Marcellus Industry Keeps a Close Eye On 3 Pending Bills in PA

The Marcellus industry is closely watching three pieces of legislation sitting in the Pennsylvania legislature, bills that the industry fervently hopes do not pass. One of the bills is House Bill (HB) 557, introduced by Rep. Garth Everett, which would amend/fix the Oil and Gas Lease Act to ensure landowners get a minimum royalty of 12.5%, regardless of post-production deductions (see PA Rep. Garth Everett Reintroduces Minimum Royalty Bill, 3rd Time). Another bill is HB 1624, which would slap a 6.5% severance tax on the drilling industry, with an allowance for drillers to deduct the current impact fee they already pay (the equivalent of a severance tax). So in essence, HB 1624 doubles or triples the existing severance tax (i.e. impact fee) to obscene new highs. The third bill is HB 542, the state budget bill for 2017 passed by the Senate (not the House), which would initiate a new 2% severance tax on top of the existing impact fee (see Traitorous PA Senate Republicans Pass Severance Tax Bill). Two of the three bills are unlikely to get passed during this session. The third is a toss-up. Which is which?…

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