New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

April 1, 2014

Drilling proposal hits private property rights

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Determining the fate of the requested well spacing, submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by Hilcorp Energy in Pulaski Township, and its request to violate the property rights of persons who decide not to sign away their oil and gas rights, should be met with a short, but powerful word: No.

The term “private eminent domain” used in the filing, could give Hilcorp the permission to trespass under the homesteads of citizens who choose, for many reasons, not to participate in the current frenzy of drilling and extraction of natural resources.

Article 1, Section 10 of the Pennsylvania constitution strictly limits claims of eminent domain to public works that have public benefit.

State-level elected officials’ failure to take a stand in favor of the property rights of the citizens who pay their salaries and expenses is yet another example of their inability to distinguish the will of the people whom they have sworn to serve and their desire to enrich the state coffers and pad their pockets.

All the while, they ignore the direction of the constitution they swore to uphold.

Gregory E. Michalek

Delaware Avenue

New Castle

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