Thompson Statement on Judge McLaughlin’s Injunction Lifting Forest Service’s ANF Drilling Ban

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today issued the following statement after Judge Sean McLaughlin of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued an injunction lifting the ban on drilling permits in the Allegheny National Forest:

 “I’ve been confident all along in the State’s ability to take care of the environment in the Allegheny National Forest—confidence in the local industry and the citizens of the four-county area, who have been exceptional stewards of the environment for decades.

 “The local stakeholders have taken care of the Forest for 86 years with the State Department of Environmental Protection providing some of the best enforcement in the Nation. It looks as if the Judge agreed the Commonwealth does not need outside environmental groups to come in and tell them how to do things.

“This ruling allows companies to bring their employees back to work and plan for the future.  The decision by the U.S. Forest Service to stop permitting—and, by extension, drilling, for so-called `environmental reasons’ was wrong from the start and did irreversible harm to the local economy.

“This decision is a victory for state’s rights and for local control. It allows drilling to commence and stops the need for those who own drilling rights to prepare a National Environmental Policy Act study as a precondition to the exercise of private oil and gas rights in the ANF.

“This also is a victory for the hard-working people of northwest and north central Pennsylvania, who anxiously have been waiting for the opportunity to go back to work in the Forest they love, and where they have supported their families for several generations.”