PA-Gov: Corbett Expands Drilling to State Parks and Forests

Gas-Drill-FrackingGovernor Tom Corbett further illustrated his belief in, and support of, the natural gas industry today.

According to Donald Gilliland of the Patriot-News, the Governor issued an executive order this afternoon that would allow natural gas drilling under state parks and forests.

“Limited leasing will allow natural gas to be extracted from deep beneath the surface only when there will be no additional long-term disturbance on state forest and park lands,” according to the Governor’s press release. “The order will only allow gas to be extracted horizontally through wells located on adjacent private lands or previously leased areas of the state forest.”

Later on, the order specifies that drilling may only take place so long as there is no “additional long-term surface disturbance.”

While many lawyers will attempt to interpret that phrase in the months to come, in layman’s terms it appears to mean that underground drilling will be allowed so long as it will not cause permanent damage to the parks.

This executive order is the fulfillment of a pledge the Governor made during his budget address last February.

As you would imagine, environmentalists are furious over Gov. Corbett’s decision, chief among them former Department of Environmental Protection and Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hanger.

“This decision is clearly so toxic to the public that the governor is releasing it late on a Friday afternoon before a three-day holiday,” Hanger said. “Corbett just does not understand that we cannot drill our way to prosperity, and we cannot drill our way to a balanced budget.”

The full executive order can be read here.

Update: The PA Democratic Party responded by posting a video of Gov. Corbett from 2012 saying he did not support drilling in state parks.

May 23rd, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 21 Comments

21 thoughts on “PA-Gov: Corbett Expands Drilling to State Parks and Forests”

  1. PAINDY1-

    This is the third thread (at least) where you’ve cut/paste the same exact rambling, incoherent, meaningless, off-topic post.

    Post on topic, or in response to someone else’s post. If you want to keep repeating the same nonsense, then buy an ad on the site, and stop polluting the threads with your nonsense.

    You seem to be experiencing your own version of necrophilia with Brabender, who is as dead as Corbett, and whom no one talks or cares about. The biggest reason to get rid of Corbett is just to shut you up about Brabender and save ourselves time scrolling past any post beginning with PAINDY1.

    Seriously, dude, when was the last time anyone responded to the content of anything you posted?

  2. PAINDY1 says:

    From the Real Slim Shady: What the Governor’s Race truly is about and it’s not climate Change: The core issue is whether we taxpayers will have an administration that wants to move the Keystone State forward. Pennsylvania cannot afford 4 more years of blatant political necrophilia. We cannot afford 4 years of rule by acting Governor Brabender, an un-elected consultant from the horse country of Virginia. Does anyone in the Keystone state really believe that the Bakers, the Nutts, or Charley Zogby really care about the long-term interests of Pennsylvania or their next highly paid gigs? Tom Corbett is a weak leader and an even weaker administrator. Brabender needs to return to Virginia horse country, the Bakers can start raising funds for the Corbett Library to be housed in Loundon County, Virginia and Charly Zogby will finally get off the public payroll and find a more lucrative paying job pimping for the Cyber Charter School Corporate Welfare Queens. It is time for Tom Corbett to take Jeff Romoff’s UPMC jet with the Bakers, Sue Corbett and grandbaby Liam to retire in South Carolina. I look forward to that day and even I will applaud Jeff Romoff as a humanitarian, when that UPMC jet takes for Hilton Head. http://youtu.be/eJO5HU_7_1w

  3. “hannah”-
    I’m getting the sense that you and Windy (windbag) are the same person. You are both fixated on this 16,000 number (which I can’t find mentioned anywhere else on the Internet).

    You both like throwing out the canard that the existence of corruption (or bad policy) occurring in both parties somehow negates criticism of a particular candidate (Corbett).

    There are two choices for Governor (one of whom as a proven track record of bad decisions in that job). Stop pretending that you care about drilling outside of PA, when you aren’t complaining one bit about Corbett’s expansion of drilling in PA.

    Your arguments are so weak, it’s no wonder you post anonymously.

  4. hannah arendt says:

    “Inability to think is not the prerogative of those who lack brainpower but the ever present reality for everybody – scientists, scholars, and other specialists in mental exercises not excluded.” PaWindy1 should recognize this truth. It is beyond some to grasp how a party – after collecting contributions from lobbyists, lawyers, businesses and consultants – that has granted 16,000 permits across the nation to rape and despoil the earth belonging to the public can be seen to be materially different than an alternative party – collecting campaign contributions from the same lobbyists, lawyers, businesses and consultants – which intends to grant dozens of permits on public lands in one state.

  5. paWindy-
    Your argument about both parties being corrupt is irrelevant, and apparently a distraction from your support for Corbett, who you refuse to criticize even once, despite his record setting cronyism.

    So, you are wrong to claim as a fact that “Mr Wolf is just as dedicated to the crony status quo as Mr Corbett.” Corbett is expanding drilling, and Wolf will need to reassure voters that he will reverse this policy.
    Corbett has repeatedly demonstrated his cronyism with his attempts to privatize the lottery and everything else his corporate pals can get their hands on. So, stop making false equivalences.

    And, again, the 16,000 number you mention for Obama is over 6 years and the entire country, so it’s completely off point since it’s out-of-scale with PA. If you want to make a point about PA, then stick to numbers in PA or make some comparisons to similar states (where they DO tax extraction, which Corbett refuses to support, and Wolf does support).

    Also, do you have one shred of support for your claim that Wolf supports no-bid contracts? Wolf’s not tied into the same donor machine that controls many of the PA politicians, so he’s less beholden to it. He didn’t rise through the ranks of quid-pro-quo.

    But, again, you clearly seem to support Corbett because you refuse to single him out for any specific criticism (though I’ve acknowledged flaws in the Dems, I disagree with your comparative assessments and their relevance).

    So, stop being a shill for team Corbett and admit you like his policies, but are just trying to deflect Corbett’s unwavering support for drillers/polluters and giving them a tax-free ride.

  6. paWindy1 says:

    Both political parties are corrupt. Mr Diano seems incapable of absorbing the fact that Mr Wolf is just as dedicated to the crony status quo as Mr Corbett. Reversing a policy that affects a handful of additional permits beyond those already granted by Ed Rendell’s policies is a distinction without a difference. Mr Wolf is still going to “drill, baby, drill” in order to raise sufficient funds to meet his increased spending plans for the education special interest groups because he is certainly not going to eliminate the crony no bid contracts affecting services and procurement and debt issuance that all the lobbyists and consultants and donors live on.
    As to quantifying the impact of more trucks, more pipes, more pollution: ask President Obama who issued 16,000 permits to drill on federal land, forest, parks and wilderness. His record will give you a huge sample to draw inferences.

  7. Sue-
    Thanks.

    The extra 5 million gallons is only part of the problem. These existing off-site locations will now have more negative local impact since they will be moving more product/equipment through the land they’ve already exploited to accommodate the new drilling. More pipe. More trucks. More pollution.

    Also, what is the effect on the animals and habitat above this new wells under the state parks/forests? Will there be ground tremors and mini-earthquakes disrupting wildlife? What natural aquifers and water tables are in the paths that could be impacted?

    Who actually believes this expansion is a good idea (besides the people lining their pockets)?

  8. Sue says:

    Thanks David for your absolutely correct comments.
    those multi millions of gallons of contaminated ex-drinking water will be OUR problem, while the multi-million bucks profits will flow out of state.

  9. paWindy-
    1) Wolf reversing Corbett’s expansion would be a significant action.

    2) Wolf’s already on record for taxing fracking, while Corbett wants to give gas/oil a free pass. So, Wolf’s not on their “friends and family” plan. In his quest for Governor, Wolf isn’t using donations to other Dem candidates from gas/oil as a policy criteria.

    3) Wolf wants the fracking tax revenue to close the education funding gap with the schools. Now, admittedly, he’s using the current sacrifice of the health/well-being of people/environment to fund education. However, the alternative (with Corbett) is to have that same pollution AND screwing education. So, the policy choice here is between bad and worst.

    4) It’s not clear tome if Wolf can stop the existing fracking contracts, unless his new DEP can work aggressively with the EPA to find violations.

    5) Is Hillary the boogy-man for you guys?

    6) Where is your criticism (if any) for Corbett? Corbett issued an executive order FRIDAY and all you keep doing is bringing up stuff about Obama, Hillary and Rendell that occurred months or years earlier.
    Comment on Corbett’s FRIDAY action. (or is that too difficult for you, since your primary goal appears to be distraction and obfuscation?)

  10. paWindy1 says:

    Mr Diano poses a good question: what insignificant step could Mr Wolf take to differentiate himself from Mr Corbett without really affecting the flow of oil and gas donations to Democratic candidates? That is a real poser. By the way, Secretary of State Clinton has been out of office five months and has already personally cashed 5 million dollars in speaking fees from corporate and industry groups ranging from Goldman Sachs to Waste Management Association to big oil companies and their associated white shoe law firms. Wonder why she decided to farm the keystroke pipeline assessment out to an energy industry front group? I suppose when you live in the swamp of Harrisburg you can’t smell hypocrisy because the olfactory assault from bipartisan corruption is overwhelming.

  11. paWindy-
    Why are you comparing Obama (who’s been in office 6 years) and nationwide counts, in a local argument about Corbett (3.5 years) and PA?

    I’ve already pointed out that plenty of Dems oppose and criticize Obama on Keystone pipeline and now you want to bring Hillary into it for “financing” a report? The report was released under Kerry’s watch, and it was questioned by the EPA. The EPA evaluation was that “crude produced from Canada’s oil sands, which the pipeline would carry, are 17 percent more greenhouse gas intensive than average oil used in the United States. The EPA also said oil sands imports would be 2-10 percent more greenhouse-gas intensive than imported oil from Mexico or Venezuela that would probably replace it.”

    Larry-
    1) Rendell isn’t running for Gov.
    2) Rendell has his head up his @ss on fracking.
    3) Last summer the PA State Dems voted 115-81 in favor of an open-ended ban. Rendell criticized the decision (and gee, he works for Ballard Spahr which is a top-four energy law firm).
    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/06/rendell_pa_democrats_call_for.html
    4) By rescinding Rendell’s executive order, Corbett has expanded fracking beyond Rendell’s insufficient limits.

    So, let’s stay on topic here guys:
    1) Do you agree or disagree with Corbett’s action to expand drilling?
    2) Do you think Wolf should issue a statement that he will reverse Corbett’s action? (ie what should Wolf do in response)

    It’s Corbett vs Wolf on drilling policy, so let’s stop with the artificial distractions about Obama, Hillary and Rendell.

    The type of drilling that Corbett is authorizing is horizontal drilling, instead of vertical, since they have to cut into the park/forest land from off site. According to the PA DEP, vertical wells use a million gallons of water, while the horizontal types require 5 million gallons. That water needs to come from somewhere, and once it’s contaminated, has to be dealt with.

  12. ansel adams says:

    Good point about Ed Rendell opening up massive acreage to drilling on state lands. Wasn’t that about the time he got a flood of campaign money from the industry? He has a couple of big drillers as clients now, too, it has been noted. Ka-ching!

  13. paWindy1 says:

    Again, until Tom Corbett issues 16,000 permits to drill on state land, President Obama will have been the champion sell out to the oil and gas lobby. It was the State Department under Hillary Clinton who financed the report giving the green light to the northern half of the keystone pipeline. So, once again, two parties, one master. These two parties are corrupt top to bottom and rely on useful idiots to pretend there is a distinction without a difference.

  14. Larry says:

    David, the Governor ago BY FAR has expanded drilling on state lands the most is Rendell. How do you gloss over that so easily?

  15. paWindy1-

    I case you haven’t noticed, Dems are fighting Obama on Keystone pipeline.

    The PA State Democratic committee voted in favor of a moratorium on fracking.

    So, there is no hypocrisy on calling out Corbett on his expansion, nor is there hypocrisy on asking Wolf to stand up NOW and fight Corbett on this latest stunt to sell out PA to the oil/gas industry.

    Corbett has drilled himself into the rear orifices of the oil/gas executives and won’t listen to reason. Wolf, on the other hand, is not entrenched, and is facing pressure from the base of his party to do more against fracking.

    If Wolf and his campaign staff are paying attention, they will respond STRONGLY to Corbett’s betrayal of the environment and strike QUICKLY to put the oil/gas companies on notice that they are wasting their time to start new drilling.

  16. paWindy1 says:

    President Obama has issued more than 16,000 permits to drill for gas and oil on federal land, in federal forests, and in offshore territories since he took office. President Obama approved the southern leg of the keystone pipeline. President Obama let the Gulf oil spill go unpunished. President Obama allowed his bff a pass on antitrust so that oligarch Warren Buffett could acquire the railroad transporting tar oil sands from Canada to U.S. refineries for export. The attack on Corbett reeks of hypocrisy. What’s that fecal odor? The stench of two parties and one master.

  17. Corbett pulled this little coup by rescinding an executive order by Rendell and issuing his own.

    When Wolf becomes Governor, he can rescind Corbett’s order and reinstate Rendell’s moratorium or make an even strong one.

    If Wolf were to announce such a position NOW, it would put the oil/gas companies on notice that they’d have to shut down operations in 6-7 months. They know Corbett’s going to lose and they might not want to even bother starting an operation they will have to shut down a few months later.

    I do NOT know how long it takes to start up the kind of drilling Corbett is allowing, and do exploration to find good deposits. (If anyone knows, please chime in.)

    I’m hoping that it is not economically feasible to have a 6-7 month operation that is certain to be shut down. If so, there would be no reason to start.

    So… as we begin the start of the summer holiday season, I call upon Tom Wolf to put the oil/gas drillers on notice and announce that he will shut down any operations they have started in state parks and forests as a result of Corbett’s actions on Friday.

  18. JB says:

    If the election were held today he most certainly would lose. Its not and he has a money advantage right now and probably right through to the end.

    I’m not saying he will close the gap but dem’s would do well to take him seriously. Allegheny County just did this same thing with county parks I do believe and I saw the western pa laborer’s who are big supporters of the new pgh mayor and his allies just endorsed Corbett.

    Take them seriously thats all I’m saying.

  19. David Diano says:

    Corbett knows he’s going to lose and is just getting in his last screw-jobs to the State and collecting post-election-loss job/kickback opportunities for himself with gas industry.

  20. ABCDEF says:

    I guess the “liberal” doppelganger Corbett has gone back into hiding and the real one is back.

  21. Chris says:

    Looks like he’s really doubling down on this stuff.

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