HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former York County Representative Eugene DePasquale became the commonwealth's 51 st Auditor General in a ceremony at noon today in the State Museum of Pennsylvania. His wife Tracey presented the certificate of election before State Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd administered the oath of office. "Government services are not without cost, and without a doubt, there will always be a debate about appropriate tax rates and the amount of taxation," DePasquale told the crowd of more than 500. "But, what is not up for debate is that the taxes government collects must be used as effectively as possible. That is why I pledge to you again today that I will be a tough, fair and independent Auditor General. This starts by making sure your tax dollars are invested wisely. "My approach to audits will be to focus on making realistic recommendations and developing workable solutions to improve government operations." Speaking about the growth from the natural gas drilling industry in the Marcellus Shale region, DePasquale said: "Today it is clear, we must strive to grow our economy and protect our environment at the same time. That is why, one of my first official duties as auditor general will be to initiate a performance audit of the Department of Environmental Protection to make sure our constitutional right to pure water is not being compromised by natural gas drilling." He will formally announce the audit on Wednesday, his first full day as auditor general. During his remarks, DePasquale outlined his vision for the Department of the Auditor General. "As I traveled across this great state, I saw first-hand that government can, and does, make a difference in our lives when it operates as intended," he said. "Whether it is ensuring that our water is safe to drink and our children are receiving a quality education that prepares them for the future. Or, ensuring older Pennsylvanians receive the services they need and that our state has a healthy business climate, as your Auditor General I will do everything in my power to restore your faith and confidence in government by holding agencies accountable on how they spend your tax dollars.