DCNR Ex-Chief's Calendar Shows Gaps

Sep 9, 2014

Fracking operations in Tiadaghton State Forest in 2011.
Credit Martha Rial / Special to 90.5 WESA / The Allegheny Front

As the agency that oversees 2.5-million acres of public land in Pennsylvania formed policy on drilling in state forests, the agency's head met frequently with oil and gas lobbyists in the capitol, including stops at upscale restaurants.

That's according to the calendar of Richard Allan, former Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

As part of an investigation, 90.5 WESA and The Allegheny Front obtained and examined more than 600 pages of Allan's appointment calendar. Allan headed the agency from the beginning of the Corbett administration until he was let go in June of 2013.

Over a period of 21 months – from March 2011 through the end of 2012 – Allan's calendar lists dozens of meetings with gas exploration and production companies, pipeline and distribution contractors, industry suppliers, and lobbyists from firms and trade groups that represent the industry.

The calendar also lists scores of 'private' meetings for which no information is provided.

Read more of this special report at the website of our partner The Allegheny Front. This is the second in a four-part series examining the influence of industry money on Pennsylvania's oversight of the natural gas boom.