The PA Environmental Council Wednesday sent a letter to all members of the Senate expressing its opposition to provisions House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike) amends the Fiscal Code to among other things, kill DEP Chapter 78 conventional drilling regulations and make DEP start over, reduce Growing Greener watershed restoration funding by $15 million this fiscal year and to slow consideration of any state plan to comply with the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan.
The bill would also transfer $12 million from the High Performance Green Buildings Program to the Natural Gas Infrastructure Development Fund administered by the Commonwealth Financing Authority.
The bill is now on the Governor’s desk for action.
The text of the letter follows--
“On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I am writing to express our strong opposition to provisions in House Bill 1327 (P.N. 2969) that utilize the fiscal code as a vehicle to negate important, publicly-developed environmental regulatory provisions relating to oil and gas development, and to seek further delay of Clean Power Plan implementation planning in Pennsylvania.
“If the General Assembly wishes to address these matters, it should do so in stand alone legislation with due public notice and opportunity for involvement. Use of the fragmented state budget process to advance unrelated measures of substantive law is against good public policy and violates the single subject rule of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
“We call on members of the Senate to reject these provisions, as well as the practice of circumventing public participation in issues of environmental law that are wholly unrelated to the budget.”
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