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The Pennsylvania Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has unanimously approved Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s nominee to lead the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The agency oversees 700,000 acres of state forest open for natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. Acting Secretary Cindy Dunn was cleared by the committee for a full Senate vote. Committee members, however, reportedly questioned Dunn's ties to environmental advocacy group PennFuture, which has been critical of the state's oil and gas industry. Dunn served as president of the organization from November 2013 until she was nominated by Wolf in January. Dunn said she would be independent and responsive to all interests in her new role. State Department of Environmental Protection Acting Secretary John Quigley is also expected to be approved by the end of spring.

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