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.
So I guess for a measily trip to Rhode Island you too can plow up all the state game lands of Pennsylvania.