Legislation proposed by state Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming counties) and co-sponsored by Sen. Scott Martin (R-13th District) states that a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Delaware River Basin renders the oil and gas estates of the basin worthless. Senate Bill 1189 is an act declaring that a ban on a technology equates to the eminent domain of the property and the resources that lay beneath.
The senators have concluded that because one cannot extract a resource, it’s therefore worthless, and the owner of the estates would be due compensation under eminent domain.
It’s alarming that the argument against eminentdomain is being used to ensure rights for oil and gas extraction. This is argued by the samesenators who have turned
their backs on communities that have had their lands seized by oil and gas companies in order to bury their gas pipelines.
Baker once advocated for protection of our communities, pushing for legislation (SB 242) that required miles of unmapped pipelines to be located as part of the Pennsylvania One Call program. Now Baker is coming to lay those pipes in the communities of her district no matter what the risk may be to the waterways of a four-state regional watershed.
The senators behind SB 1189 are working for an industry that will use eminent domain powers when it benefits the industry or argue against it when it doesn’t. This isn’t legislation for the people, it’s control of the people.