New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

March 25, 2014

Oil and gas law changes needed for the times

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Although we must maintain Pennsylvania as being an attractive place for energy and job creating companies to continue to invest, we must do so in a way to ensure these companies cannot use these tactics to scale back landowners’ rights or worse yet, possibly use government mandates that could open the door for the industry to strongarm executive or legislative branches to issue industry friendly judgments and/or decisions.

Aside from Act 13, Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Law has not been updated since 1961. It did not take into consideration today’s modern horizontal drilling techniques and other technologies. I believe the time is right for a comprehensive overhaul and modernization of our outdated Oil and Gas Law of 1961, which (inexcusably) has been missing in action from current and prior years’ legislative agendas.

As a year-old article in The Pittsburgh Business Times points out ... “Modernization of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Conservation Law is long overdue. An update will ensure, not diminish Pennsylvania property rights; strengthen, not lessen environmental protections; and maximize the recovery of our common resources.”

I believe we should embrace our oil, gas and coal industries that employ hundreds of our local hardworking men and women with family-sustaining jobs. There is little doubt this industry is our state’s current economic engine.

I also believe a robust economy and ensuring the private property rights of our citizens is a core responsibility of our state government. All parties must work together to find a fair and amicable agreement with as little government mandate as possible, while ensuring the right of the property owner to have the ultimate decision to just say no.

Gary Cangey

Jennie Lane

New Castle

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