We did a quick blog post yesterday to let readers know about the state Supreme Court’s ruling that paves the way for oil and gas drilling in Chief Logan State Park.
There’s more in today’s Gazette, with a complete news story on this important decision.
But I also wanted to pass on reactions from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, whose decision to block this drilling was overturned by the Supreme Court, and by the state Division of Natural Resources, whose ability to protect park lands could be hampered by this ruling.
WVDEP spokeswoman Kathy Cosco had this to say yesterday:
The DEP’s argument in this case was that the Secretary has the authority to rely on other agencies environmental statutes when determining the issuance of permits. The court did not speak to that issue in this ruling, so we believe that should a similar case come up in the future the agency can still exercise that authority.
And WVDNR spokesman Hoy Murphy said only this:
We are reviewing the court’s decision to determine what effect it may have on DNR’s statutory duties to protect state parks.
In addition, I asked Tom Susman, a spokesman for Cabot Oil and Gas and the Lawson Heirs, when the drilling is scheduled to begin, and this is what he told me:
They just got the ruling and are reviewing it. There are no timelines at this point.