Shale Energy Law Blog
Pennsylvania Supreme Court To Determine Standard For Constitutional Challenges Under the Environmental Rights Amendment
November 30, 2015
As reported by Law360, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will allow argument after the January decision by the Commonwealth Court in Pa. Envtl. Def. Found. v. Commonwealth, 108 A.3d 140, 45 ELR 20006, in order to determine how judges should approach government actions challenged under the Environmental Rights Amendment (Article I, Section 27) of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The Court said that it would consider “the proper standards for judicial review of government actions and legislation challenged under the Environmental Rights Amendment” and, specifically, the constitutionality of a pair of fiscal code amendments that gave the Pennsylvania Legislature control over revenue streams generated from the leasing of state land for oil and gas drilling. In January, the Commonwealth Court ruled that the Environmental Rights Amendment did not place fundamental restrictions on what the Commonwealth can do with revenues generated from public lands.