MSC Statement on Proposed Shale Gas Moratorium on Pa.-Taxpayer Owned Land

CANONSBURG, Pa. – Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) executive director and president Kathryn Klaber issued this statement today on a proposed bill to ban any additional leasing of Pa.-taxpayer owned forests for natural gas development:

“House Bill 2235 proposes a moratorium on the leasing of additional taxpayer-owned forests for natural gas development. While MSC members are responsibly developing natural gas resources across the Commonwealth, we are not advocating for additional state leasing. However, we strongly reject any moratorium. It’s simply bad policy for the residents of Pennsylvania and our nation’s clean energy future. By safely developing these job-creating resources, the Commonwealth has already realized significant revenues and those impacts will only increase as natural gas royalties are generated.

“In fact, the governor’s budget compromise last year made commonsense commitments to the responsible development of natural gas on taxpayer-owned land. This proposed moratorium, unfortunately, would create a great deal of uncertainty for the companies who have already invested in leases and for the people of Pennsylvania.

“Any talk of a drilling moratorium sets bad precedent, which could eventually lead to a ban on privately-owned land, as is the case in New York. Just north of Pennsylvania, landowner’s are prevented from developing their minerals and from providing our nation with an abundant supply of clean-burning domestic natural gas.

“Pennsylvania has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the Commonwealth’s energy, economic and environmental future through the development of the Marcellus Shale. The MSC welcomes discussion with the General Assembly to engage in productive dialogue to maximize this opportunity so that all Pennsylvanians can benefit from – and not deter – one of the Commonwealth’s lone bright spots.”