PA Supreme Court Rules Industry Can’t Join Act 13 Lawsuit

Last Friday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied a request by the Marcellus Shale drilling industry to participate in the lawsuit brought by seven towns, a few individuals and “a non-profit organization” against the new Act 13 drilling law in Pennsylvania. The lawsuit seeks to overturn a portion of Act 13, the part that substitutes statewide zoning regulations for local zoning regulations when it comes to the oil and gas drilling industry.

The Supreme Court on Friday denied representatives from the Marcellus Shale industry the opportunity to participate in an appeal of the injunction against Act 13 filed by multiple municipalities, a doctor and a non-profit.

The Public Utilities Commission and the state appealed the Commonwealth Court decision to grant an injunction in the case regarding the zoning portions of the law.

Industry representatives had also asked the Commonwealth Court to be a party to the suit at the level of the proceedings. That was also denied.*

Here is why the Supremes’ decision is manifestly unfair: The “non-profit” that is part of the lawsuit against the state is none other than the Delaware Riverkeeper Network—an anti-drilling group with no standing in the lawsuit. Their organization is not “harmed” in any material way by the Act 13 law. Yet they are allowed to continue to be part of the lawsuit, but the drilling industry, who is directly affected by the actions of the lawsuit, can’t join it?!

What’s fair is fair. If the drilling industry is out, so too should the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Let’s have a little “justice” from the justices, shall we?

*SewickleyPatch (Jun 25, 2012) – Marcellus Shale Industry Again Denied in Act 13 Challenge