Lawyer Says PA Budget Unconstitutional Based on Enviro Rights Law

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you are tempted to treat everything as a nail (Abraham Maslow, 1966). Such is it with radical anti-drillers who recently won a case at the PA Supreme Court by the skin of their teeth. The case dealt with the narrow issue of how PA can spend revenue raised by leasing and allowing drilling for oil and gas under state-owned land (see PA Supreme Court Hands Antis Partial Victory re State Land Drilling). A divided court ruled that money from royalties must be used only for Big Green causes, and cannot be used even to fund operations at the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The decision was based, in part, on PA’s so-called Environmental Rights Amendment, “guaranteeing” the “right” to “clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment”–without defining how those “rights” are to be administered. The radical lawyer who won the case is now attempting to use that narrow decision–in a case about funding the DCNR–to make the preposterous claim that PA’s budget, as drafted, is “unconstitutional.” Like a broken record, he keeps going on about the Environmental Rights Amendment…Environmental Rights Amendment…Environmental Rights Amendment…

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