In his passionate oped in the New York Daily News urging New Yorkers to support fracking, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell forgot to add one thing: he has worked as a paid consultant to a private equity firm with investments in the natural gas industry.
Rendell told ProPublica's Justin Elliott that he is paid $30,000 per year by Element Partners - a company that invests in natural gas companies. Though Rendell said he does not own equity in Element Partners or any fracking companies, Elliott reports, "Rendell is...a senior adviser at the investment bank Greenhill, which has worked on several large transactions involving natural gas companies."
Daily News opinion editor Josh Greenman said in an email to ProPublica that he was unaware of Rendell's conflict, and indeed had been assured by Rendell's representative that there was none. "Had I known, I certainly would have disclosed that and conceivably would have made a different judgment on the piece," Greenman said. (The Daily News has added a disclosure to the online version of the op-ed.)
Elliott also notes that the New York Post ran an interview with Rendell last year in which he said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would be "crazy" not to lift the fracking ban, but did not disclose Rendell's ties to the industry.
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