Pennsylvania state Sen. Mary Jo White recently said she would not seek reelection this year after 14 years in office. The Republican from Venango County in northwestern Pennsylvania has chaired the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for the past 12 years, placing her in the middle of the current debate over Marcellus Shale legislation. Under her watch, the committee crafted an impact fee on unconventional natural gas drilling (see Shale Daily, Jun 15, 2011) and increased coordination between gas drilling and coal mining (see Shale Daily, May 17, 2011). Before running for office, White served as a public defender in Venango and worked as the vice president of environmental and governmental affairs for Quaker State Corp.
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