The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in Philadelphia today in two major gas drilling cases with implications far beyond the shale fields.
Laura Legere reported yesterday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
One case deals with the remnants of a landmark challenge to the state’s modern gas drilling law, while the second takes up significant state constitutional issues about public environmental rights that the court revived with a 2013 decision on the drilling law.
Advocates for business groups and some government agencies are hoping the state’s high court will settle the “flurry of confusion” left by the decision in the drilling law case, Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, and reassert decades-old expectations about the government’s role as the steward of public natural resources.
Conservation groups and environmental legal scholars hope the court will cement the central 2013 opinion in the Robinson Township case and set a path for courts to embrace the environmental rights described in the state constitution.