Which Energy-Related Items Survived, Which Didn’t in PA Budget

SurvivorSome interesting Marcellus-related items were included in the recently adopted Pennsylvania state budget that have largely flown under the radar. There are also a few things that weren’t in the budget bill–previously intended to be part of it–that didn’t survive the process. At the top of the list is lack of a severance tax. But right behind that (for us) is that a gross receipts tax on natural gas use, which we thought would be part of the final deal, was not. As MDN previously reported, a gross receipts tax taxes end users of natural gas, in essence targeting low-income households (see Proposed NatGas Gross Receipts Tax Targets PA Low-Income Earners). So three cheers that those two onerous taxes–a severance tax and gross receipts tax–were eliminated by vigilant Republicans (Democrat Gov. Wolf wanted both). What about things that made it through? One item is an amendment that eliminates extra fees and permitting requirements if a driller happens ti “nip the top of the Onondaga” rock layer when drilling a Marcellus well, as sometimes happens. Another provision diverts some money from a fund intended to encourage “high performance buildings” to a program that gives businesses incentives to switch to using natural gas. Love it! Here’s what made the cut, and what didn’t, in the 2016/2017 PA budget…

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