I’m writing this from Austin where I will testify in support of HB 448 a bill that will require frackers to provide prior notice to landowners.
I wanted to be sure to share this important news with you.
Washington County judge orders Marcellus Shale development settlement records unsealed
Updated: Judge O’Dell wrote:
“Nothing in that jurisprudence indicates that that right [of privacy] is available to business entities.”
Truthout has a good report and analysis.
Pennsylvania court deals blow to secrecy-obsessed fracking industry
Sunday, 14 April 2013 09:58
By Steven Rosenfeld
“There are no men or woman defendants in the instant case; they are various business entities,” it wrote, saying business entities are created by the state and subject to laws, unlike people with natural rights. “In the absence of state law, business entities are nothing.” If businesses had natural rights like people, “the chattel would become the co-equal to its owners, the servant on par with its masters, the agent the peer of its principles, and the legal fabrication superior to the law that created and sustains it.”
The judge said the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment “use of the word ‘person’ that makes its protections applicable to business entities” does not apply to Pennsylvania’s constitution. “The exact opposite is derived from plan language of Article X of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
“Not only did our framers know how to employ the names of business entities when and where they wanted them… they used those words to subjugate business entities to the constitution,” the Court held. “The framers permitted the Commonwealth to revoke, amend, and repeal ‘[a]ll charters of private corporations’ and any ‘powers, duties or liabilities’ of corpoeations… If the framers had intended this section [Article 1, Section 8] to shield corporations, limited-liability corporations, or partnerships, the Court presumes that they could and would have used those words. The plain meaning of ‘people’ is the living, breathing humans in this Commonwealth.”
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Tim Ruggiero says
I loved the part where Matty says they ‘welcome the disclosure’. Right. That’s why they’ve fought it tooth and nail for the last 3 years.
Andy Mechling says
I was dead wrong on this one. I said this would never come unsealed. 750k seems like a good chunk of change. Range must have really wanted to avoid facing a jury. But now this is worse for them…..now EVeryone who hasnt had their water ruined will want 750 thousand dollars. I sure do.
They didn’t receive that much money and it’s really not much when you have to pay off a mortgage, move and monitor health for forever.
Andy Mechling says
Yes. When I look at the images of that impoundment on the hillside overlooking that little farm, it makes me want to cry. No amount of money can make something like this OK. My point is that 750k is a whopping settlement – if indeed there is no criminal activity or clear liability for major damages. When they actually release exhibit b, then I’ll admit that I was completely dead wrong on this one.
Here part of it is: