by Thomas LinzeyPittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 10th, 2010

Your Oct. 3 article “Township Loses Battle Against Gas Firms Over Drilling,” which highlighted the work of our organization, underscores how battles between local communities and corporations almost always play out — communities lose and corporations win.

But it’s not just because gas drilling corporations have more money than municipal governments. It’s because state government and corporate decision makers work hand-in-hand to ensure that state law overrides local laws even when those local laws protect communities and the environment better than state law.

It’s time to change all of that and recognize that communities have the right to determine their own futures. Not a small number of corporate decision-makers. Not legislators sitting in Harrisburg. The people themselves.

Only then will we be free of what some have called a “corporate state” in which state government exempts extraction corporations from local governance. That will take thousands of municipalities across Pennsylvania standing up to challenge state government — which is exactly what the city of Pittsburgh is now attempting to do.

Executive Director
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Chambersburg, Pa

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