Penn Hills, PA Grudgingly Votes 5-0 to Allow H&H Seismic Testing

What a difference two months–and the very real threat of a lawsuit–can make. At the end of July Penn Hills (in Allegheny County, near Pittsburgh) voted to ban seismic testing in their community as a symbolic action “meant to send a message to companies that the municipality is against oil and gas activities on Penn Hills property.” Driller Huntley & Huntley has hired Texas-based Geokinetics to conduct seismic testing in the region and had wanted to conduct testing on 37 municipal-owned properties in Penn Hills, about 390 acres total. But Penn Hills resisted. So H&H’s attorneys at Steptoe & Johnson sent a “we’ll sue your rear-ends” letter and that got the attention of the symbolizers. Last night another vote was taken. This time it was 5 to 0 in favor of allowing seismic testing after all. The mayor (grumbling) said the municipality did it’s best to resist…

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