Groups to protest drilling bill

A coalition of groups and citizens opposed to HB 1950 will voice their discontent today about the huge benefits they say Marcellus Shale drillers will receive at the financial and environmental expense of Pennsylvania residents.

Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture) and the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition, joined by other community and civic leaders, will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. on the steps of the historic courthouse, 2 N. High St., in West Chester.

The groups say that more than 70 percent of Pennsylvanians in multiple polls said they support a robust drilling tax and protections for local communities and the environment from drilling; despite repeated assurances to local citizens that they would support a robust drilling tax, many local House members voted for HB 1950, which included none of the provisions preferred by voters.

Speakers at the event will include state Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D., Chester); Sharon Ward, executive director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center; Joyce Chester, executive director, Chester County Opportunities Industrialization Center; Sarah Caspar, board member, Chester County League of Women Voters; Paula Coyne, board member, S.A.V.E. (Safety, Agriculture, Villages and Environment); and Anne Crowley, southeastern Pennsylvania outreach coordinator for PennFuture.

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