The Lead

Report: Ex-House Speaker Turzai lands a job in the natural gas industry

By: - June 16, 2020 12:14 pm

House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, speaks at a 2019 press conference (Capital-Star photo).

Just one day after his resignation from the House speakership, ex-Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, has found a new job representing the natural gas industry.

Turzai, who announced his retirement in January, ended months of speculation Tuesday, when the Pittsburgh Business Times reported that he would serve as general counsel for Peoples Natural Gas Company, a natural gas utility company with headquarters in Pittsburgh.

Under Pennsylvania’s “revolving door” prohibitions, Turzai cannot directly lobby his former colleagues for a year after leaving office.

Turzai will report to Christopher Luning, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Essential Utilities.

“I look forward to working with Mike in his role as general counsel for Peoples. The 28th Legislative District is located in the heart of western Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry. Mike is well aware of the opportunities and challenges of this growing industry. His background and expertise will benefit our customers and the communities we serve,” Luning said in a statement.

During his 6-year-long speakership, Turzai championed conservative causes such as liquor privatizationschool choice and the natural gas industry.

From school choice to liquor privatization, how the Pa. House will change with Mike Turzai’s exit

In a press release from Essential Utilities Inc., the parent company of Peoples, Turzai said, “Peoples has been providing natural gas service to families in western Pennsylvania for more than 130 years. As a native of western Pennsylvania, I am familiar with the company, the dedication of its employees and its commitment to our region. I am honored to join the Peoples team and help continue the company’s legacy as a strong, local employer, community partner and driver of economic development.”

Essential Utilities Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin spoke glowingly of the former speaker:

“Throughout his career in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Mike built a reputation for putting people first – family, constituents, fellow legislators and the general public. Mike cares about people,” Franklin said. “As general counsel for Peoples, he will be one of the key leaders of our natural gas business that plays a critical role in the everyday lives of families and individuals in more than 760,000 homes and businesses. Caring for those families and individuals we serve and the more than 1,500 Peoples employees that ensure the safe and reliable delivery of our natural gas, will be the cornerstones of his leadership. I’m excited for him to join the team and use his expertise as a key member of the Peoples leadership team.”

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