PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case
No doubt most MDN readers have already heard the earth-shattering news from yesterday that Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has sided with the seven towns who sued the state to retain their right to regulate (zone) where drilling and related activities can and cannot happen in their communities. MDN has long covered this story and worried that a split decision after one of the justices resigned would lead to an unresolved situation. As fate would have it, one of the Republicans on the bench, Chief Justice Ron Castille, sold out and turned against the industry, so it ended up being a 4-2 decision with (predictably) all three Democrats voting against the industry plus RINO Castille.
What was the decision? For different reasons (they couldn’t agree among themselves), the justices said localities should be able to write their own rules for where drilling can and can’t go. Which is certainly not a bad thing (the right to determine), except in some communities local town boards are packed with anti-drillers that make life a living hell for anyone or anything related to drilling. Ultimately innocent landowners and taxpayers are the ones who lose out because drillers will walk away from areas where unreasonable people pack town boards (no drilling, no leases, no jobs, no tax revenue). That’s exactly what will now start to happen in PA.
Anti-drilling groups like The Sierra Club, Delaware Riverkeeper and PennEnvironment were positively orgasmic in their reaction. They now get to kill drilling in at least some locations in PA. The Marcellus Shale Coalition said it’s a truly a sad day for PA. We agree. Below we bring you what we consider the “best of” coverage of the opinion. We have not had time to thoroughly research it ourselves, so we’ll rely on others to analyze it. We’ve also embedded the full 162-page decision filed by the Supreme Court so you can read it for yourself…