Thompson Criticizes Forest Service for One-Sided 'Settlement' in ANF Lawsuit
Attends Public Meeting, Meets with ANF Leadership, and Local Stakeholders to Reaffirm his Support of Private Property and States Rights, and Energy Production in the ANF
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pa., issued the following statement after a series of meetings on the so-called ‘settlement’ reached by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and out-of-state radical environmental groups regarding energy production in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF):
“I am mystified and seriously troubled as to why the USFS, through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), would so blatantly disregard the legal process and private property rights by agreeing to an out of court ‘settlement’ which has the potential to kill the regional economy, increase unemployment, and further our dependence on foreign oil and natural gas.
“Since the ANF was created 86 years ago, there has been a healthy working relationship between the USFS and the owners of subsurface mineral rights. This relationship came to a screeching halt on January 16th, when the USFS put a moratorium on issuing notices to proceed – the last step before drilling can occur.
“Even more troubling is that when this so-called ‘settlement’ was agreed to, not all parties in the lawsuit were at the table. So as far as I am concerned, until that occurs, and a judge has signed off, the USFS is proceeding in the blind and not being candid with themselves or the public.
“Further, as part of the ‘settlement’, the DOJ has agreed to pay nearly $20,000.00 in legal fees to lawyers in Eugene, Oregon, and Missoula, Montana, who represent the very organizations that filed this job killing lawsuit against the USFS. This dangerous move will encourage future lawsuits and help fund the radical environmental movement – whose goal is to prevent energy and timber production in the ANF and at other forests around the country.”