Wolf’s Win In Pa. Won’t Chase Off Energy Industry

November 4, 2014 – In The News

Phil Hinerman was quoted in the Law360 article, “Wolf's Win In Pa. Won’t Chase Off Energy Industry.” Full text can be found in the November 4, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election winner Tom Wolf has expressed interest in boosting funding for the state’s Department of Environmental Protection so the agency can increase staff and have better oversight of drillers.

Data from the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research presents a mixed picture of DEP’s ability to monitor the industry however. While inspections doubled from 2010 to 2011, and continued to grow, actual enforcement actions declined to 54 percent.

“Part of it is the budget cuts, and part of it is a tone that we need to take care to not aggressively enforce these issues and disturb the industry,” Phil Hinerman, said of the decline in enforcements.

Hinerman speculated that, in recent years where the DEP and the attorney general's office have been controlled by differing parties there has been a reluctance to grant referrals. But this could now change.

“Environmental crimes play well in the media. They’re easy to get people excited about. The issue lends itself to a more political climate,” Hinerman noted.