Radical Enviros Now the Tail Wagging the PA DCNR Dog re Funding

As they so often do, radical environmentalists are creating chaos and confusion–this time in Pennsylvania. As MDN reported, earlier this week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of Appeals, in a sharply divided 3-2 decision, sided with a virulent anti-drilling group, the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation, against the state in saying that any revenue generated from leasing and drilling on state-owned land MUST be used solely for conservation and the environment (see PA Supreme Court Hands Antis Partial Victory re State Land Drilling). The aim of the PA EDF is to disrupt Marcellus Shale drilling by any means necessary. This is one of those means. The three liberal justices who rendered the decision say the law is clear on intent–that money raised from leasing state-owned lands for drilling must be used for environmental purposes. Now the PA EDF is arrogantly telling the State of Pennsylvania that the money raised from drilling can’t be used for general operating expenses of the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)–the very organization that oversees the state lands and is in charge of said leasing. In the upcoming budget, due to be ratified by June 30th, PA Gov. Tom Wolf and the legislature had planned to use $100 million from the lease and royalty fund to “pay for DCNR’s daily operations or be transferred to another fund for statewide environmental and infrastructure projects.” But in an ominous threat, the EDF lawyer said spending money on DCNR operations “doesn’t comply with the court opinion on how the funds can be used.” Which begs the question: What in the world CAN you spend the $100 million raised from royalties and lease fees on?…

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