Legislation has been introduced in the state House and Senate taking conventional oil and gas operations out of Act 13 and placing them under their own Conventional Oil and Gas Act.

“The conventional oil and gas industry employs thousands of people and is a vital contributor, not only to our local economy but to our statewide economy as well,” said Representative Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter), primary sponsor of the House version of the legislation. “The goal of this legislation is to ensure fair regulation of the industry that will effectively protect the environment while also protecting this valuable industry and the jobs it provides.”

The legislation would reenact an updated version of the Oil and Gas Act of 1984, which had governed the industry until the Marcellus Shale boom and proliferation of advanced drilling methods prompted development and passage of new requirements included in Act 13 of 2012.

“Although Act 13 was intended to address new issues with the unconventional industry, it also placed an unbearable burden on the much smaller conventional producers,” Causer said. “The operations are very different, and the regulations must be as well.”

The proposal to reenact the Oil and Gas Act includes several regulatory updates and clarifications, and would serve as the framework for any future changes to rules impacting the conventional oil and gas industry. The legislation has been developed in large part by members of the Penn Grade Crude Advisory Council, which was created by Act 52 of 2016 to advise and assist DEP with regulatory changes impacting the conventional industry.

House Bill 2154 was introduced with bipartisan support from across the state and has been referred to the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for consideration. A companion bill, SB 1088, has been introduced by Senator Scott Hutchinson (R-Butler/Clarion/Forest/Venango/Warren) and was referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

PIOGA is strongly supporting this legislation and encourages members to contact their representative and senator to urge quick passage.