Thompson Applauds Judge McLaughlin Decision Denying Motions for Reconsideration by U.S. Forest Service on Drilling in ANF

Mar 10, 2010

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today applauded the decision by Judge Sean McLaughlin, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, denying the motions for reconsideration by the U.S. Forest Service on McLaughlin’s  December 15, 2009 decision.  That decision allowed drilling to continue in the Allegheny National Forest.

“Judge McLaughlin reconfirmed his earlier decision to lift the ban on drilling permits,” said Thompson. “The Judge recognized the firm legal basis under which producers have been exercising their right to access their subsurface property for more than 85 years.”

Craig Mayer, chairman of the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association ANF Committee, said, “This decision means the December 15th order remains fully in effect.  In addition, the judge clarified that in the event the Forest Service and the drillers can’t come to an agreement regarding a requirement for an accommodation from the Forest Service, it will be incumbent on the Forest Service to seek injunctive relief by going to Federal Court.”

“The local producers have been monitored diligently by the State Department of Environmental Protection.  There was never any need to change the basics of the law and require a National Environmental Policy Act study as a precondition to drilling,” said Thompson.