Tuesday, December 13, 2011

License To Steal

My first thought when I heard about the natural gas discoveries in PA was, "uh oh, we're fucked."

In what is shaping up as a key victory for the shale-gas industry, Gov. Corbett and the legislature appear close to stripping municipalities of the power to impose tough local restrictions on wells and pipelines. Under a pending measure, wells and pipelines would be permitted in every zoning district - even residential ones - statewide.

And the industry isn't stopping there.

Two pipeline companies are seeking the clout of eminent domain. While the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has yet to rule, it signaled this year that it was leaning toward giving firms condemnation power to gain rights-of-way for their pipelines.