A Window Into Act 13, York Daily Record

September 9, 2012

"David Sanko, director of the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors and a key player in state land use policy, was caught last week making a cheesy reversal in his position on Act 13, the controversial law passed last February to regulate Marcellus Shale gas drilling. Sanko's misadventures offer us a well-placed window into the politics surrounding the shale gas industry.

Act 13 had key backing from the Corbett administration, which exploited the aura of inevitability around Marcellus Shale. In less than 10 years Pennsylvania's Marcellus wells have grown from a few hundred to more than 8,000. Act 13 was projected to be a humongous creator of jobs and wealth.

Big money and its political muscle helped the gas industry get the act's low levels of taxation and regulation. Prestigious organizations such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation were seen bending the knee and accepting the bill as "the best that could be gotten." Even by Harrisburg standards, Act 13 involved an unusual amount of political groveling. Among the bigger grovelers was Sanko, who came out in favor of Act 13's local zoning override, a shocking stance by a local government association.

The zoning over-ride language blocks localities from imposing local controls on shale gas drillers and instead dictates statewide exceptions for Marcellus gas drillers. One such exception allows drilling activities within 500 feet of a school."

For the complete York Daily Record op-ed by Charlie Bacas, 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania Board member, please click here.  Below you may find a pdf of the article kept for our records. 

A Window Into Act 13 17.36 KB