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Fast-tracked drilling bill prompts objection

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 30, 2014 at 3:37 pm •  Published: June 30, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — An environmental advocacy organization is protesting an effort by some lawmakers to attach changes in oil and gas drilling regulations to a broader budget-related bill.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council said Monday that the maneuver works against government transparency. It asked lawmakers and Gov. Tom Corbett to reject it.

The proposal would essentially fast-track stand-alone legislation that hasn't had a floor vote.

Those bills would require state regulators to treat two types of drilling differently: deep, modern gas wells and traditional shallow wells.

But the council says it's uncertain whether conventional wells would be fully exempt from regulation.

The stand-alone bills' sponsors, Rep. Martin Causer and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( ) that they want to tailor rules to different industries, not lower environmental standards.