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Praise, criticism for Pennsylvania shale law

July 30, 2012 at 9:28 AM
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HARRISBURG, Pa., July 30 (UPI) -- Responsible development of natural gas reserves requires sound environmental protection to proceed, an environmental group in Pennsylvania said.

A Pennsylvania court last week said local governments are permitted to regulate where natural gas is allowed in shale plays in the state. Lawyers who represented local townships in the dispute told CNN last week they expected the case to be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Industry groups favored state control over natural gas drilling, saying the rule would provide a level of uniformity in the state's vast natural gas reserves.

Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber said the lack of such uniformity was the "Achilles' heel" of the Pennsylvania shale gas sector.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, however, said the rights and responsibilities of local governments need protection.

"Responsible development of natural gas in Pennsylvania requires thorough consideration of our unique community and natural resources, with appropriate site-specific and regional protections in place as a result of that analysis," the group said in a statement.

Pennsylvania hosts a portion of the Marcellus shale play, one of the largest sources of natural gas in the United States.

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