FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Phyllis Mundy
House GOP ducks attempts to fix state's flawed Marcellus Shale law
HARRISBURG, June 21 – House Republicans on Thursday blocked state Rep. Phyllis Mundy's attempt to improve environmental protection over natural gas drilling and to create an online tracking system for the storage and disposal of fracking wastewater.
Mundy, D-Luzerne, attempted to amend H.B. 1659, but House Republicans used parliamentary maneuvers to prevent her amendment from even being considered.
"My amendment would have put the interests of Pennsylvanians before the interests of the natural gas industry," Mundy said. "I am very disappointed that Republicans refused to allow the House to consider it."
In addition to creating the online "frac track" system, Mundy's amendment would have placed a moratorium on discharging drilling wastewater into surface waters and prohibited drilling operations in floodplains.
Mundy and other Democratic sponsors of the Marcellus Compact, a package of bills to fix the flawed Act 13 that regulates natural gas drilling and which was signed into law earlier this year, each offered part of the compact as a separate amendment to H.B. 1659. But the Republican majority voted to find these amendments "not germane" to the bill.
The Marcellus Compact also includes bills that would:
· Restore the rights of municipalities to determine how natural-gas drilling and related activities can be zoned in their communities;
· Provide tax fairness to Pennsylvanians through a fair and reasonable statewide fee for drilling companies, rather than the current law, which imposes some of the lowest fees in the nation;
· Establish stronger environmental safeguards in natural gas drilling activities than what is currently required in Act 13;
· Ensure the rights of patients and doctors to full medical disclosure and transparency in natural gas fracking;
· Create a new Marcellus Shale Job Creation Tax Credit program as an incentive for companies in the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry to hire Pennsylvania workers.