Corbett administration agrees to hold off on leasing PA state land for fracking

Matt Richmond
July 22, 2014

The Corbett Administration has agreed to hold off on leasing any more Pennsylvania state land for natural gas drilling, or fracking, until a case challenging the practice is settled.

When Governor Corbett decided to lease more state forest and park land to natural gas drillers, an environmental group sued to stop him.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation also asked the court to stop the Administration from using proceeds from current forest drilling to pay the bills at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. John Childe is an attorney representing the environmentalists.

“That land that is being leased is not Commonwealth property. It is the property of the people based on the Constitution.”

But Childe says he didn’t want to leave the state parks and forests penniless.

So in exchange for no new leases, Childe decided to drop his suit to halt the use of gas lease money to pay the department's bills. This is just a temporary agreement until the larger case against drilling on state land is settled. Oral arguments on both sides will take place in October.