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Published: December 27, 2013 print this article Print save this article Save email this article Email ENLARGE TEXT increase font decrease font

Act 13 Goliath felled

Many thanks to Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille for daring to speak the truth about hydraulic fracturing and shale-gas drilling in a climate where it is socially and politically unpopular to do so.
In the state Supreme Court’s 4-2 vote declaring the unconstitutionality of the zoning provisions of Act 13, which would have allowed drilling and fracking anywhere in the state, Castille wrote: “By any responsible account, the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale Formation will produce a detrimental effect on the environment, on the people, their children, and the future generations, and potentially on the public purse, perhaps rivaling the environmental effects of coal extraction.”
And several lumps of coal to Gov. Tom “Corporate” Corbett and his statehouse cronies, including Rep. Brian Ellis, who have received exorbitant campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry in exchange for attempts at such ludicrous legislation as the zoning and medical gag-order provisions of Act 13.
Likewise lumps of coal to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the organization that helps state lawmakers nationwide to enact laws written by and for industry and corporate interests, not for the health and safety of the people — and certainly not for the environment.
It’s heartening to see there is at least one branch of the state government that has not been bought off by the oil and gas industry.

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Joseph P. McMurry
Butler Township
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