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Marcellus Drilling: State Forests Under Attack

by Moshannon Group Wildlife Chair Dr. Stan Kotala

In April 2008 Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) opened 75,000 acres of our State Forests to leasing by the gas companies drilling the Marcellus shale. Some politicians now are proposing to force DCNR to lease an additional 390,000 acres of State Forest land to the gas industry.

Marcellus Gas wells have ten times the impact of any gas wells you have ever seen: Each well requires the clearing of dozens of acres of forest and every well requires more than a million gallons of water to fracture the 5,000 foot deep wells.

The DCNR has objected strongly to this proposal, stating that “Rampant, unplanned leasing of forest lands would severely jeopardize DCNR’s ability to retain its third-party certification (of timber) and to maintain ecologically sound forest management.”

It is important to note that these politicians want to lease additional vast parts of our State Forest in lieu of having the gas drillers pull their own weight via paying a fee on the gas they extract from State Forests. We still suffer from the damage from coal extraction –and taxpayers continue to pay for the cleanup of what was done 100 years ago. Some politicians haven’t learned from the mistakes of the past – now they want to help the gas industry to ravage our public lands without setting money aside for fixing their damage. The Marcellus gas field will be an economic boon for the industry but Pennsylvania taxpayers will be stuck (again) for the cleanup of the damage.

Ask your local Legislators to oppose additional drilling in State Forests

The Moshannon Group of the Sierra Club urges you to contact your local Pennsylvania legislators and ask them to oppose opening additional State Forest lands to Marcellus shale gas drilling. Forest conservation — not energy extraction — should be the overarching purpose of our state forests.

Get your Pennsylvania Legislator’s Contact Information here. You can find your Legislator’s contact information by using your zip code on the top right of this page.

Release from Bud George’s Office: HB 1489 Public Hearing Report

Support HB2235: Download a sample letter to send to your Representative. HB2235 was introduced by Vitali, Harper, McIlvaine, Smith, Houghton, Boyle, Bradford, Briggs, Caltagirone, Cohen, Curry, DeWeese, FrankelL, Freemen, Gerber, Goodman, Hanna, Jesephs, Kessler, Kirkland, Kortz, Lentz, Manderino, McGeehan, Melio, Moul, Mundy, M. O'Brien, Pashinski, Payton, Santarsiero, Siptroth, Staback, Sturla, R. Taylor and Murt. Referred to the Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on FEBRUARY 2, 2010. Take a moment to write before April 15th, show your support, and thank those who introduced this bill.

Contact information for Pennsylvania’s Representatives and Senators can be found at the General Assembly website by zip code (top right of page).

Supporting Documentation:

Marcellus Shale Industry Sites