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Quigley, the Wolf Cub Is Out, and Door Slams Behind Him

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

John Quigley is Tom Wolf’s cub at DEP and he’s a particularly quarrelsome one who likes to bare his teeth and threaten the PA gas industry to get his way.

Some ten months ago, I wrote a post regarding the then recently confirmed (and now former) DEP Secretary John Quigley and the nature of the beast as reflected in his decision to impose an outrageous fine on Range Resources. Quigley was essentially fired last week and within literally hours that fine was lifted, confirming what we suspected,; that Quigley was using his office to take vengeance on the industry and do the bidding of his PennFuture (Heinz and Haas families) masters.

I wrote then “it was obvious John Quigley didn’t have the temperament to be Pennsylvania DEP Secretary,” that he had “conflicts of interest all over the place as part of the PennFuture triumvirate and it had become obvious why he was there. I also noted the fine imposed against Range Resources had been a display of a “good guy, bad guy act” with the “Governor seemingly exud[ing] a positive attitude and wear[ing] a perpetual smile,” while Quigley, the Wolf cub, bared his teeth and issued threats. I suggested the $8.9 million fine levied against Range Resources could “only be described as posturing for the sake of giving the PA gas industry a scare during an energy tax debate his pack leader is losing.”

quigley

Happier times when then Governor-Elect Tom Wolf and John Quigley (4th from left) were announcing plans for their administration

The case for the Range Resources fine was pitiful, as Nicole Jacobs at Energy In Depth, who was also a neighbor of the project, so thoroughly demonstrated in her excellent article on the subject. It garnered big headlines for fractivists at the time, though, and got huge play in fractivist house organs such as StateImpactPa (also financed by the Heinz and Haas families) which gave Quigley, their brother-in-arms, a megaphone to attack the industry.

Range Resources, however, appealed to the Environmental Hearing Board and, also immediately following John Quigley’s resignation, DEP announced it had, earlier in the month, dropped its fine:

WILLIAMSPORT — A Texas natural gas driller no longer is facing a nearly $9 million civil penalty from the state Department of Environmental Protection for alleged violations at a well in eastern Lycoming County.

The DEP on May 6 notified Range Resources-Appalachia it no longer would pursue an $8.957 million fine for alleged violations related to the gas well on the property of Lewis Harman outside Hughesville.

Range then withdrew the appeal before the Environmental Hearing Board and that board Monday formally dismissed it.

Attempts Saturday to learn why DEP decided not to pursue the civil penalty were unsuccessful.

Readers can draw their own conclusions but it seems clear this fine was purely a John Quigley maneuver; an exercise in vindictiveness on behalf of Tom Wolf and of which their was no factual support. Is it possible Wolf learned something? That remains to be seen but, for the moment, the Wolf cub has been thrown out and the door of the den has slammed shut behind him. The only question is how StateImpactPA will explain this one. They’ll get the usual quotes from their allies at the Clean Air Council and Delaware Povertykeeper, of course, but how to turn what is a stunning defeat for their team into victory will surely be a challenge.

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5 thoughts on “Quigley, the Wolf Cub Is Out, and Door Slams Behind Him

    • As if there weren’t any? What planet do you live on, Bill? Make some sense, please, instead of babbling.

      • Tom, these arguments for “more regulations” seem to be the repetition of HIllary’s pledge for more regulations on fracking until it cannot be done anywhere. At least Bernie is more honest, if completely misguided. Oil and gas is probably one of the most regulated industries, between state and local regs on setbacks, road use, unit spacing, zoning, etc. Then there’s the EPA for air and water quality, OSHA for industrial safety, land federal labor laws covering workman’s comp, wages, etc… And let’s not forget state/federal agencies like the rogue DRBC, who if they behaved more like the SRBC, regulate water withdrawals. I have no idea what additional regulations would make any sense. And since the goal seems to be to slow-walk our path to energy independence, I doubt I will.

      • Look Tom I don’t play word games .I have been involved with documenting and working on stricter Reg’s for NG drilling mainly because of what I have experienced over the years .There are plenty of issues that No one addresses ( even the new Reg’s don’t cover all ) but it is a start to protecting local people from the industrial issues created by HVHF…..If you say there are enough reg’s obviously you haven’t been around it very much …on the other hand I have and my position comes from this …………Period

  1. http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/05/mark_ruffalo_tom_wolf.html

    So speaking of wolf and fracking and natural gas, mark ruffalo who purports to be both a fracking expert and also a climate and energy policy expert wrote a letter and it ended up in the press. Isn’t that amazing? How this press thing works and some people’s voices being really really much more important than many many others? Super interesting concept in a democracy!

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