John Hanger

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John Hanger
Secretary of Planning and Policy of Pennsylvania
In office
January 20, 2015 – February 26, 2016
Governor Tom Wolf
Preceded by Jennifer Branstetter
Succeeded by Sarah Galbally
Secretary of Environmental Protection of Pennsylvania
In office
September 2008 – January 2011
Governor Ed Rendell
Preceded by Kathleen McGinty
Succeeded by Michael Krancer
Personal details
Born (1957-06-30) June 30, 1957 (age 59)
Nairobi, Kenya
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Duke University
University of Pennsylvania

John Hanger (born 1957) is the former Pennsylvania Secretary of Planning and Policy, serving on the executive staff of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

Hanger has served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, a position he held between September 2008 and January 2011 under then-Governor Ed Rendell. He is also a former Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission[1] and Of Counsel at law firm Eckert Seamans. He was a candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014, before withdrawing from the primary.[2][3]


Hanger's experience consists of environmental, energy, gas drilling and green economy issues. He is one of two Pennsylvanians who have served both as a Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and as Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. (Clfford Jones served as the Chair of the Public Utility Commission and Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources, the predecessor of DEP.)

Hanger contributed to writing and passing legislation such as Pennsylvania's 1996 Electricity Generation Competition and Customer Choice Act, the 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, the 2005 Growing Greener 2 legislation, the 2007 Net Metering statute, the 2008 Act 129 initiating major electricity conservation programs, the 2008 Act 70 requiring DEP to write a climate change action plan, the 2008 Alternative Fuels Act, the 2010 Recycling Fee extension, and others.[4]

Hanger was the founding President of Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future or PennFuture from 1998 to 2008, a public interest organization with the objective of improving the environment and economy.

Hanger has never held an elected office. He was considered a possible candidate for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate election in 2004 against Arlen Specter.[5]

He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a 1979 graduate of Duke University.

2014 gubernatorial election[edit]

After saying that he was "seriously looking"[6] at a possible campaign for Governor of Pennsylvania to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican incumbent Tom Corbett in 2014,[6] he officially announced his candidacy for the office in November 2012.[7] However, he ended his campaign in March 2014, citing unfavorable polling and the surge of fellow candidate Tom Wolf.[3][8]

His campaign supported the immediate legalization of medical marijuana by allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana for treatment of appropriate conditions and illnesses as is done in 20 other states. He supported removing criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana as soon as possible, and proposed to later legalize, regulate, and tax recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania.[9]

John Hanger endorsed Tom Wolf in the 2014 Democratic Primary for Governor.[10]


  1. ^ "John Hanger - Secretary of Environmental Protection". Governor's Cabinet Officials. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Foster, Brittany (13 March 2014). "PA-Gov: Hanger To Withdraw". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Hanger, John (2011). John Hanger. 
  5. ^ "Democratic Short List '04". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on 2003-08-02. 
  6. ^ a b Gibson, Keegan. "Exclusive: Former DEP Hanger Looking to Challenge Corbett". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Gibson, Keegan (26 November 2012). "Hanger Makes Guv Bid Official". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "The People's Campaign ends, but the work continues". John Hanger for Governor. 13 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  9. ^

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