Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has violated his own hiring freeze and appointed an ally, former Democrat State Representative Dan Surra, as senior adviser on the Pennsylvania Wilds to DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) Secretary Michael DiBerardinis. The position pays $95,000 per year and includes “protecting interests” with regard to Marcellus Shale drilling.
In his new position, one of Surra’s responsibilities will be to focus on protecting the interests of recreationists and sportsmen as Marcellus Shale drilling expands.
“The Marcellus Shale gas deposits represent an enormous economic opportunity for the state if done correctly,” [State Rep. Camille “Bud”] George [D-Houtzdale] said. “I think Dan Surra will do a bang-up job in the position. His work with me on the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee dovetails perfectly for this position. He’s a sportsman who is also well versed on mineral extraction.”
And this comment from State Sen. Mary Jo White, R-Oil City:
“I don’t know enough about the PA Wilds to know if this particular job is needed. My understanding from the governor is that Mr. Surra will be doing work regarding the Marcellus Shale natural gas development,” White said. “This is an important economic opportunity for Pennsylvania, so to that end I am hopeful that he is successful in working with all affected parties.”
Courier-Express/Tri-County: Lawmakers react to ex-Rep. Surra’s $95,000/year new job