Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Senate Approves Bill Promoting Conventional Oil Production In PA

The Senate Wednesday approved legislation 48 to 0 introduced by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) that will protect and promote conventional oil and natural gas production in Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 279, legislation to protect the conventional oil and gas production industry from state regulations intended for companies extracting Marcellus Shale gas, now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The bill would establish the Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council, a panel empowered to study existing regulations and assist the Department of Environmental Protection in making changes that better address the differences between conventional and unconventional oil and gas production.
“Oil and gas production is a part of the Commonwealth’s heritage and remains a key component of the economy of northwestern Pennsylvania,” said Sen. Hutchinson. “The council created under this bill would work to promote the conventional gas and oil industry and protect it from regulations intended solely for the Marcellus Shale gas extraction industry. The panel would work with the DEP to ensure that the differences between the operations are taken into account as these regulations and laws are developed and implemented.”
On Tuesday the Department of Environmental Protection announced the formation of a Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee to increase transparency and communication about regulating the conventional oil and gas drilling industry.
“I am pleased to see the DEP is now moving in a similar direction as I propose in Senate Bill 279, but I still believe it is important that we codify this initiative in law,” Sen. Hutchinson said. “One significant difference is the Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council is intended to promote the conventional oil and gas industry in the Commonwealth. My Senate district includes the birthplace of oil and gas production in Pennsylvania over a century and a half ago. These resources fueled the industrial revolution and transformed our nation’s economy. This industry is an important part of the regional economy. It should be supported by the state, not stymied by excessive and unnecessary regulatory burdens.”
Senate Bill 279 now goes to the House for consideration.  A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available.

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