PIOGA Consultant Remarks (Mis)Used to Promote 250% Shale Fee Hike

We spotted a rather strange story (for us) on a major energy news service (Platts) that says, in so many words, that “the industry” says hiking the permit fee to drill a new Marcellus well in Pennsylvania by 250%–to $12,500–is no big deal. Which made our eyebrows go up. According to a long-time regulatory consultant for the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) quoted by Platts, “I don’t think it’s [the 250% fee hike] going to make or break people’s decisions” as to whether or not to drill. Hmmm. That’s not the feedback we’ve heard others, like the Marcellus Shale Coalition, say on the record. The same article quotes PIOGA President Dan Weaver saying, “We haven’t developed an official statement, but we definitely don’t agree with it [the fee hike]. We feel that we pay enough fees as it is.” So what’s going on here? Does the industry, as represented by PIOGA, think this fee hike is nuts (as we do)? Or does PIOGA think the fee hike is okey dokey? We contacted Dan to ask about the consultant’s comments and got an interesting response…

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