HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PennFuture today applauded the expected reinstatement of a moratorium on new gas drilling leases attached to Pennsylvania's state parks and forests. The executive order, which Gov. Tom Wolf is to sign this morning in Benjamin Rush State Park in Philadelphia, would supersede an executive order signed by former Gov. Tom Corbett last year that overturned a previous ban on drilling of public lands.
"We are pleased to see Gov. Wolf move quickly to protects our state parks and forests from natural gas drilling," said John Norbeck, acting president and CEO of PennFuture. "These lands are held in the public trust as provided by Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania constitution, and are places where our families gather and play. The governor has wisely chosen to protect the people of Pennsylvania over the profits of drillers.
"The citizens of the Commonwealth have long valued the special places that our award-winning state parks, and state forests, represent. Gov. Wolf's action today will help preserve those places as it promotes public health.
"We continue to advocate for strong regulation of the natural gas industry and to have those rules strictly enforced. Addressing air and water impacts are at the top of the list and regulating methane emissions from natural gas drilling should be the starting point.
"It is fitting that the governor will sign this executive order in Benjamin Rush State Park in Philadelphia. Dr. Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a native son who advocated for improved public health and a healthy environment long before it was fashionable. His message still resonates today and we are wise to heed the call."
PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization founded in 1998 with offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. The organization'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.