Friday, February 2, 2018

PA Environmental Defense Foundation, PennFuture Urge Gov. Wolf Not To Lift State Forest Drilling Moratorium

The comments were in response to Senate Resolution 104 (Bartolotta-R-Washington) being reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Tuesday encouraging the Governor to lift the moratorium.
PA Environmental Defense Foundation
John E. Chide, attorney for the Foundation said this in a letter to Gov. Wolf Thursday--
“On behalf of Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation I am requesting that you do not lift your moratorium on gas leasing on our State parks and forest lands.
“The natural gas and oil that is a part of our State lands are part of the corpus of the Public Trust established under Article I Section 27 of Pennsylvania’s Constitution. Both the oil and gas and the money derived from the sale thereof are protected as part of the Article I rights of the people.
“It is the duty of the trustees of the Public Trust to conserve and maintain the corpus of the trust for the benefit of the people. Selling or otherwise using our public natural resources to pay for the general budget of the Commonwealth is not conserving those resources.
“Under Article I Section 25 the rights contained in Article I are “excepted out of the powers of the government and shall forever remain inviolate.” (Pa. Constitution, Article I Section 25.)
“PEDF respectfully requests that the moratorium remain in effect, and the people’s public natural resources remain intact.”
PennFuture Wednesday said it “unequivocally opposes” a resolution making its way through the Senate urging the Governor to end the moratorium on new non-surface disturbance natural gas drilling on state forest land
“Our state parks and forests must be protected and preserved for the natural resources that they are: green spaces that citizens can enjoy with their friends and families; spaces that contribute to what attracts people to our great Commonwealth,” said PennFuture Vice President and Chief of Staff Matthew Stepp. “Recreational opportunities within our state parks and the towns that hold them contribute to our economy in vast ways, and drilling in areas that should be treasured goes against the common sense notion that state parks should be protected.
“We applaud the governor for his early implementation of this moratorium on drilling in state parks and forests, and we urge him to stand firm against this resolution, which would have the potential to devastate Pennsylvania’s forests, including the Loyalsock community and so many more,” Stepp said.
Gov. Wolf's press secretary JJ Abbott reiterated the Governor remains opposed to more drilling in state parks and forests--
"Natural gas development is vital to Pennsylvania’s economy, but so is the economic and environmental viability of our parks and forests," he said.
"Gov. Wolf believes we currently have the right balance as our state parks and forests are unique assets that should be preserved, protected, and utilized by our residents for recreational purposes. Gov. Wolf has focused on finding opportunities to grow our recreational and tourism economy through a revitalized parks and forest system that ensures we are preserving our natural resources and protecting our people and the environment."
For more information on existing drilling operations on state forest land, visit DCNR’s Natural Gas Management webpage.
(Photo: Unconventional drill pad on DCNR State Forest Land.)
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1 comment :

  1. Fracking is the state forests is a threat to the environment and all life. Is a scientific fact that the damage being done is irreversible. End fracking and, for sure, maintain the current Moratorium.


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