Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued this statement Friday on the approval of DEP’s drilling regulations by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission Thursday—
“I recognize that strong regulations are needed to allow for safe development of our natural resources. However, the objections raised by both standing committees and two IRRC Commissioners to this rulemaking are warranted given the fact that the Department has circumvented state laws and a Supreme Court opinion in an effort to justify expanded provisions of the rulemaking that they are not authorized to enact.
“This administration has touted the development and use of natural gas, but then proposes industry crippling severance taxes and far-reaching regulations. The Department has not worked collaboratively with the General Assembly to address the valid concerns for this rulemaking.
“Unfortunately, we are at a point where a disapproval resolution is necessary, which I will support.”
A Senate/House concurrent resolution disapproving the regulations would have to be reported out of one of the Senate or House Environmental Committees within 14 days of receiving the IRRC order on the regulations.
The Senate and House would have 30 calendar days or 10 voting session days, whichever is longer, from the date the resolution is reported out of Committee to pass the concurrent resolution disapproving the regulation and present it to the Governor for his action.
The Governor can then sign or veto the resolution. His veto is subject to being overridden by both the Senate and House by two-thirds vote.
On April 12, both Committees voted to disapprove the regulations, largely along party lines.
At that same meeting, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out Senate Bill 1011 (Hutchinson-R-Venango) that would kill DEP’s final drilling regulations covering conventional oil and gas wells and starting the rulemaking process over.
The bill is now on the Senate Calendar awaiting a final vote.
The Senate returns to voting session on May 9 and will be in voting session on these days: May 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 and June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
The House returns to voting session on May 2 and will be in voting session on these days: May 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 and June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30.
For more information on DEP’s drilling regulations, visit the Oil and Gas Rulemaking webpage.
4 Environmental Groups Urge IRRC To Approve DEP Drilling Regs Thursday