A legal defense group is suing Gov. Tom Corbett to stop leasing of gas rights in our State Forests. The suit was filed in Commonwealth Court in April 2012 by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation (PEDF), with the purpose of:
- Stopping further leasing of State Forest and State Park land for natural gas and oil extraction.
- Requiring a thorough impact analysis of the current and future development of gas extraction on the ecology of our State Forests.
- Require the return of $400,000,000 to DCNR taken from leasing State Forest land.
- Establishing a de facto trust fund from the leasing and royalties from gas extraction on State Forest land for protecting and preserving our natural resources.
- Putting DCNR back in charge of the Oil and Gas Lease Fund, and in charge of protecting and restoring our natural resources.
Since the Court dismissed an objection by the Governor against the suit earlier this year, stating in part that certain provisions of Act 13 of 2012 are unconstitutional, an objection by the Republican Caucuses was similarly dismissed on Aug. 20. The PEDF continues to gather evidence and gain standing. After filing a filing a second amended petition to the court on Dec. 5 the matter is expected to go to trail in 2014. For more information, contact Chief Counsel John Chiles at email@example.com.