2015 PA Impact Fee Goes Down for Drillers, Towns Get Less Too

Pennsylvania’s impact fee–their version of a severance tax–was crafted and became law in February 2012 as part of the Act 13 law. Since that time the impact fee has generated $854 million in revenue, with 60% of that revenue going to the local municipalities (towns and counties) where drilling actually happens, and the other 40% going to the black hole of politicians’ sticky fingers in Harrisburg for pork barrel projects. The 40% portion is the shakedown required to get the law passed in the first place. Disgusting, we know. The impact fee itself is a somewhat complex calculation with the highest fee paid during the first year and going down from there (see below). The fees across all years are based on the average price of natural gas sold at the Henry Hub for the previous year. Because the price of natgas tanked in 2015, impact fees paid by drillers will be lower than in previous years when the average price was higher. PA drillers will save $5,000 per well drilled for the first year, $5,000 per well in the second year, and so on…

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