Senate Republican leaders today strongly objected to Governor Tom Wolf’s decision to support a resolution that would impose a permanent ban on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin, calling it arbitrary, short-sighted and a blow to economic development, job-creation and landowner’s rights.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Chair Gene Yaw (R-23) said Pennsylvania has a decade-long track-record of proven safety in the regulation of gas drilling and noted that the Governor has, until now, consistently supported natural gas development in a safe and responsible manner.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25): “For nearly a decade, natural gas development in Pennsylvania has taken place in a safe and environmentally responsible way, while contributing to our economy, creating good-paying jobs and reducing our dependence on foreign fuel. This decision is arbitrary, overreaching and will hurt landowners in northeast Pennsylvania who have already lost hundreds of millions of dollars in lease and royalty payments. Why should their mineral rights be invalidated but their neighbors outside the basin are not? This decision is based on faulty data and will hurt our economy and our workers.”
Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34): “The Governor has long claimed that he supports natural gas development in a safe and responsible manner. In the last year, the state has significantly enhanced its regulations governing unconventional wells. The strong regulations were designed to better protect our natural resources while encouraging shale development, which translates into a stronger economy, increased employment opportunities and lower energy prices. Joining this moratorium instead shows his willingness to pander to special interests.”
Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Chair Gene Yaw (R-23): “It’s disappointing that DRBC, with the support of the Governor, is using New York’s failed policies to institute a ban on Marcellus Shale development in the Delaware River Basin. We have robust rules and regulations in place to protect our environmental resources which have allowed for the safe development of natural gas in Pennsylvania. This action serves to undermine economic development and job growth in the region and statewide.”