Causer, Rapp Join Call to Action for PA Conventional Oil Industry
TITUSVILLE – Reps. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) and Kathy Rapp (R-Warren) this week joined hundreds of independent oil producers and supporters at the world’s first oil well to highlight the challenges threatening the future of this 150-year-old industry.
Hosted by Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers (PIPP) at the Drake Well Museum in Titusville, the event was designed to send a message to Harrisburg that regulations geared toward large-scale unconventional wells are not only unnecessary for shallow well drillers but may well be the industry’s death sentence.
“Our independent oil and gas producers are vital contributors, not only to our local economy but to our statewide economy as well,” Causer said. “We can’t afford to have government regulate them out of business. It’s time for the administration to work with us to ensure the future of Penn Grade crude and all the business and industry it supports.”
“I am proud to stand with all of you in the fight to not only protect this industry but to get government out of the way so it can grow and thrive,” Rapp said. “It’s time for the bureaucrats who write these regulations to be held accountable to the people.”
PIPP President Gary Hovis led off the event by highlighting the differences between drilling conventional and unconventional wells. Because conventional wells can be drilled more quickly and require less ground area, water and truck traffic, Hovis said the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) should develop a separate set of regulations for unconventional wells and allow conventional wells to continue operating under current regulations.
Former Congressman John Peterson, who served as emcee at the event, reiterated the call to separate shallow well drillers from the large-scale drilling in the Marcellus Shale saying that northwestern Pennsylvania cannot afford to lose one more job to state policy.
Hovis and Peterson were followed by more than a dozen speakers involved in various parts of the oil and gas industry, each sharing their stories of how state regulations have increased operating costs, decreased production and threatened the future of their livelihoods. The speakers ranged from fourth and fifth generation operators to students at the Warren County Career Center Gas Program.
“The modern petroleum industry started right here in northwestern Pennsylvania. It helped power the Industrial Revolution, and helped America win both World Wars,” the lawmakers said. “The industry is an important part of our past and we will join with the producers and workers in the fight to keep it here for future generations.”