By Zack Needles
Of the Legal Staff
The state Supreme Court has denied the Public Utility Commission’s appeal of a Commonwealth Court order requiring the agency to cease and desist from reviewing municipal ordinances to determine whether they comply with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code and the state Oil and Gas Act.
The court issued a one-page order Thursday quashing the appeal. The order noted that Justice Thomas G. Saylor dissented, saying he would have noted probable jurisdiction and called for expedited appeal proceedings.
The agency was charged with the task under Section 3305, Chapter 33 of the recent Act 13 amendments to the Oil and Gas Act, but Senior Judge Keith B. Quigley said in an order issued in October that the PUC should have ceased performing the reviews following the Commonwealth Court's July 26, 2012, en banc ruling in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth, invalidating as unconstitutional those amendments that require municipalities to adopt uniform zoning ordinances that would allow drilling in all zoning districts.
The constitutionality question in Robinson is currently awaiting a ruling by the Supreme Court.
Zack Needles can be contacted at 215-557-2493 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ZNeedlesTLI.