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PA Supreme Court Brings New Life Into PA Environmental Rights Amendment

June 20, 2017

 

"Much has been written and talked about the impact of the Supreme Court Decision in PEDF v. Governor Wolf, decided a week ago on June 20, 2017, on the development of the meaning of our Environmental Amendment, Article I § 27. The reason why the PEDF brought the action in the first place was to stop the destruction of our State Forests and Parks from the extraction of natural gas and oil. In early 2012, when PEDF first brought the action in Commonwealth Court, 660,000 acres of State Forest were open to leasing for oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale region, Northcentral Pennsylvania. Additionally, these lands were surrounded by private land and State Game lands also subject to gas development.

 

The determination that the Commonwealth no longer has any proprietary rights to our public natural resources specifically limits their decisions regarding the natural resources, and provides the people with much greater roles than conceived before the decision. The immediate impact is to preclude the Government from using a balancing test to allow some degradation if other Government interests are advanced. Overall, the Supreme Court has issued an opinion that is and will continue to provide strong protection for our public natural resources." from John E. Childe Attorney for PEDF

 

Read PEDF Attorney John E. Childe's full comments regarding the win:

http://www.pedf.org/uploads/1/9/0/7/19078501/meaning_of_pedf_v._wolf.pdf

 

Clean Air Council article on the decision:

http://cleanair.org/paenvironmentalrightswin/

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on the decision:

http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/policy-powersource/2017/06/20/Pa-Supreme-Court-rules-state-forest-gas-royalty-transfers-unconstitutional-budget-General-Assembly-oil/stories/201706200117

 

Marcellus Drilling News (pro-gas industry) article on decision:

http://marcellusdrilling.com/2017/07/lawyer-says-pa-budget-unconstitutional-based-on-enviro-rights-law/

 

 

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