Pennsylvania finally passed new Marcellus Shale drilling legislation last week, and Gov. Corbett signed the new legislation into law on Monday of this week (see this MDN story). One of the key provisions, and certainly one of the most contentious, is a provision to collect a new impact fee. But let’s be honest among friends, it’s really just a tax (see this MDN story for why we call it a tax). Regardless of what it’s called, the new fee/tax will raise an estimated $180 million in new revenue for state and local coffers this year alone. So where will all that money go?
Washington County is among six counties in Pennsylvania that stand to receive more than $10 million in impact fee revenue this year from the newly adopted Marcellus drilling legislation signed into law by Gov. Corbett on Monday.
Talisman Energy is the latest major driller to announce they are cutting back on drilling in the dry gas Marcellus to instead concentrate on drilling in wet gas areas.
The executive director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Association, Rhonda Reda, predicts that oil and gas drilling rigs will increase 300% in the next five years, and those rigs will create new jobs to operate them:
Butler County, PA commissioners have already voted to adopt an ordinance to collect the newly created impact fee, just two days after the new law was enacted:
The Sierra Club continues to oppose clean-burning natural gas as a “dirty” fuel. Their latest attempt to force Americans to wean themselves from this nasty, dirty fuel is to oppose expansion of the Cove Point, Maryland liquefied natural gas export facility. Why? Because if cheap natural gas becomes even more popular than it is throughout the world, it will slow down adoption of the Sierra Club’s preferred energy sources, solar and wind.
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: