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The Inky told us this was in the works, but today it's official: former Gov. Tom Ridge has signed on to lobby for the Marcellus Shale Coalition. From the coalition news release:

“I am pleased to work with the members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition to ensure that this clean and abundant natural gas resource is developed for the full benefit of my home state of Pennsylvania and the nation. Joining the planning effort at this early stage will allow my voice to be added to efforts already underway to ensure worker safety and environmental protection, and to encourage the fullest economic benefit for our state, our communities, and the entire workforce involved in this transformational effort,” said Gov. Ridge.

“The responsible development of the Marcellus Shale represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen our region’s economy and our nation’s security,” said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the MSC. “We are honored to have Gov. Ridge working alongside our organization to help ensure that Pennsylvanians fully recognize our industry’s commitment to environmental and workforce safety, as well as the positive and overwhelming economic benefits that responsible shale gas development continues to generate across the region.”

“Pennsylvania, Penn Woods, is rich in natural resources and has led our nation in energy development. We have learned from the past that we must develop our resources safely and efficiently. During my term as Governor, we grew our economy by providing incentives for economic growth and always by ‘Growing Greener.’ The development of the Marcellus Shale will benefit all of the citizens of our state, our region, and our nation. Not only can the environmental and economic benefit be transformational for generations to come, our homeland security will be forever strengthened.,” added Gov. Ridge. “There is much work to be done to maximize the benefits of these abundant and domestic resources, and I’m looking forward to help lead this important effort.”

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