HARRISBURG - The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee yesterday cleared John Hanger's nomination as Pennsylvania's environmental protection chief for a vote by the full Senate. The unanimous vote culminated a sometimes-heated two-hour hearing.

Hanger spent a decade as head of the environmental lobbying group PennFuture before Gov. Rendell named him acting secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection in the fall.

Hanger faced tough questioning from Sen. Mary Jo White (R., Venango), the committee chairwoman, about reconciling some of his statements as a lobbyist with his present duties. Hanger said he understood the different nature of his public job. - AP