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PennFuture’s Man John Quigley Resigns from DEP

John Quigley - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.



John Quigley, Tom Wolf’s DEP Secretary and one of three PennFuture activists put in charge of Pennsylvania’s energy policy has resigned in ignominy.

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he wanted John Quigley to be his new Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) I asked which John Quigley we were talking about – the humorless environmental activist and consultant from PennFuture or the pragmatic administrator with the business background? I suggested the former DCNR Secretary who had previously left to do William Penn Foundation dirty work at PennFuture displayed a split personality in that regard; stating we’d have to wait until the real John Quigley stood up, hoping he was telling the truth to the senators who unfortunately confirmed him.

He has, in fact, now stood up and resigned after a little more than a year in office, the real John Quigley having exposed himself in e-mails as the man sent into DEP to sabotage it and impose the environmental extremism espoused by him and his true believer friends.

John Quigley

Photo: Christopher Dolan, Citizens Voice

The resignation of John Quigley is all over the news this morning, but the best analysis may well be this Philly.com piece, which offers some fascinating insights into the reasons for his sudden resignation. It turns out the guy was apparently still conspiring with his friends at PennFuture because shortly after Quigley sent out private e-mails to “advocacy groups,” entities such as PennFuture, PennEnvironment and the Natural Resources Defense Council were suddenly putting out print and radio advertisements to urge an end to delays, supported by both Republican and Democratic state senators, in regard to his proposed new oil and gas regulations. The ads targeted Democratic Sen. John Yudichak (D., Luzerne), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and a gas supporter (although he was a severance tax supporter as well).

John Quigley is a humorless true believer, like so many on the extremes of the environmental movement and he was determined to push through his new regulations despite serious reservations by legislators on both sides of the aisle. He was repeatedly told the regulations were highly flawed for, among other reasons, treating conventional oil and gas operators the same as shale operators, even though there are significant differences in the nature and scale of the activities.

The regulations will have enormous negative impact on the conventional operators and Quigley would hear none of it. He bulled ahead with a furrowed brow like an animal possessed. He somehow even managed to intimidate the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission, a heretofore non-partisan group, into approving the new regulations in a divided vote last month, leaving the legislature no choice but to take action themselves to halt the regs until they could be further examined.

Quigley was apparently furious and having none of it, launching his own campaign against the legislature using private e-mails to his environmental extremist friends, One wonders how many times public officials need to get caught using private e-mails to conspire with former allies before they learn, but that’s another story. The real point here is two-fold.

First, it’s now become absolutely clear what PennFuture (which is really just an arm of the Haas and Heinz families, like StateImpactPA, the Clean Air Council, the Delaware Povertykeeper, et al) was doing. It was infiltrating state government and pushing its own special interest agenda. John Quigley perceived himself not as an objective administrator but as an advocate with an opportunity to advance that agenda. He loyalties and his temperament both made him ill-suited to the job of DEP Secretary. Wolf should have known better than to appoint him and senators should have known better than to confirm him.

Secondly, what we see here and in so many other cases today is a disconcerting disregard for the rule of law in favor of the exercise of raw power. Quigley’s sins hardly rise to the level of Eric Schneiderman’s in New York, but they are of the same character and they involve one of the same parties; the NRDC. The NRDC is the chief instrument of a modern era plutocracy. The members of that plutocracy – the Haas, Heinz, Park and Rockefeller families being chief among them – constitute a handful of wealthy elitists determined to impose their will by whatever means it takes. They are using raw power and have thrown law, process and rights to the wind as they push public officials around the chess board like pawns. John Quigley’s failing was thinking he was more than a pawn and so he was caught in his own trap. Now they will purge him and forget him. He’s history.

It is important we not forget, though, and that we call this stuff out, demanding Tom Wolf do better with his replacement appointment than he did with this one. We must also demand our senators stand up and refuse to appoint any more John Quigley types. Enough. Fight back!

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13 thoughts on “PennFuture’s Man John Quigley Resigns from DEP

  1. http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/2016/05/20/whos-felling-trees-landowners-say-s-not-pipeline-firm/32615797/

    What exactly is the NY attorney general up to one has to ask when looking at his history with both Damascus citizens for sustainability in the past and with Constitution pipe right now. And how fascinating is it that a certain activist is in this news coverage above yapping about an atmosphere perhaps created by Williams?

    Also let me know if any brilliant NY reporters have unearthed any information about this urgent independent review that surely there must be some information about launched on the spectra aim pipe earlier this year, well after a ferc certificate order on the project and even the beginning of construction.

  2. In addition there are no brilliant NYC or state reporters who are writing anything about two pipeline proposals by Williams one which has received an ea from ferc and another that just was entered into ferc for prefile, both of which will deliver into the new Rockaway lateral pipe in NYC. This is despite reporters being alerted to both projects and despite the fact that there are constantly reports about pipelines and controversies in the new particularly in NY state, new Jersey , PA and other Eastern States. It is also despite the fact that the antifracking pipeline resistance movement pitched an export conspiracy theory on the port Ambrose project which the brilliant NYC and state and new Jersey and PA press quite possibly believed was reality. Certainly the two Williams projects the press won’t cover help to demonstrate the vetoed port Ambrose project was an import project as did all the facts and data during the entire time that activists and politicians claimed otherwise.

  3. These smug trust funders declared war on us when shale drilling came east. Racketeering indictments are warranted for the lot of them…

    Schneiderman thumbed his nose at the house GOP letter requesting correspondence about his climate shakedown.

    Qualified or no, a vote for Trump is the only counterbalance to their corrupt tyranny.

    • Of course you will and how brave of you to troll the site and tell us the obvious. Now we would have to take you seriously if you had even a snowball’s chance in hell of getting 50% renewables by 2030, let alone 100% by 2040.

      The Jacobson plan called for 12,700 off-shore wind turbines for just New York state. How many have been constructed so far? The answer is none at all, which means in the next 15 years (about 5,450 days) you have to put 6,350 in the open ocean off Long Island or you don’t meet your interim goal. That is more than 1 a day, every day, 365 days a year, summer and winter, hurricane or calm. Do let me know how that turns out.

      • Look my position comes from 6 yrs of experiencing the actual operations and how they are handled .My opinion is “Poorly ” ….seen to many spills on pads,roads ,pipeline blow outs in creeks,flarings,silica dust clouds traveling well beyond operations and consuming neighbors homes,huge ventings of NG ,blowdowns from compressors,trucks 24/7 ,noise,disruption,road blockage,and a lot more ….gave me a strong position on the true operation next to homes.seen plenty of people with health and environmental issues that No one helped them resolve ….HVHF Always be Industrial with industrial related issues .Never be Safe near homes and community dwellings ….sorry just the actual true !

  4. http://www.capitalnewyork.com

    Capital new York now run as politico new York is just one news publication with reporters like Scott waldman who refuse to make corrections to stories with factual errors. Likely no one will look into whether this is because one of its main people is married to an environmental activist who now works for Catskill mountainkeeper. This publication is not alone nor is mr waldman the only reporter who even after being handed facts and asked to correct stories refuses to. Wilber is another. Likewise contacting the public editor at the nytimes falls on deaf ears.

    And that is a short list.

  5. Ron Arnold’s book “Undue Influence” certainly was prescient. Here is a blatant example of the monied elite using, as Tom describes, raw power to push their own social agenda and eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs. When you consider that Tom Steyer and the Rockefellers made their billions in fossil fuels (i.e. the “blood” of climate change is all over them), and the Parks and Heinz fortunes came in part from factory farming, you get a sick feeling that the rich “environmentalists” don’t really care about Mother Earth. They really are just playing a game about power with a bunch of pawns, who now include the governors of Pennsylvania and New York, their henchmen appointees, and shleps like Bill there who have some internet access and a pathological need to be “part of something.”

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