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PennFuture praises Governor Rendell for action protecting

PennFuture praises Governor Rendell for action protecting

Pennsylvania’s land and waters from damage by Marcellus Shale drilling; Urges Senate to return to work now to Keep the Promise to pass drilling severance tax 

(Harrisburg, PA – 10/26/2010) – Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) today praised Governor Rendell for signing an Executive Order stopping new leases for deep drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale under Pennsylvania’s State Forests and establishing a full moratorium against drilling under lands owned by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), including the navigable waters of the Commonwealth.

“Governor Rendell’s decisive action is based on sound science and is necessary to protect our most precious natural resources, as required by our Constitution,” said Jan Jarrett, PennFuture’s president and CEO. “Anything less would abrogate his oath of office.

“Nearly half of the state forestland overlaying the Marcellus Shale formation is already leased; more leases would fragment the habitat and destroy the very essence of the forests, along with our valuable outdoor tourism industry that attract hunters and anglers from across the nation,” continued Jarrett.

“The protections Governor Rendell gave to the waters of the Commonwealth today may be even more crucial,” continued Jarrett. “New information comes in on a daily basis showing the harm drilling and fracking is causing in our rivers and streams, and we must protect them. Water is a basic necessity of life, and the waters of our state belong to the citizens. Governor Rendell’s resolute action will empower DCNR to strictly enforce the law and protect our rivers and streams.

“We recognize that Governor Rendell’s Executive Order can be overturned by a future governor, but that would fly in the face of science, the Environmental Rights Amendment to our Constitution, and the wishes of the citizens,” continued Jarrett. “Even so, the Senate Republican leadership has blocked all action on protecting our citizens and our land and waters from drilling, including legislation that would create the same protections Governor Rendell ordered today, as well as an absolute refusal to negotiate in good faith for a robust severance tax to protect our local municipalities and the environment. The leadership continues its defiant intransigence, even as five Senate rank and file Republicans have urged action. “The citizens of the Commonwealth have every right to demand that all our elected officials act in the best interests of our environment, our communities, and our citizens – not campaign contributors,” continued Jarrett. “The Senate leadership should take follow Governor Rendell’s lead and call the Senate back into session to pass a robust severance tax on drilling.”

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization that works to protect and promote Pennsylvania’s environment and economy. PennFuture’s activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level, public education, and assisting citizens in public advocacy. PennFuture was dubbed “the state’s leading environmental advocacy organization” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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