May 5, 2010
The House Tuesday passed House Bill 2235 (Vitali-D-Delaware) imposing a 3 year moratorium on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling in State Forests and requiring certain studies by a vote of 157 to 33 and goes to the Senate for consideration.
"Drilling has an enormous impact on our state forests," Rep. Vitali said. "Each well drilled requires millions of gallons of water. It also requires the clearing of several acres of land, hundreds of truck trips, the expansion of roads, the construction of retention basins and the laying of pipeline.
"To cash out Pennsylvania's assets to solve a year or two of budget problems is shortsighted."
The bill also had Republican support like Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming)--
"The passage of this legislation is a great example of members on both sides of the aisle working together to come up with a well-reasoned and thoughtful approach toward the Marcellus Shale drilling issue," said Rep. Everett. "We have members in the House who believe that we should have no Marcellus drilling on state forest land and those who believe we should develop every acre - this bill will give us some time to evaluate the impacts of the wells which are drilled and pipelines which are constructed on the state lands we have already leased out so we can make informed decisions on whether, when, how and how much state land to lease out in the future."
"The Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations are providing new jobs for Pennsylvanians and will continue to do so long into the future," said Rep. Everett. "Prior to entering into these negotiations, I was assured by leaders in the gas industry that this "time out" in leasing state land will have no impact on the overall Marcellus development in Pennsylvania."
The Senate is not expected to take up the bill.