The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

August 3, 2013

Haluska: Measure may have ‘gotten lost in shuffle’

HARRISBURG — Language allowing natural gas companies to merge lease agreements was tacked into a bill that was primarily directed toward mandating greater transparency in the way gas companies deduct from payments to landowners. As a result, the measure passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate.

“The environmental community has been dealing with these kind of bait and switches for years. Now landowners are getting a taste of it,” said Jeff Schmidt, chapter director for the Pennsylvania Sierra Club.

“If the gas companies wanted to develop a single well site, they could do that by negotiating with property owners,” Schmidt said.

“But they decided to have the General Assembly take away the right of property owners to negotiate.”

Dale Tice, an attorney specializing in gas drill­ing issues, said he believes that many lawmakers simply didn’t understand what the controversial passage in Senate Bill 259 does.

State Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Patton, said Democrats have opposed “forced pooling.”

Opponents have argued that the law created a form of forced pooling, a tactic in which a property can be targeted for drilling regardless of the wishes of the owner if most neighboring properties allow drilling. Senate Bill 259 deals only with properties that already have leases in place for conventional drilling, so proponents have argued that the law stops short of allowing forced pooling in Pennsylvania.

But the concerns about the legislation may not have been abundantly clear to all lawmakers as the vote took place on the Friday of the final weekend of the budget year.

“It may have gotten lost in the shuffle,” Haluska said.

The bill passed 167-33 in the House. On June 30, the Senate voted 48-2 to concur on the House version of the bill..

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 25, 2014

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads