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Marcellus Shale Coalition Responds to Proposed Article 78 Changes

The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) sees more harm than good coming from the state’s proposed changes to how companies handle their above-ground drilling operations that include lost jobs and higher taxes.

In an email to the Pennsylvania Business Daily, David Spigelmyer, president of the MSC, said, “The governor’s regulatory overreach, taken together with the threat of a highest-in-the-nation energy tax, as well as persistently low global commodity prices, severely discourages investment and job creation in the Commonwealth.  Given these clear and widely reported facts, small-medium businesses and supply chain companies will be hurt the most.”

The proposed provisions to PA Code Chapter 78 focus on both on and off site activities of traditional and shale gas wells.  The DEP has categorized all the provisions into permitting, abandoned well identification, waste management at well sites and issues off the well site.

The MSC believes these new rules would provide little benefit to the environment and would only increase the cost of doing business, potentially driving investment out of the commonwealth.

State producers currently only receive 37 percent of the price received by producers outside of the Appalachian Basin,” MSC said. “Increasing costs drives dollars elsewhere and will reduce work for supply-chain operators in Pennsylvania.”

DEP anticipates sending the new regulations to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission by the end of first quarter 2016.