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Wed Oct 24, 2012, 06:29 AM

Towns That Dare to Face Up to Fracking Industry Pay a Hefty Price

http://www.alternet.org/fracking/towns-dare-face-fracking-industry-pay-hefty-price



Pennsylvania’s pro-fracking forces are punishing four townships that passed local environmental rights ordinances challenging the industry by withholding nearly $1 million from a new fund collected from gas drillers, under the first distribution of “impact fees” under Act 13, the pro-fracking law written by industry lobbyists.

The four townships—Cecil, Robinson, South Fayette and Mount Pleasant—had the audacity to adopt local zoning laws that barred the natural gas industry from setting up drill sites and infrastructure anywhere it wanted, which was allowed by Act 13, and then sued the state to protect local zoning rights. They did not want drilling sites near schools, parks and residential areas—although Pennsylvania state law says they must designate some drilling zones in their towns.

“There seems to be a conflict of interest,” said Ben Price, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund Project Director, a public interest law firm that supports local anti-drilling ordinances. “The PUC is a party to the lawsuit , but the PUC is acting to challenge the ordinances of the municipalities in the lawsuit. It is really a state authorized slap suit if you will.”

Act 13’s usurpation of local zoning authority has been challenged by a coalition of towns and environmentalists as unconstitutional under the state’s Constitution. Earlier this year, a lower court upheld the townships’ local zoning rights, saying Act 13 overstepped Pennsylvania’s Constitution by unsurping local zoning authority. That ruling was then appealed by the Republican controlled executive branch and is now before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

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Reply Towns That Dare to Face Up to Fracking Industry Pay a Hefty Price (Original post)
xchrom Oct 2012 OP
Champion Jack Oct 2012 #1
grntuscarora Oct 2012 #2
ellisonz Oct 2012 #3
DCKit Oct 2012 #4
AlecBGreen Oct 2012 #6
DCKit Nov 2012 #7
grntuscarora Oct 2012 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 08:15 AM

1. What bullshit

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Response to Champion Jack (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 01:03 PM

2. Indeed.

Tom Corbett is a vindictive little asshat, with the emotional maturity of a tantrum prone 3-year old. He'll get his when the PA Supreme Court overturns the Act 13 zoning provisions.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Oct 24, 2012, 02:33 PM

3. Big energy doesn't give a shit about the people of these towns. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 01:40 AM

4. And that's why I told the S.O. that it's Virginia, or nothing.

 

Pennsylvania is so fracked-up that going back there would be an act of insanity.

In the meantime, Augusta county VA (middle of the Shenandoah valley) told the frackers to take a piss.

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Response to DCKit (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 29, 2012, 12:50 AM

6. The Shenandoah Valley is hard to top

Im right up the road and I travel frequently through Augusta. I love it here. Its beautiful!

PM if you are thinking of moving

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Response to AlecBGreen (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 1, 2012, 12:39 PM

7. I'm out in Highland county right now (since Sunday).

 

We're either going to buy the family property, or find another one here - hard decision.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 03:59 PM

5. Commonwealth Court to PUC: 'Cease and Desist'—Release the Impact Fee Money

The state Commonwealth Court today ordered that the state Public Utility Commission had no authority to review local gas drilling ordinances and subsequently withhold Marcellus Shale drilling impact fee payments in four townships challenging the state’s drilling law, announced state Rep. Jesse White.

http://canon-mcmillan.patch.com/articles/commonwealth-court-to-puc-cease-and-desist-release-the-impact-fee-money

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