Here's a collection of the reaction received so far to today's Commonwealth Court ruling in the Act 13 lawsuit:
- Gov. Tom Corbett, who advocated for and signed the law in February:
"We are disappointed in today's ruling and will likely appeal. Act 13 is clearly constitutional and received significant input and ultimate support from Pennsylvania's local government associations and their legal counsel. We will vigorously defend this law, which better protects the environment, provides revenue to local communities and regulatory certainty to both landowners and job creators."
- Marcellus Shale Coalition president Kathryn Klaber:
"The premise for the General Assembly's action earlier this year was to provide certainty and predictability that encourages investment and job creation across the Commonwealth. Lack of uniformity has long been an Achilles' heel for Pennsylvania and must be resolved if the Commonwealth is to remain a leader in responsible American natural gas development and reap the associated economic, environmental and national security benefits."
- House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont:
"The court carefully weighed testimony on this question and made the correct decision to restore the rights of municipalities and put zoning back in the hands of local officials where it belongs. This will not hurt the ability of natural gas drillers to conduct their operations. It simply affirms that these companies don't get the special treatment that the governor tried to ensure for them in Act 13. They have to comply with local zoning ordinances just like everybody else."
- Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg:
"For the third time this year, state courts have recognized that local municipalities have rights that must be respected when industrial activities are proposed for their communities. This is terrific news, not only for the people of Pennsylvania, but for communities across the country trying to defend their way of life from destructive gas development. Today's ruling gives encouragement – and firm legal backing -- to Pennsylvania communities daring to stand up to the oil and gas industry with local zoning laws."
- Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park:
"I am heartened by today's decision in Commonwealth Court, and the well-reasoned opinion of Judge Pellegrini ruling for the majority. Even more, I join with thousands of Pennsylvanians to support the leadership and advocacy efforts of the dedicated group of citizens and local municipal officials who brought this suit. I have vehemently opposed Act 13 since its inception; in particular, taking away the sovereignty and decision-making abilities of local municipalities to choose the best options for their own homes and neighbors near gas drilling sites."
- Environmental advocacy group PennEnvironment:
"In an age where powerful interests such as the oil and gas industry dominate the political process in Harrisburg and alienate the general public, this court decision comes as a welcome victory. Moreover, today's decision reaffirmed what Pennsylvanians from every corner of the state already know—that when it comes to dangerous gas drilling, local communities must have the ability to make thoughtful decisions to protect our citizens, our environment and our quality of life.
- State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver:
"I believe in responsible drilling and what natural gas exploration is and will continue to do for our region and Commonwealth, but I voted against this law primarily because it dictated what municipalities can and cannot include in their zoning requirements for gas drilling," Matzie said. "The provisions struck down were welcome news from the Commonwealth Court and I'm hopeful that if the ruling is appealed, the Supreme Court will uphold this important decision for local municipalities."