Conflict of Interest Prevents Hilcorp Wellpad Approval, What Now?

A strange ending occurred at the Pulaski Township (Lawrence County), PA Board of Supervisors meeting Monday night. The marathon four hour hearing saw Pulaski’s three Supervisors (actually, two of the three) approve one of two conditional use permits to allow Hilcorp to construct a wellpad on the property of Victor A. Litwinovich on Topper Hill Road–much to the consternation of anti-fossil fuel ninnies who were present. But when it came to approving a second Hilcorp wellpad–on the property of Sam Varano and his wife, Beverly, on Evergreen Road–the board couldn’t get a single motion among the three Supervisors to approve it. Why? Because one of the Supervisors is Sam Varano himself–a clear conflict of interest. A second Supervisor is Greg Carna, who owns land adjacent to Varano that is leased to Hilcorp and, presumably, would be included in the Varano well drilling unit–also a conflict of interest. That left the third Supervisor, Lori Sniezek, who won’t vote any Hilcorp matters because she is employed full-time by Hilcorp. Ethics rules barred any of the three from making a motion to approve the wellpad. Without a motion, Varano gavelled the marathon session to a close. What will happen next?…

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