Skip to main content

Corbett administration has given unprecedented power to natural gas industry

03/05/2014 03:42PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Opinion

Letter to the Editor:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected Gov. Tom Corbett’s request to reverse the Act 13 decision, which struck down key provisions in the natural gas drilling laws as unconstitutional. 

Locally, Newlin Township, the little township that could, stood up, fought back and won in 2012 when these provisions of Act 13 were first struck down. Now all of Pennsylvania has won because of the decision not to reverse the previous decision.  

Under Tom Corbett and the Republican majority leadership, Act 13 would have undermined local democracy and taken away local government’s zoning authority.  Communities would have been mandated to allow drilling in all sections of a town, including near schools, playgrounds and hospitals. 

Unfortunately, we’re not done yet with Act 13.  Although this ruling means this decision is final, the matter will return to the Commonwealth Court as they try to hash out what will happen with other controversial provisions, including the physician’s gag rule regarding fracking chemicals.  

Under Act 13’s provisions, doctors would be prohibited from disclosing information they may have regarding chemical exposure to their patients or other doctors. Additionally, Act 13 gives gas companies eminent domain authority, something that should be used sparingly, by government with oversight by the people, and never for profit. Finally Act 13 gives different rules when it comes to providing notice to gas well neighbors who have public water vs. private water.  

How many billable hours of outside attorneys and state-employed attorneys have been spent on this unconstitutional law? What has the cost in taxpayer dollars been? Not only has Tom Corbett’s administration basically given away our natural gas by not imposing a sensible severance fee, but they have also attempted to give unprecedented power to an industry while limiting accountability and transparency to the people.  

The Pennsylvania Legislature majority leadership wrote and passed this bill knowing it stripped away Pennsylvanians constitutional rights. Above all else, legislators should put the people’s rights above corporate greed. The people deserve better!

Susan Rzucidlo

Candidate for the 158th District

of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline

governor tom corbett pennsylvania supreme court newlin township

You might also like

Using a credit card: A 'how not to' guide from the debate over public pensions

"Instead of adopting the flawed Corbett-Tobash plan, Pennsylvania lawmakers need to address, not exacerbate, the root cause of Pennsylvania’s pension debt – low employer funding."

Regional groups react to marriage equality in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is the 19th state where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry.

  • Chess - In Concert

    08:00pm — 10:00pm

    CHESS by Benny Anderson & Bjorn Ulvaeus (Music) / Tim Rice (Lyrics) A romantic triangle betwee...

  • Medicinal Plants of Delaware

    01:00pm — 03:00pm

    Join Community Read - a program designed to inspire reading and conversation. This year the conne...

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Coppelia


    First State Ballet Theatre's production of "Coppélia," the comic ballet masterpiece, at the Grand...


    08:00am — 12:00pm


Chester County High School Sports