Antis Weaponize PA Enviro Rights Amendment in Effort to Kill Shale

AR-15 rifle

The Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), passed by the good citizens of PA in 1971, is a poorly worded piece of legislation with good intentions, adopted in a hurry in response to a disaster. Like all legislation that’s hurried and adopted in response to disasters (natural or man-made), the ERA is deeply flawed. Antis are now using the ERA as a bludgeon–perhaps a better analogy is more like an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle–in their attempt to assassinate the Marcellus Shale industry. Unfortunately, they are having some success in the PA court system. The ERA laid dormant after its adoption until an awful PA Supreme Court decision in 2013 breathed new life into it for antis (see Ongoing Fallout from PA Supreme Court’s Wrong Act 13 Decision). Since that time, antis have sued drillers and pipeline companies a number of times, citing the ERA, and in some cases winning (see PA Anti Strategy: Weaponize Recent Court Ruling Against Shale Dev). Emboldened by these wins, “Article 1, Section 27” as the ERA is known, is being employed in more places, even (especially) outside the court room…

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