As the Post-Gazette reported yesterday, Democrat John Hanger, former head of the state's Department of Environmental Protection, is running for Governor in 2014.
He officially announced his campaign today. He'll also host a launch event at CAPA High School Downtown tomorrow at 11 a.m.
In a phone call with reporters this afternoon, Hanger slammed Gov. Tom Corbett for "mismanaging the natural gas boom."
He criticized Corbett for "refusing to enact a reasonable tax" on drillers tapping into natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale formation which lies under the state; and not encouraging other forms of alternative energy. He rolled out his own plan for dealing with the booming and controversial natural gas industry, which includes:
1. Supporting a "reasonable drilling tax" with revenues dedicated to local communities, education and the environment. "Pennsylvania stands alone among major energy producers without [a tax]," he said. He did not offer more specifics.
2. Creating an ombudsman office to receive citizen complaints about gas drilling. "The tone of governor Corbett and his administration leaves the impression, at least among many opposed to gas drilling, that they won't be listened to
when they have specific complaints," Hanger said.
3. Developing the state's alternative fuel infrastructure. "I am committed to creating a Pennsylvania where in 10 years every Pennsylvanian, when buying a vehicle for his business or his family, could weigh the benefits of switching to a vehicle that runs on natural gas or electricity or biofuels or sticking with gasoline," he said.