Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Scorecard 2011-2012

Released by: PennEnvironment

Clean Water Action, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, PennEnvironment, and Sierra Club present the 2011-2012 Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Scorecard, a permanent record that scores every Pennsylvania state legislator on votes cast during the debate and passage of House Bill 1950, now known as Act 13 of 2012.

HB 1950 is the most significant Marcellus Shale gas drilling legislation to date and the most important environmental legislation of the last decade. This legislation is a significant step in the wrong direction that leaves our communities, our health, and our environment at continued risk.

  • HB 1950 tramples on municipal rights by requiring communities to allow all gas drilling activities near schools, day care centers, hospitals, and homes. This also overturns existing local zoning ordinances that protect residents from gas development
  • The environmental provisions in the bill are inadequate to protect our familes and our drinking water, including set backs that allow gas drilling to occur as close as 500 feet from our schools and homes.
  • HB 1950 also enacts one of the country’s lowest extraction fees, allowing billion-dollar companies to avoid paying their fair share, while our state’s environmental protection agencies face devastating budget cuts.

Traditionally, our scorecards rate and record votes spanning a variety of environmental issues. Because of the magnitude of the impact that HB 1950 will have on all Pennsylvanians, we believe it critical that the public be fully informed of the actions of their state legislators on this bill. To that end, we present this unprecedented Marcellus Scorecard, the first collaborative scorecard produced by these four organizations.

State Representatives and Senators were scored based on floor votes that highlighted environmental issues. Key votes in the Scorecard include amendments to restore municipal control of zoning, increase the set back distance from structures, raise the amount of the impact fee, and ensure replaced water meets Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

42 State Representatives and 14 State Senators earned perfect 100% scores. These environmental champions include:

  • Senate Minority Leader Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny)
  • Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Minority Chair Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne)
  • Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee members Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) and Senator Andrew Dinniman (D-Chester)
  • House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee members Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre), Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks), Rep. Eugene DePasquale (D-York), Rep. Bryan Barbin (D-Cambria)
  • Minority Caucus Chair Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny)

Far too many State Representatives and State Senators earned scores below 50%. Legislative leaders who failed to protect Pennsylvania’s familes include:

  • Senators Charles McIlhinney (R-Bucks), Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), Richard Alloway (R-Franklin), Edwin Erickson (R-Delaware), and Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery), each of whom signed a letter to the Governor opposing HB 1950 and vowing to protect municipal rights only days before voting in favor of the bill.
  • Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee member Senator Tim Solobay (D-Washington)
  • House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee members Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny), Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny), and Martin Causer (R-McKean)
  • Majority Chair Rep. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) House Speaker Rep. Sam Smith (R-Punxsutawney)
  • Majority Leader Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny)

We encourage every citizen to join the tens of thousands of members represented by our organizations to praise those legislators who stood up for public health or to demand explanation from those who voted against the public interest.