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Marcellus Shale Coalition Buys an Ally in its Philadelphia Focus

August 17, 2012

Through the powerful joined forces of marriage and money, the Marcellus Shale Coalition has renewed its vows with Pennsylvania’s state government, the Philadelphia Inquirer and State Impact reported yesterday. Alarmed by the rise in opinions opposed to shale gas drilling among Southeastern Pennsylvanians, the Marcellus Shale Coalition decided to expand its forces of persuasion there. And who could they trust more than a former Pennsylvania public official–who’s married to a State Senator?

Shari Williams, a former communications specialist at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, is the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s new outreach manager in the Philadelphia area. Scott Detrow of StateImpact reports,

The Mar­cel­lus Shale Coali­tion  has been focus­ing a lot of atten­tion on Philadel­phia lately. It launched a new web­site aimed specif­i­cally at answer­ing “the greater Philadel­phia area’s” ques­tions about nat­ural gas drilling, and has been con­duct­ing focus groups in the city. Now, the Philadel­phia Inquirer is report­ing the group has hired a new per­son to man­age out­reach in the Philadel­phia area.

According to the Inquirer, “The Mar­cel­lus Shale Coali­tion, the nat­ural gas indus­try trade group, is expand­ing its pres­ence in South­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia by hir­ing Shari Williams, a for­mer com­mu­ni­ca­tions spe­cial­ist at the Penn­syl­va­nia Pub­lic Util­ity Com­mis­sion and the wife of State Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D., Philadelphia).

Williams, who worked with the PUC for 17 years, led con­sumer edu­ca­tion events on energy and util­ity issues in East­ern Penn­syl­va­nia. She will take on a new role with the shale coali­tion as out­reach man­ager in the Philadel­phia area, where the indus­try is step­ping up efforts to address pub­lic appre­hen­sion with frack­ing, which takes place mostly in west­ern and north­ern part of the state.”

The hire comes about a month before the coalition’s annual “Shale Gas Insight” con­fer­ence, which will be held in Philadelphia’s con­ven­tion center.

Luckily for all parties, Shari Williams’ husband, State Senator Anthony H. Williams (D., Philadelphia) has already proven his loyalty to the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s goals.

Explains Iris Marie Bloom, founder of Protecting Our Waters, “Sen. Williams presented himself to us in meetings and interviews as pro-environment, but then voted in favor of Act 13. Act 13 was such an anti-environmental and anti-democratic piece of legislation that the Commonwealth Court struck the core of the law down. A PA physician is suing right now to overturn another repressive part of Act 13, the physicians’ gag order. It appears the Marcellus Shale industry is bearing down hard on Philadelphia, but the people here will not be fooled.”

With such blatant nepotism, it’s clear that the Marcellus Shale Coalition believes otherwise.

One Comment
  1. August 17, 2012 9:24 am

    I sent an e-mail to senator Williams’ office concerning this. Hope it’s helpful.

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