2 PA Bills Would Roll Back Conventional Drilling Regs to 1984

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has been obstinate in demanding onerous new drilling rules for the conventional, as well as unconventional (shale) drilling industry since he took office. Reworked drilling rules for both conventional and shale drillers were done and ready to go under previous Gov. Tom Corbett. Then Corbett lost to Wolf, and Wolf demanded changes to the common sense rules everyone had already agreed to (see New Draft Drilling Regulations in PA: Wastewater Impoundments Out). Wolf’s changes for conventional drillers threatened to run PA’s traditional, small conventional drillers out of business by applying the same regulations to them that will apply to shale drillers. As Wolf’s onerous changes were headed for certain defeat in the legislature last year, he changed gears and agreed to put off changes for conventional drilling until this year (see PA DEP Plans Redo of Chapter 78 Conventional Well Regs in 2018). It’s this year, and instead of letting Wolf advance his onerous drilling plans for conventional drillers, PA State Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) and State Rep. Martin Causer (R-Forest) on Monday introduced essentially the same bill in their respective chambers, bills that will remove conventional drilling from compliance with the 2012 Act 13 bill and “turn back the clock,” re-adopting regulations for conventional drillers used in the Oil and Gas Act of 1984…

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