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PA Governor Tom Wolf Bans New Gas Leases For Commonwealth-Owned Lands

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order banning new oil and gas leases on public land owned by the Commonwealth.  This order ended the efforts of former Governor Tom Corbett to expand oil and gas drilling below Pennsylvania-owned parks and forests.  While environmentalists applauded the new executive order as a sign of strong environmental regulation, critics labeled it an unnecessary political action that bans the safe development of natural gas beneath taxpayer land.  Currently, Pennsylvania has leased about 700,000 acres of approximately 2.1 million acres of state forest.  This new executive order does not effect leases already in effect.