DCNR Blocks New Marcellus Drilling on PA State Lands

DCNR logoWhat happens when you put a virulent anti-driller in charge of a state’s forestry service, a state that previously had a small, safe, healthy program to allow some shale drilling, giving taxpayers a break with a source of new revenue? Of course the anti-driller immediately tries to quash any more new drilling efforts. And that’s just what has happened with former PennFuture president and current Secretary of the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Cindy Dunn. We called for her firing back in June when she was caught using–we’d say misappropriating–taxpayer money to send her staff to Big Green reeducation events (see Time to Fire Cindy Dunn, Last of Wolf Admin’s PennFuture Radicals). But no. She remains at her post, obstructing drilling in any way she can. The latest in her efforts is an updated plan from the DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry, which manages 2.2 million acres of state lands, in which the DCNR pledges to block any new Marcellus drilling on state lands and outlines their plans to begin hassling those who own mineral rights under state lands (and can legally extract shale gas) by requiring “definitive proof” that they own the mineral rights. In other words, they’re going to try and tie rights owners and drillers up in so much red tape, they’ll never even think about drilling a new well on state land…

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