A Republican bill to relax regulations on the shallow oil and gas drilling that has gone on in Pennsylvania for more than a century passed the state House Tuesday despite firm opposition from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. The GOP-majority chamber voted 111-84 for a proposal that covers permits, rules for wells, spills and enforcement for drilling that does not include the much deeper wells tapping into the Marcellus Shale formation. Backers say the bill is needed because “conventional” well operators can’t afford to meet tougher standards designed for Marcellus Shale production. Wolf’s legislative affairs secretary, Will Danowski, said in a letter to lawmakers sent Tuesday that the administration was strongly opposed, warning the bill would harm the environment and lessen landowner protections.

Source: Local News