Shale Gas

Shale Gas

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

PEC is arguably the strongest and most consistent voice in the state on the regulation of the shale gas industry. While the industry poses significant economic benefits, it can sldo serve as a detriment to our environment.

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 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...

PEC Applauds IRRC Approval of Environmental Protections at Oil and Gas Well Sites

PEC Applauds IRRC Approval of Environmental Protections at Oil and Gas Well Sites

April 21, 2016

Contacts: John Walliser, Davitt Woodwell Date: April 21, 2016 Phone: (412) 481-9400 Email: jwalliser@pecpa.org; dwoodwell@pecpa.org Pittsburgh – Today the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) hailed the Independent Regulatory Review Commission’s (IRRC) approval of proposed regulations to enact long-overdue environmental protection and...

What’s New

Pennsylvania Legacies #71: Clear for Takeoff
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #71: Clear for Takeoff

April 20, 2018By: Josh Raulerson

Pennsylvania looks for an on-ramp to the EV revolution, and Environmental Defense Fund launches a first-of-its kind initiative to track methane emissions from space. Links: PEC Letter on EV Infrastructure Legislation EDF Announces Satellite Mission to Locate and Measure Methane...

Busy Week Ahead for Environmental Policy
PEC Blog

Busy Week Ahead for Environmental Policy

April 13, 2018By: John Walliser

Next week the Pennsylvania Senate and House will be in session, and a number of bills that affect the environment will be under consideration. They include: The Good House Bill 1446 – PEC Supports The House is expected to take...

PEC in the News

Bill would roll back standards on conventional oil and gas drillers

April 12, 2018StateImpact Pennsylvania

A new bill in the state senate seeks to roll back environmental requirements on Pennsylvania’s conventional oil and gas industry, alleviating what its sponsor calls the “unbearable burden” of tougher standards targeted at larger, Marcellus Shale drillers. The measure marks...

Pennsylvania Legacies #68: Measuring Methane
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #68: Measuring Methane

March 9, 2018By: Josh Raulerson

Nobody knows exactly how much methane is released each year by Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. But a new Environmental Defense Fund analysis suggests actual emissions could be as high as five times the state’s official estimate. Links: Let’s Pick...