PA Senate Confirms Controversial Job Czar Nominee
C. Alan Walker, a former coal baron and prominent Republican donor, gained unanimous support to oversee the PA’s Department of Community and Economic Development.
The controversial nominee to head Pennsylvania’s economic development agency was approved Tuesday night by the state Senate. C. Alan Walker, a former coal baron and prominent Republican donor, gained unanimous support to oversee the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development. In March, Gov. Tom Corbett also gave Walker’s department authority to intervene in any agency’s permitting process.
Earlier this week, ProPublica detailed Walker’s long history of fighting regulation of his industry, including cases where his companies polluted the state’s waters.
The promise of abundant natural gas is colliding with fears about water contamination.
The Story So Far
The country’s push to find clean domestic energy has zeroed in on natural gas, but cases of water contamination have raised serious questions about the primary drilling method being used. Vast deposits of natural gas, large enough to supply the country for decades, have brought a drilling boom stretching across 31 states. The drilling technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, shoots water, sand and toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock and release the gas.