1,000 signatures reached
To: Cindy Dunn, Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
PA Gov't, Eliminate $5,000 Fee to Access a Taxpayer-Funded Database
Pennsylvanians should not have to pay $5,000 to subscribe to DCNR's EDWIN database nor an additional $500 annual maintenance fee to access oil & gas records. Their taxpayer dollars already paid to create the database. Don't restrict the public's access to public information. Eliminate the fees.
Why is this important?
Years ago, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources contracted with a private corporation to put oil & gas well records on its cloud via a database called EDWIN. DCNR staffers scan the records that are uploaded. The database and all of the work to populate it is funded with your tax dollars.
The data in the EDWIN are critically important to people who are tracking issues related to oil & gas development. They should not have to travel to a DCNR office in Pittsburgh or Middletown or submit requests to receive individual records to avoid paying $5,500 dollars to access public information.
One of those people is Laurie Barr, who I have worked with for many years. She doggedly tracks orphaned and abandoned wells in the state. There are hundreds of thousands of those wells dotting the state that have never been plugged and are leaking climate-killing methane unchecked. One academic researcher who toured the state with Laurie called some of the wells she found 'super-emitters' of methane. Laurie has spent her own money on gas, tolls, and hotels to make the 5 hour trip to Pittsburgh just to access the data she should be able to access for free from her home computer.
Please sign my petition to tell the DCNR to eliminate the outrageous fees that only serve to restrict access to critically-important public information.