State Rep. Mike O'Brien
May 25, 2012
O’Brien joins Marcellus shale law challenge
I have signed on to a special legal brief filed by the House Democratic Caucus in support of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Act 13, the Marcellus Shale law passed earlier this year.
I am one of 30 House Democratic lawmakers who signed the "amicus curiae" in support of a case that charges Act 13 as an unconstitutional "special law that creates a class of one industry with substantially more rights than any other industry, citizen or business in the Commonwealth in violation of Article III, Section 32 of the Pennsylvania Constitution."
Several local municipalities filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court in March, challenging the constitutionality of eliminating local zoning ordinances for oil and gas operations. Despite the vocal outrage that I and other lawmakers expressed over the unconstitutionality of allowing the state to override local zoning laws that had been used to provide reasonable protections for residents against nearby drilling activity, the Republican establishment rammed through this sweetheart deal for gas drillers before the public could weigh in.
I will keep you updated on the progress of the legal brief and our fight for a fair Marcellus shale policy for Pennsylvania.
In the meantime, if you have a question or need help with any state-related issue, please contact me.