Bill Tweaking Article 78a Shale Drilling Regs Dies in PA House

It's Dead JimIn June Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf was forced to accept half a loaf–he agreed to reject new drilling regulations for the conventional drilling industry in the state, if lawmakers would allow his administration’s rework of shale drilling regulations to take effect (see PA Gov Wolf “Eager” to Sign Drilling Law Forced Down His Throat). So we got a new set of drilling rules for shale, referred to as Article 78a, while the rules for conventional (Article 78) will get yet another revision. The Marcellus industry didn’t oppose the reworked rules in part because they thought they could tweak some of the more onerous aspects of them. Two weeks ago the PA Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 1229, making modifications to three aspects of Article 78a creating the most fuss with shale drillers (see PA Senate Approves Bill Tweaking DEP Chapter 78a Shale Regs). As we noted at the time, Gov. Wolf threatened to veto the legislation. Whether Wolf’s toothless threat mattered or not we don’t know, but we do know that late last week the House failed to pass the bill and left town for summer vacation. That is, SB 1229 is dead…

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