Friday, February 19, 2010
(AP) The U.S. Forest Service wants a federal judge in Erie to reverse his December ruling which temporarily lifted a ban on oil and gas well drilling in the Allegheny National Forest.
U.S. District Judge Sean McLaughlin's ruling says Forest Service officials were wrong to ban drilling in April until an environmental assessment could be done. The Forest Service agreed to the ban to settle litigation brought by environmentalists.
Meanwhile, oil and gas companies who stood to lose millions of dollars under the ban have asked the judge to make his December order permanent.
McLaughlin has scheduled arguments on both requests March 9.
See Splashdown December 18, 2009 post: Erie judge ends drilling ban in Allegheny National Forest: Forest Service can't dictate forest's mineral-rights development!