigs.

StateImpact Pennsylvania said Corbett's press secretary Kevin Harley "denied that the governor was trying to hide anything and said it was omitted from the original ethics filing due to a clerical error."

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.


...but not with racial slurs, potentially libelous allegations, obscenities or other juvenile noise. Such comments will, at our discretion, be deleted in their entirety, and repeat offenders will be blocked from commenting. ALSO: Any commenter advocating killing any government official will be immediately banned.

Reach Will at

Will Bunch
Also on
letter icon Newsletter