PA House Passes Bill Exempting Conventional Drillers from Shale Regs

In March, two identical bills were introduced, one in the PA Senate, the other in the PA House, that would “roll back” (more like “lock in”) regulations that govern conventional PA drilling to the Oil and Gas Act of 1984 (see 2 PA Bills Would Roll Back Conventional Drilling Regs to 1984). The bills are in response to coming changes proposed by leftist Gov. Tom Wolf to over-regulate conventional drillers. Big Green didn’t waste any time opposing the bills, spinning them as a lessening of environmental protections in a letter to legislators (see Big Green Opposes Bill to Relax Regs for PA Conventional Drillers). The big news is that the House’s version of the bill, HB 2154, passed yesterday by a vote of 111-84. The issue now swings to the Senate (SB 1088), where its future is more uncertain. Let’s assume the Senate passes SB 1088 (a really big assumption). Lefty Gov. Tom Wolf is vehemently against it and will veto the bill when it hits his desk–so says one of his top lieutenants. It’s not clear if there would be enough votes in the Senate (or House) to override a Wolf veto. Hey, we’re still hopeful, but in all honesty, this legislation faces an uphill battle…

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