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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 9, 2021 09:07 AM
From: Senator Scott E. Hutchinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Conventional Oil and Gas Act
In the near future I plan to introduce legislation that would create a separate and unique act to govern the conventional oil and gas industry in PA. 
The conventional oil and gas industry began with the first conventional well drilled by Colonel Drake, in Titusville, in 1859.  The industry has grown over the years and has become a backbone of western Pennsylvania’s culture and economy.  Conventional oil and gas wells are small, low pressure units, that dot western Pennsylvania’s landscape.  This is markedly different from Pennsylvania’s new unconventional shale (Marcellus and Utica) wells.  These unconventional shale wells use advanced technology to tap large, deep, high-pressure gas formations.  The size, complexity and economics of unconventional shale wells greatly exceed that of conventional wells, and as such require different regulations and rules.
For example, current law requires that during the well permitting process notice of a new well’s development be provided to surrounding municipalities.  The multi-municipal notice requirement reflects the fact that unconventional well development is transportation intensive and that road and other impacts are multi-municipal.  Conventional well development involves only a few truck trips and is not multi-municipal.
With the Marcellus Shale boom and the proliferation of advanced drilling methods, this new unconventional oil and gas industry began to flourish in Pennsylvania. As a result, Act 13 of 2012 was passed to address some of the concerns and issues that were specific to this new unconventional industry. Although it was intended to address new issues with the unconventional industry, Act 13 also placed an unbearable burden on the much smaller conventional producers and over time has brought the conventional industry to near collapse due to the lack of separate regulation as distinct industries.
To help alleviate this, I am introducing legislation to provide a legislative framework for regulations specific to conventional oil and gas drillers in a way that protects the environment while preserving this valuable industry.  These industries are vastly different from each other, and if we fail to recognize that difference and regulate accordingly this family, community, and life sustaining industry will not survive. 
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Nathan Akers in my office at 787-9684 or nakers@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB534