PA Democrat First to Introduce New Legislation for Marcellus Shale Drilling Impact Fees

Although a final copy of the recommendations voted on by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission have not yet reached his desk, eager politicians are already introducing new legislation to assess impact fees on Marcellus Shale drilling.

Legislation that would establish a local impact fee on natural gas extraction has been introduced by state Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil.

Under White’s legislation, an annual base fee of $20,000 would be assessed on each natural gas well and subject to an adjustment based on the production volume and price of gas. The bill would also establish an annual operation fee of $2,000 per unconventional natural gas well for the entire life of the well. The fees would be retroactive to 2009.

White’s proposal comes on the heels of a recommendation made last week by the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The 30-member commission recommended some type of fee be imposed on the industry and portions of that fee be used to restore public lands and resources.

The commission’s report is due before Gov. Tom Corbett Friday. Corbett had barred the panel from recommending any tax on the gas extraction industry.

White’s bill, House Bill 1748, is the only impact fee legislation introduced by a Democratic lawmaker in either the House or Senate and calls for having the Pennsylvania Utility Commission be responsible for the collection of the fee and distribution of the resulting revenues.

*The Observer-Reporter (Jul 19, 2011) – White puts forth bill on gas impact fee