PA’s Regulatory Mess Slows Marcellus Drilling – Time to Fix It

Since Tom Wolf assumed office as governor of Pennsylvania in January 2015, the state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been in a downward spiral when it comes to the speed with which they approve permits for the Marcellus Shale industry. The DEP has a policy of issuing erosion and sedimentation permits 14 days from the date of application. These types of permits are common and necessary when building roads, well pads, etc. Lately it has taken the DEP 250 days to issue those permits! Permits related to drilling wells are supposed to take no more than 45 days. Those permits now average 93 days. The DEP is hopelessly backlogged–and it’s getting worse. When PA’s traitorous Republican Senate sold out and signed on to a Marcellus Shale severance tax back in July, the Senate also approved (as part of the budget bill) fixes to speed up the permitting process (see PA Senate’s “Olive Branch” of “Relaxed Regulations” for Drillers). Since DEP can’t seem to fix its own mess, the Senate is willing to “lend a hand” to help them get it done. Kathryn Klaber, former president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition and now CEO of The Klaber Group, writes about the necessary revisions to PA (and the country’s) regulatory mess. She makes the point loud and clear that tweaking regulations is not an attack on the environment, as radicals seek to spin it…

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