The House and Senate Wednesday gave final approval to legislation making DEP start the process over for updating conventional oil and gas drilling regulations and setting further requirements for legislative review of any plan DEP develops to implement EPAs Clean Power Climate Plan. The bills now go to the Governor for his action.
The language in the bills is the result of an agreement between Senate and House Republicans and Gov. Wolf so these bills are expected to become law.
The bills include--
-- Senate Bill 279 (Hutchinson-R-Venango) requiring DEP to start over to update its drilling regulations covering conventional oil and gas wells was approved by a vote of 141 to 46 in the House and 37 to 12 in the Senate.
The bill does not affect DEP’s final Chapter 78a regulations updating requirements covering Marcellus/Utica Shale natural gas drilling. Those regulations will be allowed to proceed through the remaining process to final publication in the PA Bulletin and become effective.
On June 8, Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) proposed, then withdrew, an amendment in the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee taken from House Bill 1391 (Everett) that would have required oil and gas companies to pay leaseholders the minimum royalty amount they are owed by state law.
Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, offered two amendments, the primary one to eliminate the provision making DEP start over on setting updated standards for conventional drilling operations. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 55 to 140.
A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.
-- Senate Bill 1195 (White-R-Indiana) further providing for legislative review of any plan developed by DEP to implement the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan was approved by a vote of 147 to 41 in the House and 38 to 11 in the Senate.
On Tuesday, Rep. Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, offered a technical amendment adopted by a vote of 195 to 0.
Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the House Environmental Committee, offered an amendment to shortened the time for legislative review of a proposed plan to comply with the EPA Clean Power Climate Plan saying the existing schedule is entirely too long. The amendment was defeated 58 to 137.Governor’s Office Reaches Agreement With Senate On Clean Power Plan Bill