Pittsburgh’s Proposed Petroleum Prohibition

The Post-Gazette features an article on a proposed ban on natural gas drilling in the city of Pittsburgh:

Ben Price, who helped draft the bill as projects director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund in Franklin County, said the city’s right to protect residents from the hazards of drilling should trump any state claim of authority over drilling matters.

“Rights precede the state,” he said. “Rights precede government. Rights precede state statues [sic] and are superior to them.”

Apparently, while the rights of the city government precede the state, the right for private landowners to lease their own land doesn’t precede the right of city government to prohibit leasing.