PEC Statement on Marcellus Shale Regulation

Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Environmental Council takes issue with comments attributed to Katherine Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. In those comments, Ms. Klaber is quoted as saying that “The pendulum has swung to regulation for the sake of regulation.”

The idea that regulation of the shale gas industry is some sort of exercise is ill-advised and baseless.  PEC and many other organizations have spent years working to ensure that responsible and effective legislative and regulatory measures are enacted that will protect Pennsylvanians and the environment.

The development of shale gas in Pennsylvania is complicated and not only presents opportunities for economic benefits as well as some environmental benefits in fuel switching, it also directly impacts Pennsylvania’s lands, water, air and communities.

PEC has worked with a broad array of stakeholders – including industry – over the last four years to understand and work to address the impacts of unconventional shale development. While the proposed regulations are not perfect, in fact we believe they can be further improved, they greatly strengthen Pennsylvania’s ability to manage the development of the unconventional shale gas industry.  Indeed, many of the proposed regulations have been endorsed by members of the MSC through the recommendations of the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, whose report provided part of the framework for Act 13.

Act 13 was the result of more than two years of deliberation. Enactment of regulations to realize the new protections afforded by Act 13 won’t take place until two years or more of in depth collaboration and discussions after passage of the law. Industry has been heavily involved in every step of that dialog. To characterize this as an onslaught of regulation is severely misguided and not at all accurate.

The idea of “regulation for the sake of regulation” needs to be dismissed out of hand and replaced with the understanding that the DEP and all stakeholders are working hard to develop regulations that balance the complicated and often competing demands of environmental protection and economic development.