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(15,480 posts)
Thu Aug 13, 2015, 08:08 AM Aug 2015

The Fracking Ties That Bind; Like Husband, Like Wife (Katie McGinty)

Pennsylvania dodged a bullet, well more a Big Fracking IED, when McGinty came in 4th in the Dem. primary for Governor. Now the DNC, determined to defeat Admiral Joe Sestak's Dem. primary run for Senator, is pushing pro-fracking McGinty on us. No thanks, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We want a United States Senator who will represent the best interests of Pennsylvania's citizens and environment, not be a lacky for the DNC.

Keystone XL Influence Peddling Web Extends into PA Governor's Race Via Katie McGinty

By Steve Horn • Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 08:25

Pennsylvania Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate and former head of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Kathleen “Katie” McGinty, has hired powerful PR firm SKDKnickerbocker for her campaign's communications efforts.

One of SKDKnickerbocker's key clients is TransCanada, owner of the Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline.

Another key SKDKnickerbocker client: Association of American Railroads, that industry's version of the American Petroleum Institute. Rail is an increasingly viable alternative to pipelines for bringing tar sands - and fracked oil - to market.

Both McGinty and Dunn also have key marital connections with skin in the game for the looming decision over the prospective northern half of Keystone XL: Karl Hausker and Robert “Bob” Bauer, respectively.


Like Husband, Like Wife
Hausker is the former Vice President of ICF International, one of the three contractors chosen by TransCanada to do the now hotly contested U.S. State Department Keystone XL environmental review.

ICF and the more-publicized Environmental Resources Management, Inc. (ERM Group) concluded that Keystone XL's northern half would have negligible climate change impacts. Keystone XL's southern half - TransCanada's Gulf Coast Pipeline - is 95-percent built and ready to send 700,000 barrels a day of tar sands from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas by year's end.

A previous DeSmog investigation also revealed Hausker and McGinty have myriad ties to the controversial horizontal drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), both at the federal and state level. http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/08/06/fracking-ties-flawed-state-dept-keystone-xl-environmental-review

Exhibit B: ICF International, an additional firm contracted by the State Department to perform the environmental review.

ICF maintains important ties to the industry-funded Center for Sustainable Shale Development and to U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, an outspoken fracking proponent. Former ICF Vice President Karl Hausker is the husband of Kathleen “Katie” McGinty.
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(28,394 posts)
1. Wow! Thanks for this research, Divernan.
Thu Aug 13, 2015, 09:24 AM
Aug 2015

I had read previously that she was so great on "environmental" issues. Ha! More like a wolf in sheep's clothing. I sure hope Sestak can beat her.


(6,819 posts)
2. The Center for Sustainable Shale Development was supported by many foundations
Thu Aug 13, 2015, 01:31 PM
Aug 2015

I don't think it is fair to call the Center "industry-funded." It was originally mainly funded by Heinz and William Penn Foundations and was supposed to bring together industry and environmentalists to jointly prepare a set of best management practices for the industry. However, the competing entities couldn't get along, and the Center apparently isn't doing everything it was intended to do.


blue neen

(12,319 posts)
3. One wonders why this whole issue about Katie McGinty didn't come to the forefront last year.
Mon Aug 17, 2015, 03:00 PM
Aug 2015

We had a competitive Democratic primary for the Governor's race in 2014. Where was this news then? If it was on DU, I missed it.


(15,480 posts)
4. Don't be disingenuous, JP. Heinz & Penn Foundations BOTH cut ties to the Center in 2013.
Sat Sep 5, 2015, 11:53 AM
Sep 2015

Partnering with Chevron and other oil companies to make things more "transparent" and "sustainable" is a wonderful idea in theory, but in practice has any oil & gas company ever, EVER done anything worthwhile for the local environment, let alone the earth as a whole?

Of particular interest is that the 5 Kerry/Heinz family members of the Heinz Foundation's Board were quite upset with the actions of the Foundation's president, Robert Vagt, who was quickly & quietly pushed out the door and promptly became chairman of the board of Rice Energy, Inc., a fracking operation. His compensation there? $250,000. Vagt apparently pushed through a deal with the Center while Teresa Heinz was ill from a stroke and she and other family members were not around to monitor Vagt.

Shortly after leaving the Heinz Foundation, he also became chairman of the board of Kinder, Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. It owns an interest in or operate approximately 84,000 miles of pipelines and 165 terminals. Its pipelines transport natural gas, refined petroleum products, crude oil, carbon dioxide (CO2) and more. We also store or handle a variety of products and materials at our terminals such as gasoline, jet fuel, ethanol, coal, petroleum coke and steel. http://www.kindermorgan.com/
His salary, bonus & stock options from Kinder are a bit above $200,000 a year.

She said that while she was hospitalized last summer after suffering a seizure, "Maybe I wasn't functioning well."

Some foundation observers have speculated that while she was ill, Andre Heinz, known to be an avid environmentalist, assumed more control of foundation affairs and was involved in firing the staff members.

Mrs. Kerry said Andre Heinz did fill in for her during at least one foundation meeting, though it was not a board meeting. She said he has been "attacked because he is an idealist."

"He is one of the brightest people there are and is passionate like his father and doesn't put up with nonsense. ... It's probably an easy way for people ... to criticize what they don't like. And I don't care, quite frankly."

Teresa Heinz Kerry offers insight on upheaval, shale center connection
October 27, 2013 10:15 PM
By Joyce Gannon / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Teresa Heinz Kerry, chair of the Heinz Endowments, said she and other family members on the endowments' board wanted to collaborate with the energy industry on ways to responsibly drill for gas in the Marcellus Shale, but they did not expect the Center for Sustainable Shale Development to be launched out of that effort.

"I was never involved with the center. ... I don't know how it came about," Mrs. Kerry said Friday during an interview at the endowments' Downtown offices.

Creation and funding of the center earlier this year was widely considered to be a catalyst for the abrupt departures in August of two key staff members at the endowments, including Caren Glotfelty, its top environmental program officer.
Many observers believe Ms. Glotfelty, Mr. Root and Mr. Vagt all may have been caught up in the fallout from launching the center, which apparently did not have the full support of the Heinz family members who sit on the endowments board. Besides Mrs. Kerry, who is the widow of U.S. Sen. H. John Heinz III, her sons, H. John IV, Andre and Christopher, are also on the board as is Christopher's wife, Sasha.

Heinz Endowments, Penn Foundation Cut Ties to Shale Development Center


The Heinz Endowments ended its tense ties to a Downtown alliance of environmentalists and oil and gas companies established to set standards for responsible drilling.

Susan LeGros, executive director of the Center for Sustainable Shale Development, provided little explanation for why The Heinz Endowments is “not currently funders” of the center that formed more than a year ago. The center also removed the Philadelphia-based William Penn Foundation from its list of participants.

“They both decided to go in a different direction,” LeGros said on Wednesday after issuing a news release on new funding that did not include the foundations as named participants in the center's work.

A spokeswoman for The Heinz Endowments declined to comment. Western Pennsylvania's second-largest foundation has repeatedly refused to answer questions about upheaval and tension there that began a year ago when people questioned its environmental commitment in light of its funding of the center.

Departures at the endowments included its president, Robert Vagt, who became chairman of local drilling company Rice Energy, and Caren Glotfelty, senior director of the environmental program.

The William Penn Foundation had no involvement in the center since awarding it a $50,000 startup grant, despite its being named a participant in January, a representative of the foundation said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6115232-74/center-foundation-endowments#ixzz3ksTzMbat
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