Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Governor Corbett’s Budget Will Sacrifice State Forests

For Immediate Release

Governor Corbett’s Budget Will Sacrifice State Forests

Contact: Joanne Kilgour, Director, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, 717-232-0101

Harrisburg, PA – Just days after the release of a public opinion poll[1] which uncovered that more than two-thirds of Pennsylvanians oppose more drilling on state lands, Governor Corbett released his plan to do the opposite. The Governor’s 2014-2015 budget includes projected Oil and Gas Lease Fund revenue of $75 million from new leases of state forest land.
“Governor Corbett plans to sacrifice state lands to an under-regulated and under-taxed industry despite the wishes of his constituents,” said Joanne Kilgour, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter Director. “Lifting the moratorium on leasing state forest lands adds insult to injury in this administration’s mismanagement of our natural resources.”
“The Oil and Gas Lease Fund should be used for acquiring mineral rights under our existing state parks and forests to protect them from future development, not to further the exploitation of these lands,” continued Kilgour.
“We must see the study DCNR has been promising that shows the impacts of drilling before any new leasing could even be considered,” add Gary Thornbloom, “Gas drillers already have 700,000 acres of state forest land available to them – how much is enough?”

[1] See http://www.fandm.edu/uploads/media_items/january-2014-franklin-marshall-college-poll-release.original.pdf.

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