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Second Major Court Victory This Month: Act 13 Injunction Upheld

August 17, 2012

Even such a rich and strong spin machine as the Marcellus Shale Coalition has been unable to force Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court to do the gas industry’s bidding. The Court continues to uphold the argument that Act 13’s “pre-emption clause” is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

The pre-emption clause, which would have struck down local zoning laws, bans and moratoria on gas drilling passed by local governments across PA, was essentially written by the gas industry, voted for by PA legislators including Democratic Sen. Anthony Williams, and signed into law by Governor Corbett in February.

Governor Corbett has appealed the decision to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. Normally, an injunction that’s being appealed would be suspended until the appeal is resolved. But on Wednesday, in the second major court victory for municipalities and environmental activists in just three weeks, as Gant Daily reported:

The court found that the parties challenging Act 13 have a reasonable likelihood of success on appeal, that they would suffer irreparable harm without the injunction blocking enforcement of Act 13, and that there is minimal harm to the public by allowing the injunction to stay in place during the appeal.

Thus an important lawsuit brought by Delaware Riverkeeper Network and affected municipalities has become a powerful tool for justice. The crucial hard work and success of Delaware Riverkeeper Network and allies shows the importance of maintaining full-spectrum resistance, never relying on just one tool when confronting giant corporations who are playing fast and loose with public health, with our right to know, and with our democracy.

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