HARRISBURG – As the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today questioned consumer advocates, industry and the federal government on issues related to Marcellus Shale development, safety and PUC jurisdiction, the PUC announced it would continue its review of the issues with a second special en banc hearing.
“The extraction of the natural gas associated with the Marcellus Shale has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and while significantly stimulating the state’s economy,” said PUC Vice Chairman Tyrone J. Christy. “At the same time, we must guard the public interest when it comes to ensuring that the natural gas and the goods and services needed to extract it are being transported in a safe manner. Today’s hearing marks the beginning on an ongoing dialogue at the PUC.”
The PUC has created a page on its website on Marcellus Shale issues. Audio of the hearing is available there as well as the testimony and comments filed in the proceeding.
The second hearing will be held at 1 p.m. June 16, 2010, in Hearing Room 1 of the Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA. More details will follow as they are available on the Marcellus Shale page which is found as a link under the natural gas tab on the PUC website. The four PUC Commissioners will conduct the en banc hearing to solicit additional comments from specific parties who are being invited to testify. Interested parties also will be invited to submit comments.
Marcellus Shale development creates numerous issues and unanswered questions, many of which impact the Commission’s core functions. The en banc hearings are to examine these questions sooner rather than later so that the Commission can fully protect the public while not stifling economic growth. The hearings do not examine issues outside of the Commission’s jurisdiction such as water quality or other environmental issues.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner. For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket No. I-2010-2163461