PennLive.com reported late Thursday Gov. Wolf opposes loading up the Fiscal Code to gut oil and gas regulations or slow implementation of the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan, according to his spokesperson Jeff Sheridan.
"The governor is committed to the Clean Power Plan, which is an important opportunity to reduce emissions and combat climate change, and ensuring proper oversight of the oil and gas industry with the Chapter 78 process," he added.
A veto of the fiscal code is a possibility, according to the Governor's Office.
The Fiscal Code bill-- House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike)-- was changed in the Senate Appropriations Wednesday with a single omnibus amendment. Among the changes related to environmental programs were--
-- Kill Conventional Oil & Gas Regulations: Abrogate the conventional oil and gas regulations developed by DEP and declaring the rulemaking process used to propose the regulations invalid making DEP start the process over. [Section 1741.1-E, page 34]
-- Reduces Growing Greener Funding $15 Million: Reduces the monies deposited in the Environmental Stewardship (Growing Greener) Fund by the Marcellus Legacy Fund from $35 million to $20 million for FY 2015-16. [Section 1608-E, page 8]
-- Extends General Assembly’s Review Time For EPA Clean Power Implementation Plan: DEP is now required to submit its plan for implementing EPA’s Clean Power Climate requirements to the General Assembly for approval 180, not 100 days before it is submitted to EPA as required by Act 175 of 2014. If no vote is taken by the General Assembly before August 22, 2016, the plan is deemed approved. If one or both chambers disapprove the plan, DEP can evaluate the reasons for the disapproval of the plan, request an extension from EPA for submitting the plan. [Section 1723-E, page 27]
The changes were characterized by many in the Senate as agreed-to by all parties to the budget talks, except the House Republicans. Clearly that may not be the case.
Click Here for a copy of the amended Fiscal Code bill which is now in the House for consideration. Click Here for a rundown on the entire budget package passed by the Senate.
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