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Causer, Committee Vote to Halt Oil, Gas Regulations
HARRISBURG – The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has approved a concurrent resolution to stop the implementation of regulations impacting the oil and gas industry because they were developed and adopted illegally, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).

“The process by which these regulations were developed is, by far, the most extreme example of bureaucratic overreach I have ever seen,” Causer said. “The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) virtually ignored a 2014 state law requiring regulations for the conventional and unconventional oil and gas industries to be adopted separately, and it has also ignored a Supreme Court ruling striking down portions of Act 13 of 2012 on which DEP based some of its proposals.

“Allowing these flawed regulations to move forward despite being developed outside the law would set a dangerous precedent, both for the regulatory process and the most basic separation of powers,” he continued. “And there is no question the flawed process has resulted in flawed regulations that threaten the future of the 150-year-old conventional drilling industry and the good, family-sustaining jobs it provides throughout our region.”

Causer noted the regulatory process for Chapter 78 and Chapter 78A regulations violated, among other things, the Regulatory Review Act’s requirements related to small businesses by failing to include an economic impact statement or a “description of any less intrusive or less costly alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the proposed regulation.”

DEP and the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) also disregarded votes of disapproval by the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board and the Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee, which was created by the Wolf administration. Concerns raised and votes of disapproval by both the House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committees were similarly ignored by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).

“That IRRC would see all the flaws and still approve these illegal regulations is mind boggling to me,” Causer said. “I think the commission demonstrated it is not at all ‘independent’ with its partisan 3-2 vote.

“Passing this resolution to halt these regulations is the right thing to do,” he continued. “No one is saying the oil and gas industry should not be regulated; in fact, it is heavily regulated now. But we need reasonable and responsible regulations crafted legally through the state’s regulatory review process and developed in a manner that balances our environmental protection efforts with economic realities and the demand for domestic energy sources.”

The resolution passed the committee on a bipartisan vote of 19-8 and now awaits consideration in the full House.

Representative Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler
717.772.9846 /
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