Pennsylvania state Rep. Camille “Bud” George plans to retire at the end of the year. First elected in 1974, the Democrat from shale-rich Clearfield County, in the central part of the state, has been the top ranking Democrat on environmental issues since 1983. As Democratic Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (previously known as the House Conservation Committee) George recently became a critic of shale development. He proposed a 30 cent/Mcf severance tax on high-volume shale wells (among the highest rate offered by any lawmaker during the debates) and suggested that lawmakers shouldn’t be afraid to continue delaying passage of the bill if it did not contain “the protections that you and I want not only for ourselves, but for those that we represent.” George also claimed that the recommendations of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission didn’t go far enough to protect environmental resources in the state. His announcement follows news that Sen. Mary Jo White, the Republican chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, will also retire this year.