EARTHblog » Nadia Steinzor
November 15, 2011
Apparently it’s not enough for the gas industry in Pennsylvania to turn a profit; receive hundreds of new permits a year; have special exemptions from U.S. environmental laws; and be fined for only a tiny fraction of violations committed. According to Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber in the Philadelphia Inquirer, local zoning should also be eliminated for “posing a threat” to the industry.
But Ms. Klaber—along with Governor Corbett in a letter to legislators as they debate bills this week to gut local control in exchange for small drilling revenues—got a basic fact wrong. There is no patchwork of local regulation; the state has set, and will continue to be the entity to set, standards and rules for gas drilling.
November 1, 2011
Over the weekend, I blogged on efforts in the Pennsylvania Senate to make a devil's bargain through a bill that would establish an impact fee on gas drillers--but greatly restrict the rights of municipalities to take measures (like zoning) to protect communities from the damage caused by drilling. Thanks to widespread push-back, including from the PA Campaign for Clean Water, the Senate has postponed the vote.
But today, the House declared its own willingness to sell the souls of Pennsylvania's communties for some quick revenue--introducing a bill that would strip local governments of any say over any aspect of drilling.