Worry, debate follow Pa. court's drilling decision

MARC LEVY Associated Press Published:

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Last month's state Supreme Court decision that backed the rights of municipalities in their fight against Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett's gas drilling law has left lawyers trying to anticipate how it'll change the broader legal landscape.

Business advocates consider the decision a major setback and not just because it upended a key victory in the Republican-controlled state Legislature for the natural gas industry. Environmentalists cheered the decision, saying it strengthens the hand that the environmental considerations will play in many government decisions, such as land use ordinances and permits.

Some business groups worry it'll also hurt industry efforts to get the state's help in navigating municipal planning and zoning.

Gene Barr of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry says his organization plans to bring members together to discuss it.