Pa. Gov. Wolf Is On Pace To Permit Almost 8,000 Shale Gas Wells

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Permit totals in his first full week indicate Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is on pace to issue almost 8,000 fracking permits in his first term.

In his first five business days (1/21-1/27), PA Governor Tom Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection issued 38 shale gas well permits, about one permit per hour, eight hours a day. At this rate, Wolf is on pace to issue 7,904 shale gas well permits in his first term.

During his campaign, Food & Water Watch found that Wolf received at least $1.5 million from oil and gas interests.

Also in his first five days, 37 permitted shale gas wells were “spud” which means started drilling. At this rate, Wolf is on pace to oversee the drilling of 7,696 shale gas wells.

Former Governor Tom Corbett issued 12,259 permits, but oversaw the drilling of only 5,819 wells from 1/21/2011 to 1/20/2015.

The rate of permit applications, permitting, and subsequent drilling is dependent on a number of factors including methane prices, gas liquid prices, permit expiration, lease expiration, and the prospective for new demand like exporting gas overseas.

Either way, it remains unclear whether or not Wolf or Corbett will ultimately claim the title as most destructive PA Governor in our lifetimes. For those of us not swooning over the new Tom in Harrisburg, we have a long, uphill battle to fight.