Barry Rabe quoted in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about role of Public Utility Commission in regulation of shale gas drilling

February 12, 2012

Barry Rabe was quoted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's (PUC) potential new role in the regulation of shale operations. In legislation awaiting the governor's approval, the PUC would be responsible for reviewing local gas extraction ordinances to determine if any community has overstepped their regulatory boundaries.

Some, including Rabe, wonder if it makes sense for the PUC to have local zoning control. "This really strikes me as mission-creep," for an organization established in the early 20th century to oversee the development of the electricity industry, Rabe told the Post-Gazette. Nationwide public utility commissions rarely "have a lead role in land use or the ability to overturn local decisions," Rabe explained.