PA Lib Dem Introducing Bill to “Fix” Strippers Once and for All

Pam Snyder

The kerfuffle over strippers in PA continues–stripper wells, that is. In brief, in 2012 Pennsylvania passed the Act 13 law that includes a fee on wells targeting shale layers, including the Marcellus. Snyder Brothers, headquartered in Kittanning, PA, drills mostly conventional (vertical only) wells in southwestern PA. In 2011-2012 they drilled 45 vertical-only wells, but targeting the Marcellus, all of the wells fracked. Initially those wells produced more than 90 Mcf/day, but by December of the year they were drilled, they produced less than 90 Mcf/day. The way the 2012 Act 13 law is written, if a well produces less than 90 Mcf/day during “any” month it is considered a stripper well and exempt from paying the impact fee. The state’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) assessed the fee anyway because for 11 months the wells produced more than 90 Mcf/day. Snyder Bros. sued and after an appeal of the case, Snyder Bros. won their case in March, exempting those wells from paying impact fees (see PA Court Says Snyder Bros Wells are Strippers, No Impact Fees Due). That sent the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) into a tizzy. The PUC, under liberal Democrat chairwoman Gladys Brown, is painting nightmare scenarios where impact fee revenue will be in jeopardy (see PA PUC Wants Act 13 Language Changed to Avoid Stripper Abuse). Brown wants the PA legislature to pass a new law amending the Act 13 law to “clear up” the language to say if a well produces more than 90 Mcf/day in ANY month, it qualifies to pay the impact fee. Brown has found a willing accomplice in PA State Rep. Pam Snyder, liberal Democrat representing Greene, Fayette, and Washington Counties. Snyder issued a press release to say she’s about to introduce a bill that Brown wants…

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