Tuesday, April 30, 2019

House Republican Bills Providing Public Subsidies For Natural Gas Use Creates Political Commission To Set Environmental Standards, Make Individual Permit Decisions

On April 29, House Republicans, led by Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), announced the introduction of an 8 bill package they said will “Energize PA” by encouraging the use of natural gas throughout the state’s economy.
The bills include--
-- House Bill 1107 (O'Neal-R-Washington)- creates 5 member politically appointed commission named by the Senate, House and Governor to “administer the permitting and plan approval process es vested in DEP by law,” including promulgating regulations establishing permitting requirements and environmental standards and taking action on individual permit applications  [Note: DEP issues, on average, 31,000 permits and approvals a year-- 5 people should be able to handle that and won't delay the process at all.];
-- House Bill 1106 (Puskaric-R-Allegheny)- requires DEP approval of any permit regulating air quality, waste, erosion and sedimentation and dam safety and encroachments within 30 days without regard to public review of permits, creates a new bureaucracy in the form of a “referee” to decide disputes between DEP and applicants over appication completeness;
-- House Bill 1100 (Kaufer-R-Luzerne) - A tax credit would be offered to industries using PA methane in production;
-- House Bill 1101 (Mihalek-R-Allegheny)- Encourages businesses to invest in growth and technology by increasing the Net Operating Loss deduction cap;
-- House Bill 1102 (Kail-R-Beaver)- creating 20 Keystone Energy Enhancement Zones where businesses would be eligible for local tax exempts and credits;
-- House Bill 1103 (Fritz-R-Susquehanna)- Expands the PIPE program which makes low-cost gas energy available to manufacturers and residents;
-- House Bill 1104 (Toohil-R-Luzerne)- Would create a registry that lists abandoned manufacturing sites that are now available properties for development;  
-- House Bill 1105 (Nelson-R-Westmoreland) Creates a streamlined permit process which encourages brownfields cleanup and redevelopment;
         Click Here for a sponsor summary of the entire package. Click Here to watch a video of the announcement.
Related Story:
House Republicans Pass Bills To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing, Waive Penalties, Provide Defenses To Violators

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