Ben Oostdam
story # 662


BLO fecit

For eight years, the Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania has hosted one of the weekend's inaugural receptions - a Friday fete to which hundreds of lobbyists, lawmakers, and their staffs flock. This year, the association reserved two floors at a Times Square sports bar. Brian Herrmann, the group's spokesman, said it hoped to remind legislators how important the industry is to the state and how damaging higher taxes would be. "Our primary mission is to keep taxation away from technology," Herrmann said. The new power player here is the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which represents more than 130 drillers, contractors, engineers, law firms, and others seeking to benefit from the state's burgeoning natural-gas industry. There is no industry with as much at stake in Harrisburg. The group hosted its first society reception Saturday night at the W Hotel. At the Waldorf earlier in the evening, dozens of people with anti-Corbett and anti-drilling signs paraded outside a Pennsylvania Society gala. They were members of Frack Action, a band of anti-shale-drilling groups in New York, where drilling is not yet approved, and Pennsylvania, where there have been cases of well-water contamination.Corbett, who took roughly $1 million from gas drillers in his campaign, has said he would oppose new taxes. At least five law firms with deep roots as lobbyists and state contractors, and millions of dollars in government work at stake under the new administration, have hosted receptions Read : more