On March 30, 2015 2:42 pm
By: Rick Stouffer, Senior Energy Editor, Shale Energy Business Briefing
The judicial leg of America’s three-legged form of government (also including the executive and legislative branches) has become much longer than its brethren when it comes to environmental issues, panelists said during the Oil & Gas Awards Northeast Industry Summit on Wednesday, March 25 in Pittsburgh, PA.
There is an unmistakable bias when it comes to shale oil and gas, with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the courts comfortably ensconced in lockstep concerning many industry issues.
“Sue and settle,” a process by which regulatory agencies like EPA cede their rulemaking power to outsiders, usually environmentalists, is the rule – not the exception – some panelists said.
“It’s become a judgeocracy, and I don’t see much difference between the environmentalists and the EPA,” said Mike Krancer, Philadelphia-based Chairman of the Energy Team at the law firm Blank Rome, and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Krancer – never one to hold back when it comes to expressing his feelings concerning what he considers a “meddling” EPA – stated the cost of regulations of the oil and gas industry are off the charts and is due to one very big reason.
“A huge piece of the US economy is being driven by environmentalists and a lot of people wearing black robes,” according to Krancer.
Audience members were treated to great repartee by panelists including Krancer during the discussion titled, “The Unconstitutional Regulation of the Oil & Gas Industry: Lawmaking through Litigation.”
The panel was part of an all-day program preceding the Third Annual Oil & Gas Awards, Northeast Region, held in Pittsburgh.