2 views on Act 13 ruling I
Pennsylvania residents finally have a reason to cheer. The state Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional portions of the reprehensible Act 13, written mainly for and by the gas industry. It allowed drilling almost anywhere — residential areas and near schools, churches, hospitals, etc.
The court acknowledged how the state has a history of environmental degradation by corporate interests, including lumber industry deforestation, mining's water pollution and now the Marcellus shale industry's drilling methods. And the court breathed new life into the state Constitution's Environmental Rights Amendment: the people's right to clean air and pure water.
Gov. Tom Corbett has asked the court to reconsider its groundbreaking decision. He is like a spoiled child who cannot accept that he and his gas buddies were wrong all along.
Since Act 13's enactment, we're seen thousands of Department of Environmental Protection gas violations. We've seen radioactive discharges in our rivers, increased forest fragmentation, water wells ruined, out-of-state workers straining our social and legal fabric and an alarming number of residents sickened by fracking chemicals and air pollutants. Is it any wonder the court warns of the ill effects of drilling?
Those who believe we have nothing to fear from Marcellus marauders need to remove their blinders, do the research and reach the same conclusions many of us have. It is time to rein in the gas industry, slow down the process and initiate a statewide moratorium on Marcellus drilling.
We owe it to ourselves and future generations.