DEP Secretary Mike Krancer Leaving For Blank Rome Law Firm Energy Practice
Gov. Tom Corbett Friday announced Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Krancer will step down April 15 to return home to Montgomery County to practice law.
E. Christopher Abruzzo, deputy chief of staff for Gov. Tom Corbett, will serve as acting secretary. Abruzzo, who works closely with Krancer and the DEP staff in his position as deputy chief of staff, will hold both positions until Corbett names Krancer’s successor.
“Secretary Krancer has been an invaluable member of our team and I am grateful for his service,’’ Corbett said. “His impressive efforts at DEP have taken the agency back to basics, protecting the environment and making the permitting process more efficient.
“His guidance on a variety of issues related to the environment has been vital,” Corbett said. “DEP has been in good hands under his leadership.”
Corbett appointed Krancer to his cabinet in January 2011, where Krancer oversaw many major initiatives, including the reorganization of the agency, which created an Oil and Gas deputate and improved consistency statewide in enforcing that industry’s regulations.
Krancer also oversaw the Permit Review Process and Permit Decision Guarantee, which have brought timeliness and consistency to the permitting process for all agency-regulated activities.
In April 2011, Krancer and the governor issued a call to Marcellus Shale operators to stop delivering shale gas drilling wastewater to plants that were not equipped to fully treat it, which resulted in a sea change overnight and improved the health of Pennsylvania’s waterways.
Krancer also made brownfields redevelopment and abandoned mine reclamation projects around the state a priority and oversaw the implementation of the Covered Device Recycling Act.
Krancer and his agency were also instrumental in facilitating new investments and potential investments around the state, including his role in Governor Corbett’s team efforts to save the three southeastern Pennsylvania refineries and attract to them new environmentally responsible investors, employers and projects.
Krancer also had the opportunity to testify as an expert before several U.S. Congressional committees on many topics.
“Serving Gov. Corbett and DEP has been the greatest honor of my career,’’ Krancer said. “Pennsylvania is well on its way to becoming the focal point of an American energy revolution, and I am grateful to the governor for giving me this role in assuring that natural gas and energy development happen in an environmentally sound and responsible manner.
“I owe a tremendous amount of thanks and appreciation to all of the talented, dedicated, hard-working professionals at DEP with whom I have been privileged to work as their Secretary,” he said.
DEP has 2,633 employees and a $655 million budget.
Krancer will rejoin his former law firm, Blank Rome LLP, an international law firm based in Philadelphia.
In addition to his previous legal work at Blank Rome, Krancer, 55, of Bryn Mawr, Montgomery County, served as a judge on the state’s Environmental Hearing Board for 10 years, including four years as chief judge and chairman. He has also worked as an attorney for Exelon Corp.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Krancer earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University.
“I appreciate Mike’s unwavering commitment to this job, knowing that it took him away from spending quality time with his wife and children,’’ Corbett said. “While I am sorry to lose his expertise in the administration, I am glad this is an opportunity for him to go back home.”
In an email to DEP employees announcing he was moving on, Secretary Krancer said:
It is with mixed emotions that I tell you that I am leaving this great agency as of mid-April to go back to my home in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I will be rejoining the law firm that I left in 1999 when I entered into my first stint in government service.
It has been the utmost privilege and honor to lead you and to work along side with you in our most important mission of protecting human health and the environment. For over two years I have witnessed first-hand the hard work, passion and commitment to excellence the employees of this agency display on all fronts every day. I feel that no leader of any organization has been as blessed as I have been over the past two plus years with the greatest of teams.
I want to personally give each and every one of you a heartfelt thank you for everything you have done during my time here. I will miss all of you as colleagues but I feel a kinship and affection toward each of you that will never die.
Blank Rome Announcement
The Blank Rome law firm put out this announcement on Secretary Krancer--
Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Michael L. Krancer is re-joining Blank Rome LLP as a partner in the firm's Philadelphia office. With more than two decades of energy industry and public policy experience, Mr. Krancer will chair the firm's Energy, Petrochemical and Natural Resources Practice, enhancing the firm's existing energy and public policy talent and advising US and global energy clients in the full range of legal, public policy, government relations, state and federal regulatory, financial, corporate, and labor matters.
"Secretary Krancer is one of the country's most prominent and forward-thinking leaders in energy policy, development and regulation," said Alan J. Hoffman, Blank Rome co-chairman and managing partner. "Michael's practical experience at the highest levels of strategic state and federal government policymaking and government relations will significantly enhance our capabilities, particularly regarding the Marcellus and Utica Shale Plays and, accordingly, we expect he will be spending a lot of time in western Pennsylvania."
"The rapid move towards American energy self-sufficiency has created new opportunities for our nation," said Mr. Krancer. "The eyes of the world are on Pennsylvania and Appalachia in particular as a focal point of this paradigm shift in the energy landscape. Blank Rome understands the new energy and natural resources reality in Pennsylvania and throughout the world, and it has tremendous intellectual assets with which to help clients navigate this complicated and evolving industry landscape.
"A key asset of Blank Rome's energy industry practice is our ability to leverage the expertise of practitioners in all of our offices to form cross-border, cross-practice teams," added Mr. Krancer. "Our lawyers and policy specialists in Houston and Philadelphia, for example, have enabled us to advise a range of Texas-based oil and gas firms making substantial investments in Pennsylvania. In New York, we advise energy businesses on the structuring of financial derivatives to manage their risk, and in Washington, DC, the firm advises clients on the gamut of federal industry regulation and public policy issues. From every point of our international footprint, from Blank Rome's offices in China and Los Angeles to our presence in Texas, in New York, and in Pennsylvania, where so much of the energy industry is focused on developing new resources, we are well-situated to serve energy clients.
"I deeply appreciate the opportunity that Gov. Corbett gave me to lead the Department of Environmental Protection. I am also truly excited to return to Philadelphia and my friends and partners at Blank Rome," concluded Mr. Krancer.
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