From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court today declared unconstitutional major provisions of the state’s Marcellus Shale drilling law, Act 13, including one that allowed gas companies to drill anywhere, overriding local zoning laws.
The court’s decision, on a 4-2 vote, also sent back to Commonwealth Court challenges by townships and individuals to the Act 13 provisions that would have prevented doctors from telling patients about health impacts related to shale gas development.
State Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, who has been an outspoken opponent of shale development, hailed the ruling as an affirmation of the state constitution’s guarantee of “clean air and clean water” and the self-governance rights of local communities.
He said “... a clear message has been sent to Governor Corbett and his friends in the energy industry: Our fundamental constitutional principles cannot be auctioned off to wealthy special interests in exchange for campaign dollars. On this day, David has defeated Goliath.”
Good God - it appears Republicans try to muzzle doctors for reasons other than abortion options! Assholes. It's a real triumph that got nipped in the bud. Not to mention the frack-where-you-please provisions of this disgusting law.
h/t tweet from George Monroe (@Nupe117)
From the comments, MGross has found the entire ruling, here:
In the comments, RLMiller tells us the ruling is thanks largely to a special provision in Pennsylvania's Constitution that guarantees all residents the right to clean air and pure water. Adam B found said provision, enacted in 1971:
The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.