September 22, 2009

House Members, Groups Oppose Budget Deal. Members of the House and representatives of 30 environmental and sportsmens' groups held a press conference today opposing the budget deal agreed to by Senate and House leaders and Gov. Rendell which would lease up to 100,000 acres of State Forest land for natural gas drilling and significantly cut funding for environmental agencies.
"We cannot balance the budget on the back of the environment," Rep. Vitali said. "First, the current agreement would require that far too much state forest land be open for Marcellus Shale drilling."
Rep. Vitali said the group also opposed the elimination of the Oil and Gas Lease Fund into which revenues from all mineral leasing are deposited for land owned by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, supports the adoption of a severance tax on natural gas production and restoring $56 million in cuts to the Department of Environmental Protection. Click here to read article on event.
Other speakers at the event--
Jan Jarrett, President & CEO of PennFuture,
Rep. David Levdansky, Majority Chair of the House Finance Committee
Jeff Saunders, PA Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs
Kathy Davis, Quality Deer Management
Judy Swank, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania