Gas well drilling in PA
If not, maybe you should write your legislator in Harrisburg as well.
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I originally sent this letter to my representative in the PA Legislature in May, 2009...
Rep. Pallone never even acknowledged receipt of this letter.
I thought you might be interested.
I believe that true representation means taking into consideration the ideas and the rights of the constituents. And that if there is ever to be any tax or fees imposed on the gas well drilling, a lion's share of that revenue should be used to offset the property taxes of Pennsylvanians.
Also, since my original letter, Marcellus shale drilling has become a big issue. Now is the time to amend the PA law that gives companies the right to come onto our land and take what they want without any way for a private property owner to stop them. We as property owners deserve the right to say, one way or another if it should be allowed, and if so, receive just compensation.
Thanks for your consideration, and congratulations on your election win.
Doug Bauman, New Kensington
Douglas A. Bauman
1045 Edgewood Rd.
Dear Representative John Pallone: New Kensington, PA 15068
This is an increasingly pervasive issue across Pennsylvania as the gas exploration industry, spurred by the price of natural gas, are going to smaller and smaller lots to do their drilling, often in the midst of residential neighborhoods. One recent contentious case from Oakmont was and continues to be fought in court.
I'm not sure if other states have this issue, but the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a law on the books which permits more than one owner for a parcel: the 'above' ground owner, and the mineral rights owner. Is it just me, or is this notion absurd?
Apparently local townships, municipalities and towns have little say in gas well drilling rights since state laws seem to always prevail. Beyond noise ordinance for gas powered compressors and proper erosion and sedimentation controls, the local authorities can do little. Salem Township recently enacted ordinances that give property owners more say in locating wells and access roads, but a recent court ruling declared them invalid. That township may be planning to appeal, but it is doubtful that they will prevail. It is really up to the legislature to pass laws that protect property owners to affect meaningful change that will be upheld by the courts.
I would hope this could be a project that you and other Pennsylvania legislators could tackle and introduce as a bill. Perhaps some measure of protections set up by local townships should be permitted. At the very least, other provisions setting minimum distances from existing structures, and other conditions set forth by the property owner ought to be taken into consideration.
Thanks for your consideration.
Douglas A. Bauman