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

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 #52: Taking Charge
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #52: Taking Charge

September 1, 2017By: Josh Raulerson

A legislative raid on special environment & conservation funds may leave communities on the hook for money already spent on local grant-funded projects; Shell agrees to fenceline monitoring at its new ethane cracker; and Hurricane Harvey delivers a stark warning...

PEC in the News

Op-ed: A disaster in the making

August 12, 2017Centre Daily Times

BY DAVID HESS AND DAVITT WOODWELL AUGUST 11, 2017 10:28 PM   The chaotic state budget process is again moving in fits and starts in Harrisburg. And, again, the public is left to wonder how our environment will bear the...

Pennsylvania Legacies #49: The Cost of Doing Business
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #49: The Cost of Doing Business

August 11, 2017By: Josh Raulerson

Curbing methane emissions from natural gas production isn’t just about combating climate change. For many conservatives in Western states, it’s just good business. We visit a Wyoming startup that’s helping oil & gas companies save money and keep their workers...

Pennsylvania Legacies #44: The Colorado Way
PEC Blog

Pennsylvania Legacies #44: The Colorado Way

June 23, 2017By: Josh Raulerson

In 2014, Colorado became the first state to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. As Pennsylvania takes similar steps, what can we learn from Colorado’s experience convening diverse stakeholders to create effective and feasible rules? Learn more...