Court ruling on Act 13 is a sign of hope for stronger oil-and-gas regulations

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Letter To The Editor

by Christine Snyder, Penn Township

October 5, 2016

Finally, with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision on Act 13 (“Justices Strike Down Pa. Law on Shale Gas,” Sept. 29), it looks like our state is starting to take people’s right to a healthy environment seriously. But considering that the oil and gas industry has been underregulated since its arrival in our state, we have a lot of work to do to protect our health. 

The current regulations are not enough. Most urgently, there are still no regulations to stop methane leaks and other dangerous air pollutants and particulates from oil and gas operations. The Pennsylvania Constitution promises us the right to clean air. The state government should be protecting the health and safety of its residents — not the profits of the fossil fuel industry. 

Read enough? Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

As a mother in Penn Township, Westmoreland County (a community that is being heavily targeted by fracking companies), I am extremely concerned with the air quality around our homes and schools. We need the state government to enact stronger regulations and limit gas activities to industrial zones to reduce the cumulative effects of methane leaks, airborne particulate matter, diesel truck fumes and toxic gases. 

 Fossil fuels are a finite resource, and so are clean air and water. Our state should be focusing on clean, sustainable energy sources before the fossil fuels are gone, our air and water are polluted and we are left with no options. 

I hope this court decision is a sign that Pennsylvania policymakers will take more action to hold the oil and gas industry accountable and that local lawmakers will follow.

Click here to take action to #CutMethane.

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