HARRISBURG – During an appearance before the Pennsylvania Press Club this week, Democrat Josh Shapiro reiterated his plan to politicize the Attorney General’s Office as a “bully pulpit” in trying to crush Pennsylvania’s energy jobs.
“Josh Shapiro is more concerned with attacking Pennsylvania’s energy jobs than actually performing the duties of Attorney General,” PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney said. “Josh Shapiro is running to be the most political Attorney General in the country, so it’s not surprising he wants to declare war on Pennsylvania’s energy jobs.
“We can’t afford to have a top law enforcement official who’s more interested in politics than restoring honor and integrity to the Office of the Attorney General. We need someone who will keep politics out of Attorney General’s Office instead of doubling-down on the failed policies of the past.”
Josh Shapiro’s War on PA Energy
Josh Shapiro has promised to “go after the frackers.” (Kate Colaneri, “Pa. Attorney General candidates weigh in on fracking,” StateImpactPA, 5/24/2016)
- At the height of the industry, Pennsylvanians benefited by having 243,000 jobs related to the natural gas industry. (Marcellus Shale Coalition, “Ten Fast Facts About Responsible Shale Development,” 5/28/2015)
At the PA Press Club on Monday, Josh Shapiro outlined a plan to use the Attorney General’s Office as a “bully pulpit” as part of his effort to target Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. “Using my bully pulpit, I’ll advocate for legislative changes where I see fit. Now that’s outside the scope of the legal work we’ll be doing day-to-day in the AG’s office, but there’s nothing stopping me from rendering my opinion, and my opinion on this is that there should be greater authority vested in the AG’s Office. What we don’t necessarily need is a referral from a District Attorney or [Department of Environmental Protection] in order to pursue an environmental crime.” (Josh Shapiro PA Press Club, 5/23/2016)
According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the power to change the Attorney General’s authority can only be determined by the law. “An Attorney General shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the Commonwealth on the day the general election is held for the Auditor General and State Treasurer; he shall hold his office during four years from the third Tuesday of January next ensuing his election and shall not be eligible to serve continuously for more than two successive terms; he shall be the chief law officer of the Commonwealth and shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be imposed by law.” (Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IV Section 4)