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PA Politics: Bargaining away community protections

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By Nadia Steinzor

October 29, 2011

It’s often said that getting anything done in government requires compromise. But in their continued give-and-take over Senate Bill 1100, Pennsylvania legislators are poised to go too far and sell out communities.

Amendments were made to the bill this week that could result in some much-needed improvements to the state's outdated Oil and Gas Act, but it still rests on a faulty and unjust premise: forcing cash-strapped municipalities to give up their zoning rights in exchange for revenues from an “impact fee” charged to gas drillers. And linking these two issues now makes any legislator who wants to improve protections from damaging drilling party to the gutting of local control.

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Tagged with: natural gas, marcellus shale, pennsylvania, mpact fee


A week of outrage for a better future

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By Nadia Steinzor

September 8, 2011

I just caught a train, hoping to reach upstate New York before Amtrak shuts down more lines due to flooding. The tail of Tropical Storm Lee is whipping the Northeast even as the region struggles to recover from Hurricane Irene. And on the other extreme, Texas is drying out and burning.

Mother Nature (that is, the natural and climate systems the concept represents) certainly has cause to be furious, like the insatiable human appetite to burn energy and pollute. But at least she’s not alone—as was clear from the gathering of several hundred people for Shale Gas Outrage in Philadelphia over the last two days.

At a rally and march yesterday, landowners spoke about the toll that gas development is taking on their properties and health. Elected officials called on their colleagues to be influenced more by citizens and less by campaign-contributing corporations. Musicians rocked the crowd with tunes about the air and water we all need, now and for the future.

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Tagged with: fracking, natural gas, pennsylvania, new york, sgeis


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