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Opinion On Pittsburgh Fracking Ban Will Have To Wait

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Hydraulic fracturing is banned within Pittsburgh city limits

Pittsburgh’s city solicitor has asked the Public Utility Commission to weigh in on whether or not the city’s fracking ban runs afoul of Pennsylvania’s new drilling laws.
The city will have to wait on an answer, though, as the PUC is waiting until Commonwealth Court has ruled on a challenge to Act 13, before it begins issuing advisory opinions.
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City solicitor Daniel D. Regan sought an advisory opinion about the ban from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Feb. 15, a day after Gov. Tom Corbett signed what’s known as Act 13, which restricts the limitations municipalities can place on drilling, among other things.
The commission is delaying all opinions and any action on Act 13 while a legal challenge against the law is pending in state appellate courts.
Drilling advocates have recently pushed the city to undo its ban, saying it hurts efforts announced in May to find tenants for a proposed Downtown skyscraper. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has opposed the ban and the city lawyers have long said it is probably illegal, Regan said Monday.

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