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Controversy over development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale and other “unconventional” resources resulted in two unrelated legal news items during the week of April 9. On April 11, Senior Judge Keith Quigley of the Commonwealth Court preliminarily enjoined the effectiveness of Section 3309 of the 2012 amendments to the Oil and Gas Act, known as Act 13. Then, on April 13, President Obama issued Executive Order 13605, titled “Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources.” Each of these events addresses, in part, the important question of which government ought to regulate the pace, manner and form of natural gas development.

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