HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The nation's first Department of Homeland Security secretary has agreed to serve as strategic adviser to an industry group led by companies drilling for natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation.
The group announced Friday that Tom Ridge's communications and policy groups will be paid $75,000 a month for help in such areas as public outreach, education and coalition building.
The vast gas deposits under Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio may contain enough to supply the entire East Coast for 50 years. But the drilling process being used to extract it, hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," has drawn concerns about water pollution from the chemicals it uses.
Ridge is a two-term Republican governor for Pennsylvania. He served as Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush.