The LuLac Edition #2140, July 28th, 2012
CARTWRIGHT PRAISES RULINGIn a statement the other day, Matt Cartwright praised the Commonwealth Court for their decision to overturn Act 13. The Act, which was signed by Governor Corbett in to law on February 14th, allowed the Commonwealth to override local zoning ordinances to require that gas drilling and transportation sites be allowed within communities. Cartwright stated, “I am delighted to read that the Commonwealth Court has acted to overturn this law. Many communities in the 17thCongressional District were already seeing its impacts and many local leaders who I have spoken with could not believe the changes. This action restores the autonomy of local municipalities in protecting the air and water of our local neighborhoods. Once again, citizens can expect look to local elected officials to stand up to forces that may pose environmental threats to local communities.” Cartwright acknowledged that, while this ruling was a major victory local municipalities and the environment, challenges still remain: “This is not the last time that this topic will be addressed. This case will almost certainly be appealed to the state Supreme Court, and if they affirm the lower court’s decision; there will almost certainly be more efforts to make Pennsylvania less environmentally friendly and more hospitable to oil and gas corporations. Hopefully, our law makers in Harrisburg will take this as a cue to enact responsible environmental regulations, charge a fair severance tax on drillers, and allow local communities to protect themselves from future environmental harm.”
Matt Cartwright is the Democratic nominee, running for Congress in the 17th Congressional District, which now includes parts of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe and Northampton Counties, as well as all of Schuylkill County. Cartwright is running for Congress to bring jobs to Northeast Pennsylvania, and make sure that corporations and wealthy Americans pay their fair share of taxes.
In the meantime, AP is reporting that two state agencies on Friday appealed a court ruling that threw out new limitations on the ability of municipalities to use zoning rules to control natural gas drilling activity. The Public Utility Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection, both controlled by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett's appointees, filed the appeal one day after Commonwealth Court had issued its 4-3 decision that the law's changes unfairly affected people who live near drilling activity. The appeal asked the state Supreme Court to review whether the plaintiffs were entitled to sue, whether the ruling was based on sound law and whether the lower court should have stopped the law's provisions from being enforced.