Welcome to PIOGA's online membership system

PIOGA's in-person Fall Conference was a hit!
PIOGA's Fall Conference last week at Seven Springs was the first time many of the attendees had participated in an in-person event in as long as six-plus months. Thanks to an excellent speaker lineup and an outdoor venue under a large tent that allowed for social distancing, attendees, presenters and exhibitors alike overwhelmingly praised the event. The weather was perfect for the conference and for the sporting clays and golf that bookended the meeting. Above, Scott Roberts moderates an industry panel made up of (from left) Mike Hillebrand of Huntley & Huntley, Paul Espenan of Diversified Gas & Oil and Brian Pulito of Steptoe & Johnson. For more scenes from Seven Springs, visit our website's Photo Galleries section and watch for a report in the October PIOGA Press.
Governor vetoes RGGI-blocking legislation
Governor Tom Wolf on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have blocked his administration from entering into a regional program to limit carbon emissions. House Bill 2025 would have required Wolf to receive legislative approval in order to regulate carbon emissions. It also would have barred his administration from entering the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) without the approval of the General Assembly.
 
In a veto message, Wolf said the legislation would have prevented the Department of Environmental Protection from controlling harmful emissions. "This legislation creates burdensome and duplicative processes that will thwart the Department's ability to take any action to regulate the greenhouse gas most responsible for climate change in the transportation, industrial, and commercial sectors, as well as the electric power sector," Wolf said.
 
Wolf signed an executive order in 2019 to begin the rulemaking process for the state to join RGGI, which would place a cap on carbon emissions and require fossil fuel-burning power plants to purchase allowances from the state equal to the amount of carbon they emit. Over time that cap would be lowered to reduce emissions throughout the state.
 
Senator Joe Pittman (R-Indiana), who co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill, said in a statement that Wolf's veto could spell the end for power plants in his district. "With his veto of House Bill 2025, Governor Wolf has signed the economic death warrant of the communities I represent," Pittman said in a statement. "We will continue to explore all avenues, legislative and legal to prevent the Governor from unilaterally increasing the bills of electricity consumers by $300 million while exporting thousands of good paying family sustaining jobs to other states." 
DEP electronic payment issues
The Department of Environmental Protection has been experiencing issues related to the electronic payment for permit applications submitted via the ePermitting and eWell applications. For a number of electronic permit application submissions, DEP is not receiving the electronic verification of payment from its electronic payment vendor. This results in an electronic permit application remaining in a "draft" status rather than being updated to a "Submitted" status despite payment being submitted. As a result, some operators are attempting to resubmit their permit applications, in some cases multiple times. These resubmission attempts result in additional payment transactions, which then must be refunded.

If an operator attempts to submit an electronic permit application through the ePermitting application or the eWell application and receives an email receipt indicating that payment has been approved, but the associated application remains in "draft" status, please do not attempt to resubmit the application. Doing so may result in additional charges to your credit card or bank account. DEP has implemented a procedure to identify these records and get them updated to a "submitted" status within 24-48 hours. The department is working with its electronic payment vendor to identify and resolve the verification issue.

Any questions regarding this matter should be directed to RA-ep-BOGMOGRE@pa.gov
PIOGA endorses Trump for president
The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association has issued the following statement regarding PIOGA's first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate:

In the 150-year history of our industry, the contrast between candidates on energy policy has never been clearer - ­­one candidate advocates for the elimination of hydrocarbon fuels, and the other embraces and promotes American strength through energy security.  In view of his unwavering support for our industry, his decisive actions to repeal and reform stifling regulations, and for his commitment to the dedicated citizens who produce and deliver energy, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association is proud to announce its endorsement of Donald J. Trump for president.

IPAA launches 2020 election center
The Independent Petroleum Association of America has launched a new voter information portal on its website: the IPAA National Election Center. This portal is designed to help inform voters with information specifically tailored to address issues important to America's oil and natural gas producers. IPAA's National Election Center includes state election updates, voting information including how to register, where to find your polling location and candidates for your area, and candidate comparisons. PIOGA joins the IPAA in encouraging you to share this information with your colleagues and fellow employees.

"IPAA's National Election Center program focuses on participation, not party-line politics. The goal is to make information accessible to all, and to lead those in our industry to me more informed decision makers in November," IPAA's Barry Russell said in announcing this election resource.
EQB votes to move forward with CO2 cap-and-trade program rulemaking
(Capitolwire) Over the objections of legislative Republicans and some of the administration's own advisory boards, Governor Tom Wolf's administration is moving forward with regulations that would allow Pennsylvania to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
 
During a virtual meeting last Tuesday, the  Environmental Quality Board (EQB), which falls under the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), voted 13-6 to promulgate a regulation that will effectively impose a tax on carbon emissions from electricity generating facilities. Those proposed regulations will now be reviewed by the Office of the Attorney General and a public comment and participation period will be announced at a later date.  

Last Monday, state House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Majority Chair Daryl Metcalfe wrote to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell urging him to wait to vote on the RGGI regulation until it could be done in person, so as to give all interested parties a fair chance to speak. Metcalfe also noted the decision to consider the regulation comes as some DEP advisory boards have rejected the regulation.
 
"As far as I have learned, the actions taken by the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee, Citizens Advisory Council, and Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee to all unify in rejecting your proposal are unprecedented," said Metcalfe. "It is extremely arrogant to proceed without taking into account any of the serious concerns that the esteemed members of these committees have raised."
 
Metcalfe also questioned the modeling DEP is using to support the regulation, arguing the firm that did the modeling, ICF, "has lobbied on several occasions in favor of RGGI and how RGGI proceeds should be spent," which he called "the height of corruption when the supposedly neutral company whose analysis is meant to be relied upon on is publicly lobbying in favor of what they should be analyzing in an unbiased fashion, and further lobbying regarding how these funds should be spent, revealing an additional conflict of interest."
 
While environmental groups hailed the advance of the regulation on Tuesday, Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Majority Chair Gene Yaw said the RGGI decision is another example of the Wolf administration making a "unilateral decision," refusing to work with the General Assembly on an important matter that will affect all Pennsylvanians.

Events

10/8/2020
2020 Ted Cranmer Memorial Golf Outing & Steak Fry

10/26/2020
PIOGATech - Reasonable Suspicion Training and Medical Cannabis in the Workplace

Want more fall golf? Registration is open for the rescheduled Ted Cranmer Memorial Golf Outing and Steak Fry on October 8. Located above the Allegheny River between Oil City and Franklin, Wanango Country Club is a beautiful spot for autumn golfing. The day of golf will be capped  with a delicious steak fry. If you don't care to golf, there is the option to join us just for the cocktail reception and dinner. Either way, be sure to make plans to be there!   
 
PIOGA's Annual Membership Meeting goes virtual. The Annual Meeting is always a great way to catch up on what the association and its committees have going on and what's ahead in the coming year. It's also an opportunity to provide input and ask questions. One thing different about this year's annual meeting - scheduled for Wednesday, October 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. - is that it will be conducted virtually. There's no cost to participate, but you must RSVP to receive the webinar link ahead of the meeting.

Next PIOGATech: Reasonable Suspicion Training and Medical Marijuana in the Workplace. This three-hour training, to be held virtually on October 26, enhances the practical application skills of supervisors and managers for identifying and responding to employee impairment. Participants will learn about the "four rules" for responding to suspected employee impairment, what "reasonable suspicion" really means, the most commonly used drugs of abuse and their signs of impairment, adulteration of urine specimens, and common barriers that prevent supervisors and managers from reporting suspected impairment, even when they know that they should. Click here to learn more and register.
   

 

PIOGA's COVID-19 Response Page. Be sure to pay frequent visits to the dedicated webpage we have created to help our members safely continue their essential operations during the current pandemic. We are updating this page several times a week with new information and resources for the oil and gas industry as well as for for small and mid-size businesses in general.

How to contact us. Availability to our office is limited due to COVID-19 considerations. However, staff members are also working from home to continue to provide all regular association services, as well as to help with industry response to the coronavirus pandemic. Please contact us via email or any of the phone numbers below:
PIOGA collectable. As part of PIOGA's celebration of 100 years of working together on behalf of Pennsylvania's crude oil and natural gas industry, we  commissioned a commemorative knife from W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. The limited edition, collector quality knife and wooden display box feature PIOGA's 100th Anniversary logo. It's a great collector's piece and also makes a unique gift for coworkers, industry colleagues and petroleum history enthusiasts. Order yours now!