PEC Supports Certain Amendments to House Bill 1327 (P.N. 2650)

To: Members of the House Rules Committee
From: John Walliser, Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Re: Support for Certain Amendments to House Bill 1327 (P.N. 2650)

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, I urge you to support two amendments to House Bill 1327 that will be offered tomorrow (Dec. 15) before the Rules Committee. Both amendments remove language in House Bill 1327 that are against the public interest and likely unconstitutional.

The first amendment would delete language that expands legislative review of the Department of Environmental Protection’s (Department) proposed submission of a State Implementation Plan as required by the federal Clean Power Plan. Extension of this review increases the risk that the Department will not be able to submit the State Implementation Plan by the deadline required by federal law; thus resulting in imposition of a federally-mandated plan that is not tailored to the unique needs of Pennsylvania.

The second amendment would delete language that would abrogate proposed conventional oil and gas drilling regulations that the Department has been working on for more than three years. These regulations have been the subject of 12 public hearings, thousands of public comments, and extensive revision after consultation with industry. The proposed regulations provide vital public health and safety protections as required by Act 13 of 2012.

These two provisions in House Bill 1327 were inserted by the Senate mere hours before the legislation was voted on. There was no reasonable public notice, opportunity to comment, or due consideration of the additions; additions which may in fact violate the single subject rule of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The House Rules Committee should amend House Bill 1327 to remove these bad policy provisions.

Thank you for your consideration.

John Walliser
Senior Vice President, Legal & Government Affairs
Pennsylvania Environmental Council