Both Conventional & Shale Drillers Continue to Oppose New PA Regs

just say no7/29/16 Update: Please see the note at the end of the article for a clarification on when/how the new Article 78a drilling regulations may (or may not) take effect.

An update on the status of new drilling regulations in Pennsylvania. The short version: both the conventional and unconventional (shale) drillers in the state are actively opposing new regs, even though new shale regs were recently passed into law. The slightly longer explanation: those new shale regs, referred to as Article 78a, were voted on and signed into law in June (see PA Gov Wolf “Eager” to Sign Drilling Law Forced Down His Throat). At the same time, conventional drilling regulations were sent back to the drawing board before being introduced again. Although new shale regs were ostensibly adopted, they are not (yet) in force. The shale industry recently attempted to tweak the new regs to make them less onerous, but that effort failed last week (see Bill Tweaking Article 78a Shale Drilling Regs Dies in PA House). Where does it all stand now? New Article 78a regulations, as adopted, are undergoing a review at the PA Attorney General’s office. AG Kathleen Kane, a committed anti-driller, is going to trial in two weeks for committing felonies while in office (unrelated to drilling)–so she’s distracted. After the AG’s office signs off (who knows how long?), then the new regs will go into full force. Unless it can be stopped…

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