This week, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing to discuss the role of federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing and natural gas development in the United States. And while committee members and panelists varied in their positions, one resounding fact was clear: The safe development of America’s natural gas supply is pivotal to the health and stability of our nation.
In Pennsylvania – a state endowed with an immense reserve of natural gas – state regulators have stepped up to the plate, putting in place forward-leaning regulations so that energy resources are developed in a safe and responsible manner that protects the continued health of our environment, water, and communities. And by constantly updating the regulatory framework, Pennsylvania regulators under both the Rendell and Corbett Administrations have ensured the continued protection of our ecosystems while developing the energy consumers and the county needs.
From providing clean-burning and affordable energy to customers, to creating jobs and opportunities throughout the community, states are working with industry and other stakeholders to develop our energy resources in a way that we can be proud of. As Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Michael Krancer, emphasized at this week’s hearing, Pennsylvania’s regulations have played an effective role in keeping oil and natural gas production safe in the Commonwealth for decades, while serving as a model for other states to follow.
More from Secretary Krancer:
“Our ability to unlock the huge clean burning energy source contained in unconventional shale formations has transformed Pennsylvania into an energy exporter and will ultimately move our nation toward energy self-sufficiency. In addition, we are looking at an economic and energy transformation.”
“We have already seen tens of thousands of new jobs here in Pennsylvania from the industry itself as well as from new industries spawned to support it. These are good paying career jobs in many fields. And that is just the start. There will be hundreds of thousands more good paying skilled and unskilled jobs in a variety of sectors.”
“Pennsylvania’s natural gas extraction has dramatically increased over the past few years and we are delivering huge amounts of cheap clean fuel to Americans because of our ability to know our state and regulate and oversee the safe conduct of this activity within our state better than anyone.”
“Pennsylvania regulates oil and gas well operations under several statutes including the Oil and Gas Act of 2012, the Clean Streams Law, the Air Pollution Control Act, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act and the Solid Waste Management Act. As described in more detail to follow, this network of laws and their associated regulations provides the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) with the tools it needs to comprehensively regulate everything associated with oil and gas development – from locating the well site, site preparation, drilling the well, fresh water withdrawals and water storage, wastewater management, and site restoration.”
“According to STRONGER, ‘the Pennsylvania program is, over all, well-managed, professional and meeting its program objectives.’ I would go beyond that and say that Pennsylvania has done an exceptional job managing the new challenges that shale gas development presents while allowing our citizens to enjoy the enormous benefits created by this industry.”
“The promise for the future is even brighter as this and other domestic energy sources can unlock an economic renaissance that America can lead. I can tell you unequivocally that the federal government could not have implemented and executed what we have done, and done very well, right here in Pennsylvania.”
Click HERE to view Sec. Krancer’s testimony in full.