F&M Push Poll Finds Majority PA Residents Want Severance Tax

One of the most liberal governors in America, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, continues his campaign to kill the Marcellus Shale by slapping a severance tax on top of an already-high impact tax. He’s now getting a little help from his lib friends at the polling unit at Franklin & Marshall College. When asked a misleading question, a recent poll of 627 PA residents found 69% of them “strongly” or “somewhat” favor Wolf’s Santa Claus promises in his “Restore PA” plan–if it’s funded by a severance tax on Marcellus Shale.
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PA Gov Magically Finds $ to Fix Philly Schools w/o Severance Tax

In March, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf traveled to an elementary school in South Philadelphia with the message that only a severance tax on Marcellus Shale production stands in the way of cleaning up lead paint problems that are poisoning the little kiddies at the school (see Gov. Wolf’s Campaign of Lies re Severance Tax Continues in Philly). We were, rightly, incensed. If children are being poisoned by lead paint in Philly schools, find the money somewhere and fix the problem–NOW. It seems we weren’t the only ones thinking that way. Wolf has magically found $4.3 million to fix the problem…without a severance tax.
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Newspaper Editors Say Impact Fee Superior to Severance Tax in PA

It’s not every day you read an editorial in a prominent Pennsylvania newspaper lending a full-throated endorsement for PA’s impact fee over a so-called severance tax, but it just happened in Williamsport. The Sun-Gazette editorial board published a column pointing out the superiority of an impact fee (actually an impact tax) over a severance tax. They make some great points, pointing out the numbers speak for themselves…
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PA PUC Distributes $252M from Impact Tax – Highest Ever!

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Each June the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with keeping tabs on impact fee revenue from shale drillers (PA’s version of a severance tax) releases the final numbers of impact fee revenues and disbursements for the prior calendar year. Yesterday was the appointed day for 2018 fee revenue generated. The PUC reports impact fees on natural gas producers in 2018 totaled $242,964,000–the highest-ever yearly amount of revenue generated since the fee/tax was implemented in 2011. If you add in another $8,866,900 disbursed after a court case was settled about “stripper wells,” the total that was disbursed this year amounts to a whopping $251,830,900–a quarter of a billion dollars!
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WV Supreme Court Tweaks Shale Well Property Tax Calculation

Last Wednesday the West Virginia Supreme Court issued a consolidated opinion lumping together seven similar lawsuits filed by Antero Resources and CNX Resources against the WV state tax commissioner and the Doddridge County Commission. The lawsuits take issue with the way gas well valuations are calculated for property taxes.
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PA Severance Tax Bills Intro’d in House & Senate w/Strong Support

It looks like Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s “promise them anything and everything” Santa Claus routine is working. We’re referring to Wolf’s so-called Restore PA plan that will provide (over a number of years) $4.5 BILLION worth of goodies to Pennsylvanians by slapping a Marcellus-killing severance tax on the already impact taxed shale industry. Legislation was introduced yesterday in the PA House to create Restore PA (House Bill 1585) and fund it with a severance tax, and we’ll be darned if there weren’t 99 House members who signed up to sponsor it (16 of them traitorous Republicans).
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PA Sen. Yaw Sees the Light – Doesn’t Support Severance Tax

Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw, Republican from Lycoming County, PA, seems to have changed his mind about a severance tax on Marcellus Shale production. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) visited Williamsport in Yaw’s home district yesterday. At a joint press conference to discuss the superiority of an impact fee to a severance tax, Yaw called those supporting a severance tax “bobbleheads.” Whoa, way to go Sen. Yaw! That’s a far cry from his vote in favor of a severance tax in 2017 (see PA Sen. Gene Yaw Defends Vote for Severance Tax).
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PA Republicans Push Alternative to Wolf’s Insane Severance Tax

In April MDN told you that Pennsylvania State Senators Camera Bartolotta (Washington County) and Pat Stefano (Fayette County) had beaten PA Gov. Tom Wolf at his own game by offering to pay for his so-called Restore PA plan, not by using a severance tax on shale production, but instead by allowing more shale drilling on PA state lands (see PA Senators Steal Wolf’s Thunder, Propose Drilling to Fund Goodies).
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PA Gov. Wolf & PGC Exposed: Hiking Trail Closed Over NatGas Tax

Yesterday MDN brought you the news that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has sunk to a new low in his effort to slap a $4.5 billion severance tax on the Marcellus gas industry (see Gov. Wolf Holds Hiking Trail Hostage – Won’t Reopen w/o Sev. Tax). Wolf closed the scenic Glen Onoko Falls Trail (in Jim Thorpe, PA) on May 1, ostensibly because of safety issues. He refuses to reopen it unless he gets his tax. We now have evidence that closing the trail was a political stunt orchestrated by Wolf.
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Gov. Wolf Holds Hiking Trail Hostage – Won’t Reopen w/o Sev. Tax

Pennsylvania’s worst governor in a generation, Tom Wolf, continues his Santa Claus routine. Only this time with a twist…he’s become Bad Santa. Wolf has traipsed around the state for the past few months touting his so-called Restore PA program–a program that will fund all sorts of projects around the state–to the tune of a massive $4.5 billion. However, the only revenue source Wolf will consider to fund his Santa Claus giveaways is a Marcellus-killing severance tax.
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PA First Responders: Apply for $6K Act 13 Grants…NOW

Ever notice the tagline under the MDN logo? It says: “Helping People & Businesses Profit from Northeast Shale Drilling.” Not mentioned are non-profits, but even non-profits can “profit” from shale drilling. How? By applying for grants awarded either by the industry itself (drillers, pipeline and utility companies), or, in this case, by applying for grants from the PA state government.
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PA Legislators Float Bill to Attract Cracker-Sized Projects to NEPA

Yesterday two northeast Pennsylvania legislators–state Representative Aaron Kaufer (Republican) and state Senator John Yudichak (Democrat)–hosted a rally to promote proposed new bipartisan legislation aimed at luring a “world-class” petrochemical manufacturing plant to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. A big plant, on the order of the Shell cracker plant in southwestern PA. But no, not an ethane cracker. The kind of plant the two legislators want to attract in northeastern PA would leverage the huge volume of locally extracted Marcellus dry gas (i.e. methane).
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PA Republicans Launch “Energize PA” to Counter Wolf’s “Restore PA”

For months Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has been traveling around the Keystone State pretending he’s Santa Claus, pushing a plan he calls Restore PA–a plan that will get rid of lead paint in schools, fix flooding, repair old roads, give rural residents internet access, and just about any other goody you can think of. The catch? The PA legislature must pass a Marcellus-killing severance tax to pay for it. Republicans from western PA called his bluff, offering an alternative way to fund it (see PA Senators Steal Wolf’s Thunder, Propose Drilling to Fund Goodies). But no. The $4.5 billion Wolf wants MUST come from Marcellus drillers’ pockets. That’s the only “good” way to fund all his goodies.
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WV Gov. Justice Blames Shale for Bad Roads, Wants Higher Taxes

WV Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is turning out to be a major disappointment. He’s pro-coal (because much of his personal fortune comes from coal), and increasingly anti-shale. The latest evidence is an attack on the shale industry claiming shale is responsible for the poor condition of roadways in the Mountain State.
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PA Senators Steal Wolf’s Thunder, Propose Drilling to Fund Goodies

Pennsylvania State Senators Camera Bartolotta (Washington County) and Pat Stefano (Fayette County) have just beaten PA Gov. Tom Wolf at his own game. Wolf has been gallivanting around the state like Santa Claus promoting a plan called Restore PA, a plan that will get rid of lead paint in schools, fix flooding, repair old roads, give rural residents internet access, and just about any other goody you can think of. Wolf wants to pay for it by slapping a severance tax on the Marcellus industry. Bartolotta and Stefano are introducing two bills that would fund Wolf’s folly–but do so by allowing new shale drilling on state land. Game, set, and match!
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Utica Shale Industry has (So Far) Invested $70B in Ohio

Did you know that at least $70 billion has been spent in Ohio on drilling and pipelines and other infrastructure to support the Utica Shale industry since 2011? No, we didn’t either. That is an astounding number! How about this number: Ad valorem (i.e. property) taxes paid by the shale industry from 2010 through 2018 have totaled ~$132 million. That’s money that goes to fund local schools and towns. Amazing!
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