The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 20, 2013

Range Resources Corp. accused of bullying fracking foes

(Continued)

“We’re ready and willing to listen, adapt and do whatever is technically and legally allowable to ensure our work is done in the most harmonious manner with the community,” he said in an email.

Harmony is not always possible.

White, whose district is based in Cecil Township where Range has its Marcellus headquarters, was once a legislative ally of the company. Range circulates a video of him praising the company for bringing jobs and development to his district, which is south of Pittsburgh.

In just August 2010, White emailed Pitzarella to tell him he offered to speak with lawmakers who were coming to his area to meet with Stephanie Hallowich, a homeowner who had sued Range over water contamination.

“I believe the words ‘diffusing any potential misinformation’ may have been used in my email,” White wrote, according to the communications, which were provided to Bloomberg by Pitzarella. In June of that year, White also complained to company officials that a recent event raised campaign funds “considerably short of the intended target.”

This isn’t the first time these emails are showing up in public. Late last year they were leaked to a reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and were used as the basis of a front-page story.

For Pitzarella, who said he confirmed the authenticity of the emails to the reporter but didn’t leak them, they paint a clear picture: White didn’t get the fundraising he wanted from Range, and so turned against the company. “It was never enough,” he said in an interview.

It was after a radio call-in show to discuss these emails that Pitzarella sent the email to White and to Range colleague Scott Roy with a picture of that day’s Tribune-Review story and a one-line commentary: “He’s completely unhinged.”

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