Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Court Case to Block Martian Drilling

It seems the door *does* swing both ways when it comes to Pennsylvania municipalities and the Act 13 lawsuit decision that allows municipalities to have a say in zoning in, or zoning out, shale drilling. In 2013 seven selfish PA towns won the right, from the PA Supreme Court, to impose their own zoning rules on oil and gas drilling (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). Since that time, Big Green groups have asked the court to rule the door only swings one way–that zoning can keep shale drilling out, but never allow *more* of it. That notion has now been put to rest. The door swings both ways.
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PA Chamber Files Brief in Martian School Court Case

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (PA Chamber) recently filed a brief in Commonwealth Court opposing THE Delaware Riverkeeper in a case that still has us angry and baffled. The case brought by Riverkeeper is clear across the state, hundreds of miles from the Delaware River Basin where Riverkeeper supposedly operates, and attempts to force a local municipality to adopt zoning ordinances it doesn’t want to adopt. And it involves Martians.
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PA Supremes Order Rehearing for Rex Permits Near Martian School

The Martians and their allies have attacked once again. Run for the hills! This is a long-running story that’s just taken another (unfortunate) twist. A handful of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (“Martians”) in Butler County, PA, backed by money and legal help from Philadelphia Big Green groups THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council, have filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit (see Martians Use Riverkeeper to Continue Court Battle Against Rex). The effort is aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The actions by these radicalized parents have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $100,000 in legal fees (we hope the taxpayers enjoying paying for this folly). Eventually most of the lawsuits were won by the good guys and at least two wells got drilled. However, in 2016 the Martians appealed a town ordinance that allows the wells to be drilled about 3/4 of a mile from the school. A panel of three western PA judges in Commonwealth Court heard arguments in the case, and in June 2017 the judges ruled against Riverkeeper and the Martians (see Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Martian Case to Stop Rex Energy Drilling). Riverkeeper, using funding from the William Penn Foundation and Heinz Endowments (among other Big Green funders) pressed on, all the way to the PA Supreme Court. Last Friday the Supremes proved they aren’t so supreme after all. In a ruling, the Supremes told Commonwealth Court to do it over again, this time considering PA’s so-called Environmental Rights Amendment as part of their thinking. In other words, do it over, and rule another way this time–that’s what the Supremes are telling the lower court to do…
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Dela. Riverkeeper Suffers Major Defeat in Martian Well Case

Nearly a year ago MDN reported that Big Green group THE Delaware Riverkeeper (aka Maya van Rossum) and the odious Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council (CAC) had suffered a crushing legal defeat in their attempt to interfere with shale drilling on the opposite side of the state from where the Delaware River and Philly is located (see Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Martian Case to Stop Rex Energy Drilling). A small group of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (whom we affectionately call “Martians”) in Butler County, PA, backed by money and legal help from Riverkeeper and CAC, filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. Even amid the back and forth lawsuits, at least two of the wells were permitted and drilled by Rex Energy, despite the bleatings of the Martians (see Martian Victory! 2 Wells Near Mars School Nearly Done Drilling). Following last year’s final word by PA Commonwealth Court, we thought that was the end of it. However, Riverkeeper and CAC tried one last, desperate attempt–by filing an appeal with the Environmental Hearing Board. The EHB is a special court set up to hear appeals of decisions made by the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Riverkeeper and CAC argued that the DEP abrogated their responsibilities under the PA Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA) to protect PA’s environment by issuing permits for Rex’s Martian wells. Last Friday the EHB ruled that DEP was well within its rights and did not, in fact, violate the ERA by allowing the Rex wells…
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Dela. Riverkeeper Loses Martian Case to Stop Rex Energy Drilling

THE Delaware Riverkeeper (i.e. Maya van Rossum) and a small group of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (“Martians”) in Butler County, PA, have just suffered a crushing defeat in their years-long battle to prevent Rex Energy from drilling wells “near” a local school. Backed by money and legal help from Philadelphia Big Green groups Delaware Riverkeeper and Clean Air Council, the Martians filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. The effort is aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The lawsuits have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $80,000 in legal fees. Even amid the back and forth lawsuits, at least two of the wells were permitted and drilled by Rex Energy, despite the bleatings of the Martians (see Martian Victory! 2 Wells Near Mars School Nearly Done Drilling). But that didn’t stop the frivolous lawsuits. Using legal assistance from THE Delaware Riverkeeper, the Martians appealed a town ordinance that allows the wells to be drilled about 3/4 of a mile from the local Mars School. A panel of three western PA judges in Commonwealth Court heard arguments in the case last November (see Martians Use Riverkeeper to Continue Court Battle Against Rex). This week the three-judge panel ruled–against Riverkeeper and the Martians…Continue reading

Martians Use Riverkeeper to Continue Court Battle Against Rex

Maya van Rossum - THE Delaware Riverkeeper
Maya van Rossum – THE Delaware Riverkeeper

MDN previously reported on the injustice happening in Bulter County, PA where a handful of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (“Martians”), backed by money and legal help from Philadelphia Big Green groups Delaware Riverkeeper and Clean Air Council, have filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. The effort is aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The actions by these radicalized parents have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $80,000 in legal fees. Landowners with leases got together and sued the radicals to stop this miscarriage of justice (see Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers). The lawsuit proceeded with the radicals claiming they should be able to sue, but not be sued (see Litigious Martians Cry Like Babies Over $500K Lawsuit Against Them). Unfortunately a county judge has agreed with the Big Money groups from Philly and has tossed the lawsuit against them (see $500K Lawsuit Against Litigious Martians Tossed by County Judge). Meanwhile, at least two of the wells were permitted and drilled by Rex Energy, despite the bleatings of the Martians (see Martian Victory! 2 Wells Near Mars School Nearly Done Drilling). But that hasn’t stopped the Martians, using legal assistance from THE Delaware Riverkeeper, from continuing to sue. The Martians have appealed a town ordinance that allows the wells to be drilled about 3/4 of a mile from the local Mars School. A panel of three western PA judges heard arguments in the case Monday afternoon…
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$500K Lawsuit Against Litigious Martians Tossed by County Judge

My Favorite MartianMDN previously reported on the injustice happening in Bulter County, PA where a handful of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (“Martians”), backed by money from Philadelphia Big Green groups Delaware Riverkeeper and Clean Air Council, have filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit. The effort is aimed at denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The actions by these radicalized parents have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $80,000 in legal fees. Landowners with leases got together and sued the radicals to stop this miscarriage of justice (see Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers). The lawsuit proceeded with the radicals claiming they should be able to sue, but not be sued (see Litigious Martians Cry Like Babies Over $500K Lawsuit Against Them). Unfortunately a county judge has agreed with the Big Money groups from Philly and has tossed the lawsuit against them–with prejudice. Meaning it can’t be re-filed for another go. So much for “justice” when it comes to radical Martians…
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Litigious Martians Cry Like Babies Over $500K Lawsuit Against Them

My Favorite MartianMDN previously reported on the injustice happening in Bulter County where a handful of anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District, backed by money from Philadelphia from Big Green groups Delaware Riverkeeper and Clean Air Council, filed frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit–denying landowners in Middlesex Township revenue from legally permitted drilling. The actions by these radicalized parents have cost the taxpayers of Middlesex Township over $80,000 in legal fees. So the landowners got together and sued them, to stop this miscarriage of justice (see Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers). And guess what? The litigious antis started crying like little girls, claiming it’s an abuse and an attempt to stifle free speech (see ACLU Asks County Judge to Toss Lawsuit Against Litigious Martians). Talk about hypocrites! They can sue, but our side can’t. That’s fair in their twisted world. The lawsuit against these radicals continues, and the radicals, with the help of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, continue to complain that everything is OK when they do the suin’, but when they get sued…that’s not so hot. In fact, some of the less-committed radicals are leaving the fight. Turns out they don’t like to get sued…
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Martian Victory! 2 Wells Near Mars School Nearly Done Drilling

My Favorite MartianAs we have long chronicled, a few anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (Butler County, far western part of the state), backed by a couple of Big Green groups from the other side of the state (THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council, both based in the Philadelphia area), sued Middlesex Township to stop shale drilling in rural portions of the county. Rex Energy had applied for, was legally permitted for, but wasn’t allowed to drill a series of wells some three-fourths of a mile from the Mars School (for background, see our long list of “Martian” stories here). After costing local taxpayers more than $35,000 in legal fees, last November a county judge finally told Rex Energy they could go ahead and drill (see PA County Judge Rules Rex Can Begin Drilling First Martian Well). The fantastic news is, Rex has drilled! The company has drilled two initial wells which will be done within the next couple of weeks. Time to celebrate! NOTE: Somehow, against all odds, no children were harmed in the drilling of these wells…
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PA County Judge Rules Rex Can Begin Drilling First Martian Well

My Favorite MartianAs we have long chronicled, a few anti-drilling parents from the Mars School District (Butler County, far western part of the state), backed by a couple of Big Green groups from the other side of the state (in the Philadelphia area), sued Middlesex Township to stop shale drilling in rural portions of the county. Rex Energy had applied for, was legally permitted for, but still hasn’t been allowed to drill a series of wells some three-fourths of a mile from the Mars School (for background, see our long list of “Martian” stories here). This is the outrage: These very same anti-drillers fought hard to overturn a portion of the 2012 Act 13 law that took zoning of oil and gas out of the hands of local towns and put it in state hands. The zoning portion of Act 13 was overturned by the PA Supreme Court. The antis got what they wanted–except, it seems, they got a little too much of what they wanted. They didn’t factor that in some towns there would be a majority who favor fracking and shale drilling–like in Middlesex. Middlesex ran an extensive series of nine hearings over seven months and eventually adopted zoning ordinances that allow Rex to drill. So the antis sued to stop what they previously sued to achieve. Eventually a group of landowners counter-sued the antis (rightfully so) for denying them access to allow drilling on their own land. That lawsuit is still playing out in the courts. Last Thursday a Butler County judge ruled, once again, that the zoning ordinances adopted by Middlesex are legal and therefore drilling can commence. The antis will appeal the decision and continue to try and block local landowners from legally using their own property as they see fit…
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Landowner Lawsuit Against Martians NOT Dismissed After All

My Favorite MartianLast month MDN told you that a county judge in Butler County, PA dismissed a lawsuit brought by a business and group of Middlesex Township landowners against two Big Green groups and four anti-fossil fuel parents from the Mars School District–whom we refer to as the Martians (see Landowners’ Countersuit Against Martians Tossed by Obama Judge). MDN reported the lawsuit was dismissed based on a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story which interviewed one of the lawyers for the Martians, from the anti-American American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU flack said the case was dismissed and we figured he must know how courts work, so we believed it. Our mistake. The unquestioning Post-Gazette reporter also bought the lies pedaled by the ACLU lawyer. What really happened was this: The judge said the case will be dismissed IF a more specific case is not filed within 20 days. Guess what? A new case was filed and (so far) the lawsuit against Delaware Riverkeeper and the Clean Air Council (both of Philly, on the other side of the state) as well as against the Martians, is still alive…
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Martians Give Conservative British MP a Tour of PA Fracking

My Favorite MartianThe United Kingdom (as in Merry Old England) is finally, seriously, considering permits to allow shale fracking in the country. It’s taken a long time, and it’s certainly not a done deal yet. But it’s getting much closer. A Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from a district in the north of England likely to see shale drilling when/if it happens recently traveled 3,500 miles to visit Pennsylvania, to see the effects of shale drilling firsthand. We applaud the MP’s efforts to see it up close. Unfortunately, Conservatives in the UK are more like RINOs here–there really aren’t all that many true conservatives in the socialistic UK. So when our “Conservative” MP came calling, one of the “expert” groups he took a tour with was the nutty Martians, a small group of anti-drillers in Butler County called the Mars Parent Group (see MDN’s list of Martian stories here). Incredibly, even after receiving a manure spreader full of lies from the Martians, our Conservative MP is still keeping an open mind about fracking back home…
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Landowners’ Countersuit Against Martians Tossed by Obama Judge

miscarriage of justiceNOTE: MDN received a note from a subscriber (and lawyer) who has appeared before Judge Horan several times and believes our characterization is unfair and unwarranted. Indeed, the lawyer says Horan is “certainly not a radical” and has rendered industry-favorable decisions on several occasions. We appreciate it when subscribers take time to point out when our gut reaction, usually spot on, may not be. We want to be fair and not impugn someone’s reputation without cause.

Once again justice has been corrupted in a corrupt Pennsylvania court. It’s A.O.K. for four local residents (Martians) and two tax-exempt non-profit groups from the opposite side of the state to bring lawsuits to stop legal Marcellus drilling in Butler County, PA, costing Butler County taxpayers in excess of $35,000 in legal fees (see ACLU Asks County Judge to Toss Lawsuit Against Litigious Martians). The Martians have children in the Mars School District located 3/4 of a mile away from the proposed Rex Energy drilling site. Never mind other school districts in the state have allowed drilling ON CAMPUS. A dozen landowners in Middlesex and Adams Townships that want drilling to commence counter-sued the Martians and the Big Green groups for holding up a legal process (see Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers). Butler County Judge Marilyn J. Horan (Democrat) has tossed the landowners’ counter-suit out of the nearest ivory tower window. That’s “justice” for you in Butler County, PA. You may be interested to know that Judge Horan is a radical/activist judge, recently nominated by President Barack Hussein Obama to become a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania–no doubt because of her radical views…
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ACLU Asks County Judge to Toss Lawsuit Against Litigious Martians

My Favorite MartianIt seems anti-drillers love to launch lawsuits, but when the shoe is applied to the other foot and lawsuits are filed against them, they don’t like it so much. Hypocrites. A small group of anti-drilling parents in the Mars School District in Middlesex Township (Butler County), PA–folks we call Martians–want to prevent the legal, legitimate, and now fully permitted right of Rex Energy to drill a few Marcellus Shale wells three-fourths of a mile away from the Mars School. We’ve long chronicled this battle (see MDN’s list of Mars School stories). Four local Middlesex residents used two non-profit, tax-exempt groups from the opposite side of PA, backed by Big Green money–THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council–to file a lawsuit against the little town of Middlesex to stop any kind of drilling, a move that has so far cost local taxpayers over $35,000 in legal defense fees (see Dela. RiverKeeper, Clean Air Council Cost Middlesex Residents $35K+). So a group of 12 Middlesex landowners and a business launched their own lawsuit against the two Big Green groups and the four local residents claiming (rightly) that they are being economically harmed (see Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers). What do the anti-drilling parents and Big Green groups do? They go crying like little girls to the anti-American ACLU for help. The ACLU is asking a Butler County court judge to dismiss the lawsuit against the litigious anti-drillers ’cause they don’t like being sued. Seems it doesn’t feel too good when the shoe is on the other foot…
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ACLU Bullies Threaten Butler County Landowners over Martian Lawsuit

The most anti-American group on the planet that we know of, aside from ISIS/ISIL/Al-Qaeda, is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). So we find it truly rich that the ACLU–always on the lookout to squash anything to do with the American way and freedom and apple pie–has now involved itself in what we loving call “the Martian controversy.” A small group of rabidly anti-drilling (and liberal) parents in the Mars School District in Middlesex Township (Butler County), PA want to prevent the legal, legitimate, and now fully permitted right of Rex Energy to drill a few Marcellus Shale wells three-fourths of a mile away from the Mars School. We’ve long chronicled this battle (see MDN’s list of Mars School stories). Four local residents used two non-profits backed by Big Green money and from the opposite side of Pennsylvania–THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council–to file a lawsuit against the little town of Middlesex to stop any kind of drilling, a move that has so far cost local taxpayers over $35,000 in legal defense fees (see Dela. RiverKeeper, Clean Air Council Cost Middlesex Residents $35K+). So a group of 12 Middlesex landowners and a business launched their own lawsuit against the two Big Green groups and the four local residents claiming (rightly) that they are being economically harmed (see Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers). What do the anti-drilling, liberal, wacko parents and Big Green groups do? They go crying like little girls to the ACLU and now the Big Bully ACLU has ridden into town to tell the 12 landowners and local business they have no right to file a lawsuit! In America!!!…
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Shoe Now on Other Foot: Landowners Sue Martian Anti-Drillers

shoe on the other footIt’s about time. Twelve (12) leaseholders and a real estate developer in Middlesex and Adams Townships, in Butler County, PA (near the Mars School District) have filed a lawsuit against local anti-drillers as well as against THE Delaware Riverkeeper and the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council, suing them for damages because their ongoing frivolous lawsuits have keep the leaseholders from realizing profits from their leased land. And get this, the Martians and Big Green groups being sued are upset, saying their free speech rights are being infringed. Talk about nuts! It’s OK for anti-drillers to launch lawsuit after lawsuit, but as soon as someone pushes back and files a lawsuit against them, they start squealing like little piglets…
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