Governor Signs Bill Protecting Conventional Oil/Gas Production in PA


The Governor today (June 23) signed into law legislation that promotes Pennsylvania’s conventional oil and natural gas industry and removes it from onerous and inappropriate regulations imposed by the Department of Environment Protection (DEP) that are intended for Marcellus Shale operations, according to Senator Scott E. Hutchinson.

Senate Bill 279 was signed into law as Act 52 of 2016.

Senator Hutchinson introduced the measure to establish the Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council and strongly supported amending it to include language removing conventional oil and gas drillers from the DEP’s changes to state (Chapter 78) regulations on drilling operations in the Commonwealth.

“I appreciate the efforts that made this new law a reality and thereby offer a much brighter future for the conventional oil and gas industry and the thousands of Pennsylvanians whose jobs and livelihoods are dependent on those operations,” said Senator Hutchinson. “Unfortunately, some in the rule-making process were unable or unwilling to recognize the vast differences between the conventional and unconventional drilling industries.  Fortunately, the General Assembly and the Governor were able to reach an agreement on the issue, which resulted in this measure.”

Act 126 of 2014 made it clear that rules developed for Marcellus Shale gas extraction operations by Department of Environmental Protection must be separate from the conventional drilling industry. Senate Bill 279 reinforces that provision and declares that the DEP’s newly enacted regulations for conventional operations are void.

“The Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council created under this new law will promote the conventional gas and oil industry and serve as a technical advisory board to address issues affecting conventional production,” said Senator Hutchinson.  “The council will work with the DEP to ensure that the differences between small and large conventional operations, in addition to the vast differences between conventional drilling and unconventional drilling, are taken into account as future regulations or laws are developed and implemented.”

Contact:          Justin Leventry           (717) 787-9684