Stop Drilling Coalition Asks

PennFuture joins faith, environmental, community development, and citizen action groups in urging Gov-elect Corbett to protect state forests

Extending drilling moratorium will protect jobs, economy as well as environment

Today Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) joined by leaders from 40 other state organizations including the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Audubon, Preservation Pennsylvania, land conservancies, watershed and other environmental groups, and community development and citizen action groups, sent a letter today to Governor-elect Tom Corbett asking him to protect Pennsylvania’s state forests by maintaining the moratorium signed by Governor Ed Rendell on new leases for deep natural gas drilling in the forests.

On election night, Corbett said that one of his first acts in office will be to lift the ban.

The letter points out that banning further leasing of state forest land protects jobs and the economy and sensitive natural resources and urges Governor-elect Corbett to consider the scientific evidence before he rescinds the ban:

…“The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has conducted a detailed and scientific analysis on the impact of natural gas drilling on state forests, and they have concluded that “no additional leasing involving surface disturbance can occur without significantly altering the ecological integrity and wild character of our state forest system”…

… “New drilling leases in state forests threaten Pennsylvania industry and jobs. Pennsylvania’s $1 billion outdoor tourism industry relies heavily on our state parks and forests, which offer more than 2,500 miles of trails and opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding and snowmobiling….

…“Additionally, the timber industry, which employs around 70,000 people, relies on the Pennsylvania State Forests, one of the nation’s largest sustainable systems certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Fragmenting our state forests during the drilling process would threaten that certification, which increases the value of our timber, giving our industry an advantage. Last year, state forests generated nearly $20 million from timber sales….

… “We urge you to review this analysis and other evidence for a clearer understanding of why additional gas drilling in state forests is a bad choice for our environment, our economy, and our communities.”

A copy of the complete letter and listing of signatories is available online:


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