Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato continues to insist he’ll use drilling permits as leverage to get more jobs for Pennsylvanians despite the fact state officials say the plan would violate laws.
When Onorato first started telling voters he’d withhold permits from drillers who don’t hire Pennsylvania residents, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said hiring isn’t one of the qualifications used to approve or deny applications.
He added Onorato’s plan might violate the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, and Governor Rendell made similar statements. Onorato says he’s frustrated so many drilling companies are bringing in out-of-state workers.
"I don’t buy it. We have enough trained individuals here, and we’ll train them. We do have the right to say yes or no to permits in this state. And I think if the industry ignores us, and will not hire our people when we train them, I think we have a right to use that as a pressure point."
After Onorato made his latest statements, Rendell backtracked, saying he’s not sure whether or not the plan is legal.
Republican Tom Corbett’s spokesman, Kevin Harley, criticizes Onorato for the proposal....
"Someone should tell Dan Onorato that he’s running for governor and not king. He is not above the law. Even his role model, Ed Rendell, said it’s illegal and he can’t do it.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition, which represents drilling companies, has said it would prefer to hire Pennsylvanians because it would be cheaper than to bring in out-0f-state workers.