Shale Gas

Shale Gas

Shale gas has considerable economic significance, along with equal potential for irreparable damage to the natural resources of our Commonwealth.

The development of natural gas from shale formations is one of the most complicated and critical environmental issues that Pennsylvania has ever faced. While shale gas has considerable economic significance, there is equal potential for irreparable damage to the natural resources of our Commonwealth.

PEC is arguably the strongest and most consistent voice in Pennsylvania for robust and actionable regulation of the shale gas industry. Our body of work — reports, testimony, and advocacy on regulation and legislation — reflects our resolute position on proactive oversight. We have pushed for mandatory setbacks, greater planning, public disclosure, groundwater protections, controls on waste and wastewater, public health research, stronger bonding and fines, and greater enforcement.

It is imperative to ensure that shale gas development does not proceed as so many extractive industries in Pennsylvania have over the last 200 years; the Commonwealth continues to deal with the costs and impacts of this legacy every day.

While it holds the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our state, shale gas will not be the final turning point in our energy future. We still must look today toward energy conservation, efficiency, and, most importantly for PEC, changing the generation mix to low-impact sources to get us to the energy future we must all achieve.


Policy Posts

PEC Letter to PA Senate on HB 2154

September 25, 2018

PEC, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, submitted the following letter to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee in opposition to House Bill 2154, which would weaken environmental protection standards applied to the conventional oil and gas industry.

PEC Opposes HB 2154

PEC Opposes HB 2154

April 30, 2018

PEC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have sent the following joint statement to House members in opposition to House Bill 2154, weakening environmental protections in relation to oil and gas production.     April 30, 2018 To: Members of the...

PEC-EDF Letter Opposing Rollback of Act 13 Standards

PEC-EDF Letter Opposing Rollback of Act 13 Standards

April 11, 2018

PEC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have sent the following joint statement to Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee members in opposition to Senate Bill 1088, concerning environmental protection and performance standards for the conventional oil and gas industry.  ...

PEC Letter to Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

January 29, 2018

PEC submitted the following comments to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, which will have a voting meeting tomorrow (January 30, 2018) for several bills. January 29, 2018 To:  Members of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Re:  Senate...

PEC Applauds DEP Permitting Modernization Effort

PEC Applauds DEP Permitting Modernization Effort

January 26, 2018

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council commends Governor Wolf and the Department of Environmental Protection for their efforts to improve Department performance with respect to environmental protection and responsiveness to the regulated community. Today’s announcement that the Governor will seek to add...

Letter: Don’t Trade Environmental Protections for Severance Tax

Letter: Don’t Trade Environmental Protections for Severance Tax

November 21, 2017

This letter was sent to all members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday, November 21st. Dear Representatives: Last night the House amended House Bill 1401 to include a number of provisions that unreasonably roll back environmental protections in...

PEC Letter on Administrative Code Legislation

July 12, 2017

PEC sent the following communication in to the General Assembly: July 11, 2017 To: Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly Re: Environmental Riders to Administrative Code Legislation (Senate Bill 446) The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) urges you to oppose three...

Opposition to Senate Bill 175

January 30, 2017

PEC sent the following letter on Senate Bill 175 to members of the Pennsylvania Senate today: Dear Senators: On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I am writing to convey our opposition to Senate Bill 175. This legislation prevents...

PEC Position on Senate Bill 32 (P.N. 13)

January 13, 2017

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council opposes Senate Bill 32 (P.N. 13) as currently written because it continues a long trend of cutting resources and funding available to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to perform its obligations to the Commonwealth. SB...

PEC Opposes Attempt to Reverse Rulemaking Protections

PEC Opposes Attempt to Reverse Rulemaking Protections

September 22, 2016

UPDATE: Upon further review of the proposed amendment, the amendment language would also prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection’s ability to require additional permitting requirements for well sites located in close proximity to schools or playgrounds. September 22, 2016 To:...

PEC Opposes Environmental Riders to State Budget Legislation

PEC Opposes Environmental Riders to State Budget Legislation

July 11, 2016

Today the Senate quickly amended and passed legislation — Senate Bill 1229, a catch-all Administrative Code bill that accompanies the state budget – to include provisions that weaken proposed final regulations for unconventional oil and gas operations. Specifically, the amendments...

What’s New

Step Onto the Virtual Well Pad
PEC Blog

Step Onto the Virtual Well Pad

September 28, 2018By: Josh Raulerson

Pennsylvania has an opportunity to substantially lower emissions of methane from our natural gas industry, the nation’s second-largest, simply by requiring better monitoring and quicker response to leaks on well pads. Finding and fixing these leaks will mean significantly reducing...

PEC in the News

Caucus members urge DEP to reconsider steep fee increase

August 18, 2018Indiana Gazette

A letter signed by several local lawmakers and others in the state House Oil and Gas Caucus asks state Department of Environment Protection Secretary and Environmental Quality Board Chairman Patrick McDonnell to reconsider a proposed increase from $5,000 to $12,500...

PEC in the News

Letter: See what Pa. oil and gas bill does

August 11, 2018Elmira Star-Gazette

Clinton Owlett is the representative for Pennsylvania’s 68th Legislative District (Tioga, and part of Bradford and Potter counties). On June 5, he voted for Pennsylvania House Bill 2154, which amended oil and gas drilling regulations. The analyses of HB-2154 by...

Worse Than We Knew
PEC Blog

Worse Than We Knew

June 22, 2018By: Josh Raulerson

Here’s what we already knew about methane: It’s the primary component of natural gas. It’s much more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. And a non-zero amount of it is escaping into the atmosphere as a result of...