DCNR holds closed-door meeting about gas drilling plans on "Clarence Moore" lands

 DCNR holds closed-door meeting about gas drilling plans on "Clarence Moore"

PR Newswire

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 4, 2013

100,000-voices-strong letter represents "Coalition of the Excluded" eager to
be heard

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) conducted a
closed-door meeting today with a group of hand-picked "local stakeholders" to
discuss a proposal by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to drill in the Loyalsock
State Forest's "Clarence Moore" lands. Despite repeated requests by
PennFuture, the DCNR has denied the public any opportunity to comment on
development alternatives, and specifically excluded PennFuture and several
other interested parties from today's meeting.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130211/DC57616LOGO)

At issue are the Clarence Moore lands, a 25,000 acre area of great ecological
and recreational value where, due to an unusual provision in its deed, the
DCNR has exclusive control of most of the surface area, even though Anadarko
Petroleum and others own the oil and gas rights. Because of its extraordinary
powers, the DCNR has the opportunity to prevent development on most of the
Clarence Moore lands, and to fulfill its legal duty to protect, conserve, and
enhance State Forest lands for the benefit of Pennsylvanians and future

"After months of trying to engage the DCNR on this issue, we are finally
receiving communications from Secretary Allan," said Mark Szybist, staff
attorney for PennFuture. "According to Secretary Allan,the Clarence Moore
situation is 'unique and very complicated.' This may be true, but the law is
clear: the Commonwealth may not grant Anadarko surface rights unless the DCNR
determines that doing so is in the public interest. And the DCNR cannot
determine what the public interest is without seeking input from the public at
large through public hearings and a public comment period. The DCNR may not
pick and choose its public."

State Representatives Ron Miller (R-York County) and Greg Vitali (D-Delaware
County), chairmen of the House Environmental Services and Energy Committee,
attended the April 4 meeting.

Link to letter to Secy. Allan from environmental groups representing 100,000

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization founded in
1998 with staff in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Wilkes-Barre.
PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and
in local, state, and federal courts; advocating and advancing legislative
action on a state and federal level; public education; and assisting citizens
in public advocacy.

The Philadelphia Inquirer called PennFuture the "state's leading environmental
advocacy organization;" the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named the organization
"one of the 10 most influential groups on the issue of natural gas drilling;"
and StateImpact Pennsylvania, an online collaboration of NPR stations across
the state, called PennFuture "the commonwealth's main environmental advocate."

Contact: Elaine Labalme labalme@pennfuture.org

SOURCE Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture)
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