In 2011, LT. Governor Jim Cawley was named as chair of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The commission was formed by Governor Corbett to develop a comprehensive proposal for the responsible and environmentally sound development of Pennsylvania’s natural gas reserve.
After completing a review of the existing and proposed legislation and policies that regulate natural gas development, the commission published a report that provided the framework for the recently enacted natural gas legislation, known as Act 13.
Among the commission’s recommendations that became part of Act 13 are:
• Increasing civil penalties for violations of the Oil and Gas Act from $25,000 to $50,000 and the daily penalty from $1000/day to $2,000/day.
• Amending the Oil and Gas Act to authorize DEP to suspend, revoke or deny permits in a more timely manner than current law allows when an operator has failed to comply with the Oil and Gas Act
• Developing “Green Corridors” for natural gas fueled vehicles, including Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueling stations, located at least every 50 miles and within 2 miles of designated highways.
• Authorizing counties to impose a fee for the purpose of mitigating and offsetting the uncompensated portion of demonstrated impacts borne by the citizens and local governments attributable to unconventional natural gas development.
By enacting this legislation, Pennsylvania moves closer to becoming the national leader in energy innovation and development. Our natural resources can help power future generations, as well as provide Pennsylvanians with opportunity and prosperity. This plan for natural gas development will help foster a climate for job creation, protect the public, enhance our natural resources, and secure our energy independence.