Ross Pifer, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State, discussed the legal implications of municipal bans on hydraulic fracturing on 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR News Station. The discussion centered around news that Youngstown, Ohio was considering a ban on hydraulic fracturing similar to Pittsburgh's current ban. Professor Pifer discussed the interplay of the different levels of government - federal, state, and local, and how Pennsylvania's Act 13 provides municipalities the ability to regulate aspects of natural gas production, if the municipality clears certain hurdles. Professor Pifer further stated that one of the Act 13 hurdles that required municipalities to allow for the reasonable development of natural gas is currently in front of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court. Professor Pifer said that the Court will provide more clarity for what municipalities may regulate when it decides the Act 13 case. However, Professor Pifer noted that no matter what the Supreme Court determines, there are other hurdles that could make any municipality's ban unlawful.
An audio clip of the discussion may be found at: http://wesa.fm/post/
Written by: Tom Panighetti
September 25, 2013