February 19, 2016

Fracking Protestors Shut Down Gov. Wolf Event – Is Katie McGinty Next?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s appearance at a forum titled “Climate and Clean Energy: Why Young Americans Are Taking Notice and Taking Action” got cut short when some of those very “young Americans” took “action,” launching an anti-fracking protest that disrupted the event, causing the organizers to cut off the livestream feed.

This could spell trouble for Gov. Wolf’s former chief of staff and current Democratic senate candidate, Katie McGinty, whose record as a fracking lobbyist raking in lucrative salaries from energy companies and consulting firm has become a hot topic in the race.

A Politico profile of McGinty published Friday morning characterized her history with the fracking industry as “out of step” with the Democratic base and exposed her election year flip flop on fracking’s impact on drinking water:

Meanwhile, McGinty also faces pressure from the other side of the aisle. Though she notes Pennsylvania led the country in wind energy job creation when she worked for then-Gov. Ed Rendell and was third in solar jobs, Democratic primary opponents Joe Sestak and John Fetterman have focused on her support for fracking – which places her out of step with party members in the state.

In a June 2014 Quinnipiac poll , 48 percent of Pennsyvlania Democrats in the state opposed fracking, while 41 percent supported it. In 2013, the state Democratic Party voted for a moratorium on the practice until it could be done “safely.”

In 2011, McGinty testified before Congress that fracking fluids were “very unlikely to contaminate drinking water.” But during the campaign, she has called for tougher regulations on the process.

With both of her  Democratic opponents attacking her ahead of this evening’s primary debate, McGinty may be hoping those protestors have other Friday night plans.