Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PennFuture, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Decry Plan to Abandon Severance Tax on Marcellus Shale, Sell off State`s Public Lands to Drillers

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Announces Lawsuit against
DEP for Lax Permitting

HARRISBURG, Pa.--(Business Wire)--

Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of Citizens for Pennsylvania`s Future
(PennFuture), and Matthew Royer, attorney for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, today called on the Pennsylvania legislature to abandon plans to sell off the state`s public lands to multi-national drilling companies tapping the Marcellus Shale formation and instead institute a tax on the natural gas removed anywhere in Pennsylvania. Their remarks came one day after the Chesapeake Bay Foundation filed a legal challenge to erosion and sediment control permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for drilling
activities on Tioga State Forest.
"This is just one of several a legal challenges we have filed because DEP is not doing its job to make sure our State Forests and other stream and wetland resources are protected from the environmental impacts of drilling," said Royer. "Instead of protecting the environment, DEP is rubber stamping permit applications without any formal review. DEP`s permit review process consists of simply making sure all the paperwork is in the permit application. Unbelievably,
they are not conducting any environmental review of the plans that drilling companies are required to submit in order to minimize environmental impacts. Pennsylvania`s precious water resources-our rivers, streams, and wetlands-are at risk due to the lack of thorough DEP oversight.
"Abandoning the severance tax on natural gas and immediately opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of state land to gas drillers is a giveaway to multi-national energy corporations directly at the expense of Pennsylvania taxpayers," said Jan Jarrett. ...

"If Pennsylvania does not assess a severance tax we are allowing the industry to foist the costs of drilling onto taxpayers - wear and tear on local roads, the costs of environmental regulation and oversight, damage to natural resources, strains on policing and emergency services.
That`s an insult to Pennsylvania taxpayers," continued Jarrett.

Read the complete article from Reuters HERE.

In a subsequent report from Reuters, Jon Hurdle writes:
The foundation argues that restraints on drilling companies were weakened when the DEP told county conservation districts in March that they no longer had authority to review permit applications for erosion and sediment control. They are urging the agency to restore the local oversight of drilling applications.

The DEP's new policies violate environmental laws including the federal Clean Water Act, the appeal alleges.



  1. A severance tax is a no-brainer if there ever was one. What is the matter with everybody?

  2. With over 100,000 wells already drilled in PA I am surprized at how uninformed people are. There are 110,000 wells drilled in Wyoming, 75,000 in Colorado and many other states have tens of thousands as well. With 8 or 9 examples of drillers causing serious environmental damages, do these few examples really represent what will happen throughout the state, which already has 100,000 wells? Do 8 or 9 examples of stupidity really represent the 2 million wells that have been drilled in the US? Or is it really a case of the opposite? Lots of wells drilled correctly and a few serious errors which receive more representation in the media? I am sorry, but I have to wonder?

  3. ed, the new map in the left sidebar, current as of sept. 2nd, published by the natural resources defense council, shows producing oil and gas wells by state. the only states with over 100,000 wells are oklahoma and texas. pennsylvania has 70,900 wells.
    unfortunately, your figures concerning examples of serious environmental damage associated with hydraulically fractured wells are off as well...

    (research is a good antidote to being uninformed.)



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