As Law360 reported, Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force delivered 184 recommendations regarding responsible development and increased natural gas usage in the commonwealth to Gov. Tom Wolf yesterday. However, it is unclear how the recommendations might play out due to the commonwealth’s budget crisis and the short-staffing of the Department of Environmental Protection, which would shoulder more than half of the recommendations identified.

Alan M. Seltzer, shareholder in Buchanan’s energy practice, sat on the task force’s siting and routing subcommittee. He described one of the recommendations, which is to either create a new regulatory entity or enhance the power of an existing one to approve the footprint of intrastate transmission lines.

“You’re going to have to build political consensus around it and start the legislative process,” explains Seltzer.

The task force was noted for being able to successfully build consensus between the energy industry and environmentalists.

“It’s very rare that you bring committed people together to arm-wrestle and talk about these issues,” says Seltzer. “The push and pull of debate that goes on in these closed-door sessions is a valuable exercise. But how you translate the evaluations and recommendations is the key challenge.”

Read the full article (subscription required) – “Slow Road Ahead For Changes To Pa. Pipeline Development” (Law360, February 18, 2016)