Scarnati Agrees to Return Super Bowl Money After 1,000 Write to Him Demanding Action
(HARRISBURG, PA)—Less than 24 hours after the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Senator Joe Scarnati took a junket on the tab of Consol Energy, more than one thousand citizens forced his hand by demanding he return the money.
Scarnati’s office received more than one thousand emails telling him that his acceptance of the Super Bowl trip calls his judgment into question.
Consol Energy is one of the largest drillers using the controversial “hydraulic fracturing” method of extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale region. Pennsylvania is the largest natural gas producing state that does not tax extraction. Scarnati opposes taxing Consol and other drillers.
Scarnati’s trip didn’t break any laws, but it raises questions about whether Scarnati is in the pocket of the natural gas industry. Raising even more questions about his ability to represent taxpayers, Scarnati has also taken $142,000 in campaign contributions from energy interests, including another $15,000 from Consol.
Keystone Progress organized the email campaign demanding Scarnati return the Super Bowl money. Keystone Progress is now asking Scarnati to return the $15,000 in Consol money to eliminate the appearance of a conflict of interest. The sign up sheet for the campaign can be viewed at:http://keystoneprogress.