PA DEP Sec Quigley Pulls a Fast One, Changes Drilling Rules

Perhaps we now know why PA’s Acting Secretary of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, John Quigley, fired the entire DEP Oil & Gas Technical Advisory Board once he took office, something no other incoming governor/administration has done in more than a generation (see Why did PA DEP Acting Sec Quigley Mass Fired Gas Advisory Board?). Why? To pack the board with new members who will agree to onerous changes to the 1984 PA Oil and Gas Act. Changes to the Act were required under the 2012 Act 13 law (see Rewrite of 1984 PA Oil and Gas Act Underway). A very long and detailed process took place over the past three years and that process was very nearly complete–frankly was complete, until Tom Wolf was elected governor. Wolf’s election put the final adoption of new rules on hold. In came the PennFuture administration (Quigley along with Cindy Dunn as head of the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources and John Hanger as Wolf’s head of policy are all alumni of the anti-drilling PennFuture). The PennFuture brigade has screwed around with the rules, adding their own anti-drilling changes, and they now want the Technical Advisory Board to rubber stamp it. Needless to say, the Marcellus industry isn’t taking it well…

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