Governor Wolf puts moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development in State Parks and Forests

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Protecting forest while expanding gas drilling in PA

Philadelphia, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed an executive order reinstating a moratorium on new leases for oil and gas development in state parks and forests. At an event in Benjamin Rush State Park, Governor Wolf signed the executive order with members of the General Assembly in attendance.

“Natural gas development is vital to Pennsylvania’s economy, but so is the economic and environmental viability of our parks and forests,” said Governor Wolf. “This is about striking the right balance. Our state parks and forests are unique assets that should be preserved, protected, and utilized by our residents for recreational purposes.”

“Our parks host 38 million visitors annually, support over 13,000 jobs, and provide $1.2 billion to the state’s economy,” Governor Wolf continued. “We should be looking for opportunities to grow our recreational and tourism economy through a revitalized parks and forest system that ensures we are preserving our natural resources and protecting our people and the environment.”

Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has concluded that additional leasing jeopardizes the agency’s ability to sustain the commonwealth’s gold-standard forest certification, which is vital the economic and environmental well-being of the state’s parks and forests. The executive order states that effective immediately, DCNR is directed to protect the lands of the Commonwealth that are held in trust for its citizens and for future generations, and subject to future advice and recommendations made by DCNR, no State Park and State Forest lands owned and/or managed by DCNR shall be leased for oil and gas development.

Executive Order: 2015-03 – Leasing of State Forest and State Park Land for Oil and Gas Development

1 Comment

  • NC Man

    Let’s not be sophomoric about oil & gas development. The bottom line is; energy needs for humans is imperative. Though, certainly the environment is just as important, too. The oil and gas industry try’s hard to implement rules/regulations to protect the environment; that is a fact. Unfortunately accidents happen, for example; BP. But relative to the amount of offshores wells, and drilling going on, the BP accident is statically irrelevant. The same is true on shore.
    I will say I am biased; I am an oil and gas man. I believe that alternative energy sources should be developed, and implemented. With that said, it will take a multiplicity of alternatives to make-up for the simplicity and relative low cost of developing, and producing hydrocarbons. The public should understand hundreds of products are derived from petroleum.

    It will take some time to retool the infrastructure, not to mention the cost, to implement alternative energy sources, and substitute petroleum products. Again, it will take a multiplicity of alternatives to make-up for the simplicity of the hydrocarbon. The cost of retooling will result in higher cost to the consumer for many products we use every day.

    Yes, Wind, Solar, etc. are relevant. Why does it have to be green energy or hydrocarbons? Why can’t we create jobs with all energy industries? Why should we close the door on additional jobs that could be created by multiple energy developers?

    Let’s maximize all energy resources, why does it have to be either, or. Everybody wins if will let all energy development co-exist, thus we have exponential job growth and money being pumped into the economy. At this point, our country, are not in a position let any oil and gas development opportunities be stifled.
    We need to become energy independent, or would you rather continue relying on OPEC dictating price and cost. Saudi Arabia has hurt our job growth because of their current gamesmanship with supply. Now there are job layoffs. It may be great that pump prices are down, but do you think it will last? Also let’s not forget the obvious; oil and gas is a finite resource! If we gain independence, and leadership, in the world of oil and gas we can control the game, and pump prices will remain reasonable.

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