Skip to content

Vitali, Environmental Groups Oppose Leasing of State Lands for Gas Development

Conservation and environmental groups were joined by Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, to release a letter signed by 35 groups urging legislators to oppose the proposed leasing of the subsurface rights in state parks and forest lands in the governor’s proposed FY 2014-2015 budget.
Several environmental leaders called the Governor’s proposal a “short-sighted” attempt to balance a one-time budget gap and “is not good policy.” The groups also discussed numerous polls that show 68 percent of Pennsylvanians oppose drilling in state parks and forests and believe these lands should be protected now and in the future.
Vitali argued $1 billion more could be raised per year if Pennsylvania had a severance tax similar to that of West Virginia. He stated the proposal will have a significant impact, taking about 25,000 more acres to get the revenue figures the governor is estimating, causing air and water quality impacts along with those of recreation.