Penn Twp Reverses Course, Leases Town Land for Marcellus Drilling

In May 2016, MDN told you that the Penn Township (in Westmoreland County, PA) zoning board voted to refuse to grant a permit to Apex Energy to build a DEP-permitted well pad in the town (see Penn Twp Commissioners Block Apex Shale Well Request in 3-2 Vote). In June 2016, Penn began considering a far more restrictive ordinance than it currently has–to limit drilling in the township (see Penn Township Considering More Restrictions on Drilling). That didn’t sit well with Huntley & Huntley, a driller that owns leases for some 23% of the land in the township. In August, the debate continued at a public hearing, with pro- and anti-drillers out in force to discuss the potential Marcellus-killing ordinance that had been drafted (see Penn Twp Hearing Discusses Marcellus-Killing Ordinance). So at last check, things were not looking too favorable in Penn Township. Then yesterday, Penn Township commissioners voted to approve leasing 29 acres of town land to Huntley & Huntley. Somewhere along the way there’s been a 180 degree turnaround by Penn on the issue of drilling. How much is H&H paying the town in bonus and royalties? We have the details…

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