Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pennsylvania Politicians Steal Property Rights to Support Gas Drilling

My daughter and husband playing by the brook on our land

Governor Rendell and many Pennsylvania politicians often resist issuing regulations to protect us from pollution, runoff and other environmental degradations -- even if water would be contaminated, communities flooded or economies harmed -- because to do so might strip a property owner of their rights to use the land for economic gain.

Now, by contrast, Governor Rendell is planning to strip me of my property rights to protect my 68 acres in Columbia County from misuse and harm.  These are the acres my Mother cherished and which, on her death bed, she called on me to protect from harm.

My Mum enjoying her land still during that last year
when she was battling her pancreatic cancer

Governor Rendell and others are seeking legislation called "forced pooling" that would strip me of my right to say no to natural gas drilling under my land.  

Drilling for natural gas on any portion of my property (whether the drill pad is located on the grounds or the drilling and injection of fracking chemicals are allowed to take place under the ground) puts at risk the waters that feed the tiny brook that flows through that land (a brook named after my daughter), threatens the many springs of fresh water that come to the surface all over, and puts at risk the well water I and my kids drink in the house.  

Gas Drilling happening nearby our property

With this legislation, I would be stripped of my legal right to say no to drilling, the injection of chemicals and the extraction of gas from the rock, soils and minerals that are part of my land (and therefore part of my legally owned property), if neighbors of mine decide to open up their lands to drilling.  

So Governor Rendell and other PA politicians are happy to defend the rights of property owners in order to prevent environmental and community protection laws from being passed; and yet now they are eager to strip me of my property rights to say no to the misuse of my land in a way that will harm the environment, my family and my community.  

There is one word to describe this kind of politicking -- "hypocrisy".


  1. I sent a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission. Good Luck!!!!

  2. This is horrible. I hope that this property doesn't get exploited for the profits of a select few including industry and politicians. "This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, FOR the people, shall not perish from the earth." Our government is no longer focusing on the people. They change laws in order to make it easier for oil and gas companies to contaminate and destroy land, water, air and everything else in their path. ("Halliburton Loophole"2005) We need to pass the "Frac Act" at a bare minimum. I just don't understand how its not accepted by everyone that hydraulic fracturing is treturous and destroys everything in its path. Oh.... thats right...... its about the $.

  3. This is a living nightmare, and, it is also happening to me, and others, living in the borough of Starrucca, PA. This is wrong.

  4. Yes, as Thomas said above, it is all about the $$. The money for the corporations with headquarters nowhere near the environments they are polluting, but also, on the other hand, the money for the farmers who have struggled to eek out a living from their beautiful lands and now have the necessary cash to continue, a situation in which it's difficult to blame them, and the money for the land owners who wish to cash represented by "co-op landowners' association" (Northern Wayne!!) where they negotiate their leases and royalties from strength in numbers! Polititians (certainly not Statesmen) no longer have the balls to stand up for what is right for the majority and pass the laws necessary to: 1. make certain that before drilling occurs ALL safety measures are followed AND monitored by non-industry representatives, and 2. strictly and forcefully hold totally accountable those who break laws, pollute, and/or contribute to environmental devastation. Fines against such corporations must not be slaps on the wrist, but must go after what corporations are always trying to protect: their "pocketbooks" and bottom lines!