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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 12, 2014 11:08 AM
From: Senator Scott E. Hutchinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council
My legislative district includes the region where the production of oil and gas began over a century and a half ago, helping fuel the Industrial Revolution and transforming our nation’s economy. Since then, generations of small producers have operated conventional shallow wells in a safe and responsible manner. The oil produced in this region is unlike any other in the world and is used in specific products, from cosmetics to food production. This industry is an important component the regional economy – an economy that is already struggling and cannot afford being stymied by excessive regulatory burdens.

Recent technological advances that have allowed for the development of previously inaccessible formations have necessitated updates and revisions to Pennsylvania’s laws and regulations governing this new unconventional “shale gas” industry. Unfortunately, many of these regulatory and legislative changes did not adequately allow for the significant differences between conventional and unconventional development. The obvious differences within the industry must not be ignored and should be reflected in a separate regulatory framework for conventional oil and gas operations.

In addition, I believe that the unique Pennsylvania Grade Crude Oil product is an asset which should be marketed and promoted, including the specific refineries which process Penn Grade Crude Oil.

I will soon introduce legislation establishing the Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council, which will study existing regulations and assist the Department of Environmental Protection in making changes that better address the differences between conventional and unconventional oil and gas production. Furthermore the Council, which will include membership by the Department of Community and Economic Development, will be charged with promoting Pennsylvania’s historic conventional oil and gas industry and advocating its future development. The Council will be a public/private partnership modeled after the successful Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council established in 1988.

Please join me in cosponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions, please contact Justin Leventry in my Harrisburg office.

Introduced as SB1310