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Penn Future limits ties to Sustainable Shale group

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 7, 2014 5:36 AM
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(Pittsburgh) -- Another environmental group has distanced itself from the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale Development, a hotly-debated partnership between major energy companies, green groups, and foundations.

PennFuture, a leading Pennsylvania environmental group that helped found the center, is no longer a "strategic partner.''

Penn Future spokeswoman Elaine Labalme says the group will still participate with CSSD when they believe it's worth providing input.

The Public Accountability Initiative, a Buffalo, New York non-profit, disclosed the shift and also criticized the center's staff and funders for ties to the oil and gas industry.

Sustainable Shale director Susan LeGros says they work with groups who have different viewpoints. The group seeks tougher but voluntary rules on gas drilling. 

Over the past year the Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation stopped funding the center. As a note of disclosure, both Heinz and William Penn provide funding for WITF's reporting project on the commonwealth's energy economy -- StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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