PennFuture Tries to Bully Allegheny County re Lease Revenue

The true colors of PennFuture, a radical anti-drilling group, are now revealed for all to see. In June, MDN warned you that Big Green groups like PennFuture are attempting to “weaponize” a recent PA Supreme Court ruling (see PA Anti Strategy: Weaponize Recent Court Ruling Against Shale Dev). The Supremes, in a sharply divided decision, sided with a virulent anti-drilling group, the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation, against the state, 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 decision is based on the Oil and Gas Lease Fund Act, which states any revenue from oil and gas leases (and signing bonuses) generated for the Commonwealth (that is, for the state of Pennsylvania) “shall be placed in a special fund to be known as the ‘Oil and Gas Lease Fund’ which fund shall be exclusively used for conservation, recreation, dams, or flood control or to match any Federal grants which may be made for any of the aforementioned purposes” (see Radical Enviros Now the Tail Wagging the PA DCNR Dog re Funding). Radical groups have wasted no time. PennFuture is now bullying Allegheny County (Pittsburgh area) by saying any revenue raised by leasing county land for drilling, like parks and airports, must be spent on Big Green causes groups like PennFuture approves of, and not anything else. Which is ludicrous. However, they are citing the recent Supreme Court decision and using it as a bludgeon to force a change in the way lease revenues are spent. In other words, those revenues are now a poison pill. If municipalities like counties and local towns can’t spend lease money the way they want, it removes the incentive to lease those properties in the first place…

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