Don’t let Harrisburg and the gas industry take over our towns!
Immediate action needed to stop the gutting of municipal rights regarding gas drilling by the PA Legislature; Stop Scarnati’s Shale Bill (SB1100/HB1950)!
PA House Bill 1950 was passed out of committee on November 2; the full House and Senate may vote in the near future. This Corbett Administration proposal would remove oil and gas drilling and associated activities from nearly all local land use regulation, including regulation under the Municipalities Planning Code, would go beyond prior court decisions regarding the current Act’s preemptive scope, and would effectively relegate a municipality to an irrelevant advisory role to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“PADEP”) in the oil and gas permitting process, with no right to appeal or review PADEP’s decisions on permits. In other words, eviscerate local rights, removing the ability of towns to protect residents from gas drilling through zoning!
A democratic society supports local decision-making. Pennsylvania’s citizens must be able to have input into the laws and practices that affect them and municipal officials must be able to represent their constituents.
· Pennsylvania’s Municipalities Planning Code gives municipalities the authority to address matters influencing local environmental protection and preservation. With the passage of HB 1950/SB1100, our municipalities will lose that authority.
· The State Constitution obliges municipalities to be stewards of public resources—applicable to the impacts of industrial-scale gas development on water and air quality, land, and communities.
· Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act allows the use of municipal zoning codes to restrict the location of gas wells—similar to how zoning can be used to restrict every other type of economic activity.
· The PUC ordinance promoted through this bad shale bill would require municipalities to allow oil and gas development in certain zoning districts and prohibit most restrictions on traffic, noise, light, and hours of operation. This forces cash-strapped local governments to choose between receiving revenues and adopting protective measures, and punishes those that choose the latter.
Please sign this petition to Pennsylvania elected officals today to ensure corporate rights do not trump local community rights.
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