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Committee Advances Bill to Stop Implementation of New Conventional Oil, Gas Regulations, Causer Says
HARRISBURG –The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would be prohibited from implementing its new regulations on conventional oil and gas operations in the Commonwealth under legislation approved today by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).

“I am encouraged by the committee’s action today and hope this will ultimately mark a return to the kind of reasonable and responsible regulations our conventional oil and gas producers have operated under for decades,” Causer said. “Many of the men and women in this business have lived here and operated here for generations. They do their very best to be good stewards of the environment, contribute substantially to our communities and employ thousands of people in good, family-sustaining jobs.

“Putting a stop to these extreme and unnecessary regulations is vital to the future of the industry and our region,” he added.

Senate Bill 279 would abolish the proposed regulations, which were developed after passage of Act 13 of 2012. The intent of the Legislature was that regulations resulting from Act 13 be directed solely toward deep, unconventional well drilling in places such as the Marcellus and Utica shales; however, DEP chose to apply them to both types of drilling.

Throughout the process, the agency failed to acknowledge the differences between the two types of drilling and then ignored a 2014 state law requiring it to keep regulations for conventional and unconventional wells entirely separate. Despite the deeply flawed process, the regulations were approved by both the Environmental Quality Board and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, paving the way for their implementation.

“My first priority throughout this process has been to put a stop to regulations threatening the future of the 150-year-old conventional oil and gas industry,” Causer said. “But it is also important that we ensure the integrity of the state’s regulatory processes. Elected representatives, not bureaucrats, are the ones who should be setting policy in this Commonwealth.”

The bill also would create the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Advisory Council to advise and assist DEP in ensuring any new regulations affecting the conventional oil and gas industry are reasonable and reflect the characteristics and processes of shallow well drilling rather than the deep, unconventional drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

The council is also charged with making recommendations to promote the long-term viability and development of the conventional oil and gas industry, including a plan to responsibly increase Penn Grade Crude production to more adequately supply the refineries that depend upon it.

Senate Bill 279 now goes to the full House for consideration.

Representative Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Patricia A. Hippler
717.772.9846 /
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