Despite Tom Wolf’s veto, House and Senate Republicans aren’t backing off trying to undo the Department of Environmental Protection’s drilling regulations by amending the fiscal code – an abuse of the process that requires no committee hearings or public outreach, unlike the official rule-writing process.
Even with the threat of the governor’s veto, House Republicans are keeping language in the fiscal code that handcuffs new regulations on oil and gas drilling.
The Senate and House moved the fiscal code with an amendment to block the state Department of Environmental Protection’s new rules on oil and gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
Newly-confirmed DEP Secretary Tom Quigley says it’s his opinion that the Republicans’ carve-out for conventional drillers, if it survives Wolf’s veto pen, would not derail the ongoing rule-writing process for unconventional drilling.
Tom Wolf really needs to hold the line on this anyway. Conventional drilling is way overdue for regulatory upgrades in PA, and the idea that the non-Marcellus resource extraction process is fine is nuts. We need a comprehensive overhaul of our extractive industry regulations, including conventional drilling, methane emissions, coal ash waste disposal, and all the rest.
If Republicans wanted to write the environmental regulations, they shouldn’t have let Tom Corbett blow their party’s credibility with the voters on the environment––an overlooked reason why he lost the election so badly.
If you’ve got Republican state representatives, tell them to respect the real rule-writing process, and get their hands off the Fiscal Code.