Bill may halt gas leasing on forest land

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — A bill to temporarily stop the leasing of state forest land for natural gas drilling has state House approval and is headed to the Senate.

The House of Representatives approved the bill 157-33 on Tuesday. It would immediately enact a three-year moratorium.

Proponents want a thorough environmental assessment of the impact of drilling on the land before more can be leased.

A spokesman for the Senate’s Republican majority says there’s no plan to act and the state already has strong regulatory authority.

The Rendell administration has leased more than 100,000 acres to companies hungry to explore the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation.

Copyright: Times Leader