FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pa. House Democratic Caucus
House Democrats introduce ‘Marcellus Compact’ to fix flawed shale drilling law
Six-bill package puts Pennsylvanians first, not the multi-billion-dollar oil and gas industry
HARRISBURG, May 25 – House Democrats this week introduced their Marcellus Compact – a six-bill legislative package aimed at fixing Gov. Tom Corbett’s industry-friendly Marcellus Shale law.
The Marcellus Compact represents House Democrats’ promise that the interests and concerns of Pennsylvanians come first. That’s in stark contrast to the Corbett Marcellus Shale law, Act 13 of 2012, which Democrats said was written for, and by, the multi-billion-dollar oil and gas industry.
"This Marcellus Compact is our attempt to right the wrongs of Governor Corbett’s sham of a Marcellus Shale law,” said Democratic Leader Frank Dermody. "House Democrats are committed to a strong Marcellus Shale law that puts Pennsylvania taxpayers, workers and families first, and these bills will accomplish that.”
The Marcellus Compact includes the following six bills:
· H.B. 2412, sponsored by Dermody, D-Allegheny, would restore the rights of municipalities to determine how natural-gas drilling and related activities can be zoned in their communities.
· H.B. 2413, sponsored by Democratic Whip Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, would provide real tax fairness to Pennsylvanians through a fair and reasonable statewide fee for drilling companies, rather than the Corbett law, which imposes among the lowest fees in the nation.
· H.B. 2414, sponsored by Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-Bucks, would establish stronger environmental safeguards in natural gas drilling activities than what is currently required in Act 13.
· H.B. 2415, sponsored by Rep. Matt Bradford, D-Montgomery, would ensure the rights of patients and doctors to full medical disclosure and transparency in natural gas fracking – a hot-button issue that has caused serious concerns regarding Act 13.
· H.B. 2416, sponsored by Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Luzerne, would add new protections from drilling activities for public water sources and would create an online tracking system to report the storage, transportation and disposal of drilling wastewater.
· H.B. 2399, sponsored by Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Lycoming, would 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.
"These are common-sense bills that make Pennsylvania residents and workers the top priority when it comes to the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry,” Hanna said. “We intend to be the people’s voice and advocate in Harrisburg, because it’s clear they’re not being heard by this governor or his allies."