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New Website Tracks Natural Gas Donations to PA Officials
Common Cause PA and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania present www.marcellusmoney.org
Philadelphia – In the last three years, campaign contributions from natural gas drilling companies in Pennsylvania have more than tripled. In that same time period, the industry spent more than $5 million lobbying in Harrisburg. Today, Common Cause PA and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania (CVPA) launched www.MarcellusMoney.org, a website dedicated to tracking campaign contributions and lobbying efforts by the natural gas companies drilling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation.
Featuring new data from the most recent campaign finance reports, MarcellusMoney.org allows journalists, activists and citizens to quickly and easily keep track of the amount of money that gas drillers have paid to influence Pennsylvania’s elected officials. The data on the website is searchable by company, candidate or contribution amount, and the full report is available for download.
“The first step towards a more open government is free and easy access to campaign finance records, but it takes hundreds of hours to compile the data necessary to understand an industry's attempts at influence,” said Alex Kaplan of Common Cause. "MarcellusMoney.org pulls back the curtain and lets citizens and journalists see what’s really happening in Harrisburg regarding Marcellus Shale drilling.”
The website also highlights key stories that emerge from the data. These include an examination of the tremendous growth in gas lobbying in the last three years and a look at the political giving of the drilling companies that have committed the most environmental violations in Pennsylvania.
“When it comes to the Marcellus Shale, the decisions that our elected officials make today will impact the health and safety of Pennsylvania for generations to come,” said Josh McNeil of CVPA. “The gas industry spends millions of dollars to shape those decisions. MarcellusMoney.org protects the public’s right to know who’s being influenced and who’s doing the influencing.”
MarcellusMoney.org is a long-term project for the involved organizations. The site will feature updated information as new lobbying and campaign contribution reports are made available by the Pennsylvania Department of State.
Common Cause Pennsylvania is a non-profit, non-partisan citizens' lobby organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in the political process
Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania works to pass better environmental legislation through public education and by holding politicians accountable for their environmental actions. CVPA was founded in 2009 and built on the successful model of the national League of Conservation Voters and its affiliates in 33 states.
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