PA legislation could trade community control for drilling fees
November 18, 2011 —
PA House lawmakers have joined the Senate in approving their own version of legislation related to a natural gas tax and regulations. Reconciling the differences and developing a compromise bill to provide to Governor Corbett before the year ends comes next.
See an analysis of this outcome by PA Environment Digest's David Hess, who served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from 2001 to 2003, as staff in the Pennsylvania Senate and in the former Department of Environmental Resources for over 30 years at http://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/
A petition is being circulated by those who oppose the bill at signon.org/sign/petition-opposing-pa?source=s.em.cr&r_by=1548617&mailing_id=1157
PENNSYLVANIA — The state Senate on Tuesday, November 15, approved legislation to establish a statewide Marcellus Shale impact fee, and to hand over decisions related to local zoning ordinances and gas drilling to the state attorney general.
The Senate bill would levy a $50,000 per well fee in the first year that would decline to $10,000 during the 11th through 20th years. Approximately 55 percent of the revenue would go to local governments, with 45 percent allocated for statewide initiatives. Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, said the bill imposes an effective tax rate of 3 percent.
The House may vote today on legislation that would allow counties an optional fee.
PENNSYLVANIA — As a growing number of New York towns scramble to establish zoning protections against the industrialization that characterizes natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania residents may be seeing that opportunity traded away in exchange for a drilling impact fee as the PA legislature moves quickly on House Bill 1950.
At the Pike County Conservation District (PCCD) meeting on November 14, executive director Susan Beecher informed the PCCD board of directors of her concerns about House Bill 1950, which addresses Marcellus Shale impact fees and also includes changes to the PA Oil and Gas Act.