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White, 43 House Democrats File Legal Brief Ahead of State Supreme Court’s Act 13 Case

A group of Senate Democrats filed a similar brief Tuesday.

State Rep. Jesse White on Wednesday announced that the House Democratic Caucus has filed with the state Supreme Court a special legal brief, known as an "amicus curiae," to support Commonwealth Court’s July ruling that the elimination of local zoning ordinances for oil and gas operations under Act 13 was unconstitutional. 

White was named on the brief as one of 44 House Democrats who affirmed the efforts of the seven municipalities, including Cecil, Mt. Pleasant, Peters, Robinson and South Fayette townships, that successfully sued the Commonwealth to overturn the local zoning provisions in Act 13, the state’s natural gas drilling law.

State Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-North Strabane, was not among those who signed.

"I usually do not sign on to legal documents I did not write myself," Neuman explained. "I voted 'no' so that's my opinion of the bill."

The municipalities contended the zoning provisions, which allowed the state to preempt local zoning ordinances that had been used to provide protections for residents against nearby drilling activity, was in violation of Article 1, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Commonwealth Court on July 26 ruled in the municipalities’ favor, but attorneys for the state appealed the decision, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"state-appeals-court-ruling-that-portions-of-marcellus-shale-law-unconstitutional"} --> to the Supreme Court. and by

Pat Henry September 20, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Wow. So much is being contributed by this brief. Nothing original here that hasn't been said by the plaintiffs in this case. Its a great thing that Rep. White is acting as a good steward of our tax dollars. First he let's municipalities know that there's no chance of them losing impact fee money and then he has the house spend money on this. Makes me want to pay even more taxes knowing how well spent my money is.
cecil resident September 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM
How many of these 43 politicians have attended any kind of energy symposium or set up a town hall meeting type of thing so that we could see both sides of the issue, I know one Rep White didn't attend the one right in his own back yard at southpoint. When confronted with it he stated I wasn't invited , the invition in The Patch stated all elected officals, and he does read The Patch, then he said he wasn't ask to speak but he was free to ask any questions about the industry (not everyone is a chief sometimes you have to be the indian) No offense to the American Indian don't want the PC police on my case. Lets just break this down in numbers: House of Representatives in Pa 203 members 112 Republicans 91 Democrates 44 Democrates on this amicus curiae That leaves 47 not on this amicus curiae ( he doesn't have a majority of Democrates) Rep White as stated in the Observer-Reporter much of his criticism was against Range Resources why them why not all the terrible gas and oil companies? He stated it is highly unlikely they will leave , they have already in Cecil Township .Said doesn't want to ban drilling but he seems to have a problem with Range Resources. How long are going to wait to become energy independent in this country how many Americans have to die for foreign oil before we say enough is enough Why don't politicians try working together for a change and stop clinging to a principle or agenda and refusing to compromise, maybe because it is so easy to sue.
cecil resident September 20, 2012 at 06:44 PM
One more thing is bothering me why is this necessary, the case is before the court with lawyers representing their side. Do you feel that they can not do the job correctly or is this just chest thumping to show the people that are for it we will show you.
Me September 21, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Jessie Would you please post the names of the 43 House Democrats who signed your legal brief and where is it stated Cecil Twp will get the impact fee.
cecil resident September 21, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Rep. White and the other democrates who filed the brief maybe should all pick up a copy of the Observer-Reporter today and read the Energy Report it is 12 pages long and covers a variety of issues of our energy future. While you are at it maybe send some copies down to the Cecil Township and others who are dragging their feet on our future. It cover education, job, safety even something for the eviromentalist. It covers what went on in the symposium since you didn't attend might answer some of questions you have posted previously such as where are the jobs.Lets stop making this a Rebuplican-Democrate issue and make it an energy indepentdent issue. If you don't want to be part of the solution don't be part of the problem. AMERICAN RESOURES=AMERICAN JOBS and this country could use more jobs and not government hand outs.
Amanda Gillooly September 21, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Me, I just posted the brief as an attachment. If you look at page 31, there is a list of all those who signed. I hope that helps!
Me September 21, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Thanks Amanda I did check the brief and I counted the name I got 34 names . Maybe I was on the wrong page. Would you check and let me know how many you count? t
Me September 22, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Please let me know how many signed the brief? The articles state 43 house democrats signed it and on the brief I counted 34 names.

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