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Fast-tracked drilling bill prompts objection

June 30, 2014
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — An environmental advocacy organization is objecting to bills attached to budget legislation that would change how Pennsylvania regulates oil and natural gas drilling.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council said Monday that the maneuver works against government transparency. It asked lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett to reject it.

The proposal would essentially fast-track stand-alone legislation that hasn't had a floor vote.

Those bills would require state regulators to treat two types of drilling differently: deep, modern gas wells and traditional shallow wells.

But the council says it's uncertain whether conventional wells would be fully exempt from regulation.

The stand-alone bills' sponsors, Rep. Martin Causer and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( ) that they want to tailor rules to different industries, not lower environmental standards.



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