PA’s Impact Fee in Jeopardy from Supreme Court’s Act 13 Decision

The decision of the PA Supreme Court to invalidate large portions of the 2012 Act 13 Marcellus drilling law, particularly those portions dealing with zoning, have left much of the law–perhaps the entire law–in doubt. The court’s decision was like an explosion, and we’re just now seeing the mushroom cloud but haven’t felt the fallout just yet. Did the Supremes just destroy shale drilling in PA? Is their decision really no big deal? It all depends on whom you ask.

One thing that appears to be in jeopardy is the impact fee/tax that’s already raised over $400 million in the last two years. A lot of that fee gets distributed to the places impacted by drilling, hence its name. It’s a sensible fee notwithstanding our objection that 40% of it goes to politicians to spend in non-drilling parts of the state. However, high court’s decision throws the future of the impact fee into doubt. Last week Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration asked the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision and further clarify some issues in hopes the impact fee (among other things) can be retained…

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