Fast-tracked drilling bill prompts objection

Monday, June 30, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - An environmental advocacy organization is protesting an effort by some lawmakers to attach changes in oil and gas drilling regulations to a broader budget-related bill.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council said Monday that the maneuver works against government transparency. It asked lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett to reject it.

The proposal would essentially fast-track stand-alone legislation that hasn't had a floor vote.

Those bills would require state regulators to treat two types of drilling differently: deep, modern gas wells and traditional shallow wells.

But the council says it's uncertain whether conventional wells would be fully exempt from regulation.

The stand-alone bills' sponsors, Rep. Martin Causer and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, say that they want to tailor rules to different industries, not lower environmental standards.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.


Click image to enlarge.