Fracking revisited: Supreme Court should reject an Act 13 do-over

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After the state Supreme Court recently found important parts of Pennsylvania’s new law on natural gas extraction unconstitutional — including communities losing the power to regulate fracking in their own jurisdictions — we said “chalk one up for the little guy.”

Watch out, the big guys want the court to take a wet cloth and erase that chalk.

James D. Schultz, general counsel to Gov. Tom Corbett, announced in a press release Thursday that commonwealth agencies are requesting that the Supreme Court revisit the case by sending it back Commonwealth Court “for the development of an evidentiary record.”

The Corbett administration claims the Supreme Court “made its own sweeping factual findings” and they don’t find support in the “sparse and uneven factual record that was made before Commonwealth Court.” It asks the court “to give Act 13 its fair day in court.” The request should be rebuffed.

Act 13 has had its fair day in court and the commonwealth lost. This insulting request to the state’s justices would not have been made had the decision favored the fracking industry. But as the Supreme Court pointed out, the Pennsylvania Constitution explicitly sides with the people on the right to a clean environment.

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