PA Gov. Wolf Proposes One-Time Funding for DEP

We won’t pretend to understand the wacky math Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is attempting to perpetrate on the good citizens of PA. The state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants to raise permit fees on Marcellus Shale drillers by 250% in order to help fund the agency, claiming the oil and gas program loses $800,000 per month (see PA DEP Official Says Oil & Gas Program Losing $800K per Month). Yet Wolf now wants to take money *out of* the DEP budget and replace it with one-time transfers from other off-budget funds. How does that math add up?
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New “Report” Attacks WV Shale, Advocates 10% Severance Tax

A partisan left-wing group calling itself the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy along with another partisan left-wing group called the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released a report last week that claims WV’s shale industry has “fallen short” in delivering on economic promises, and the way to fix it is to boost the severance tax from 5% to 10%! Yeah, they’re out of their collectivist minds.
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Ohio Schools Rub Hands Together Waiting for NEXUS Tax Revenue

NEXUS Pipeline, a $2.6 billion, 255-mile interstate pipeline that runs from Ohio into Michigan, began a partial startup in October, and was fully online in November. Although there was early opposition to the project, and some complaints from landowners along the route of construction, the project is noteworthy for the just how little complaining there actually was.
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PA Gov. Wolf Launches Severance Tax Fight 5th Year in a Row

Yes, we told you so. We told you that if our friends in PA were to unwisely reelect Tom Wolf for a second (and thankfully final) term as governor, he would continue to fight for a Marcellus-killing severance tax each and every year of his ignominious second term. Democrats (and some Republicans) just can’t keep their hands off other people’s money–it’s in their DNA.
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PA Sen. Gene Yaw, in Heart of Marcellus, Supports Severance Tax

PA State Sen. Gene Yaw

How the voters of northeast Pennsylvania who support shale energy continue to reelect Gene Yaw as their State Senator is beyond us. He’s proven in the past that he will fold like a cheap suit on the issue of a severance tax. He did so once again yesterday, implying he supports Democrat Gov. Wolf’s latest effort to tax the shale industry into oblivion.
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Plugging Orphan O&G Wells May Economically Hurt WV Counties

MDN previously reported on efforts in both Ohio and Pennsylvania to plug orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells (all of them conventional/vertical wells), which present a health and safety issue. It’s all too easy to hit one of these old wells when drilling a new horizontal shale well. In WV, a new effort to plug old wells is causing concern for some–that the effort to plug old wells may inflict economic damage on WV counties. Huh?!
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O&G Opposes Plan to Raise WV Severance Tax to Fix Roads

We didn’t think it would take long for the oil and gas industry to push back against efforts to raise the state’s severance tax from 5% to 6% and use the “extra” money to fix secondary roads in the state (see WV Republican Senator Wants 6% Severance Tax to Fix Roads). What we didn’t know about (until now) is that a second such bill was introduced in the House by a Democrat, the second bill raising the severance tax by 50% to 7.5%! Talk about nuts!!
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PA IFO Report Says Record High Impact Tax for 2018 – $247M

Since 2012, Pennsylvania has collected the equivalent of a severance tax from Marcellus Shale drillers via something called an impact fee. Same concept as a severance tax. You drill a well, gas comes out, you pay a tax. Except with an impact fee you pay whether or not anything comes out of the ground–a more reliable source of tax revenue than a severance tax!
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RINO PA Sen. Tomlinson Introducing 5% Severance Tax Bill

PA Sen. Robert Tomlinson

We expect liberal Democrats like the far-left PA Gov. Tom Wolf to keep harping on a Marcellus-killing severance tax on natgas production in PA, even though the state already taxes production via an impact fee (i.e. tax). That’s what lib Dems do! They take money from economic producers and give it away to economic parasites who vote them into office–like teachers’ unions. But we don’t expect Republicans to sponsor such dumb initiatives.
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Was PA Supreme Court Right to Tax Strippers? PIOGA Pushes Back

Did the Pennsylvania Supreme Court err in its judgment declaring so-called “stripper wells” can be taxed under the 2012 Act 13 law, slapped with an impact fee assessment, if those wells produce more than 90,000 thousand cubic feet per day (Mcf/d) of gas in a single month (see PA Supreme Court Rules Strippers Not Exempt from Impact Fee)? We have a different take on the high court’s decision than others.
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WV O&G Industry Plays Defense as 2019 Legislative Session Begins

At the beginning of each new year the West Virginia legislature fires up its annual 60-day session. WV legislators are part-time and only meet for two months out of the year. (How we wish that were the case here in NY!) For a number of years running, the oil and gas industry’s legislative agenda has pushed certain new bills. This year is different.
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WV O&G Pays $138M in Severance Tax in ’18, Up 4.3% from ’17

The preliminary numbers are in from the West Virginia Department of Tax and Revenue, and the numbers show that severance taxes paid by drillers in Mountain State hit a new high of $138 million, up 4.3% from in 2017. Six Marcellus/Utica shale counties–Doddridge, Wetzel, Ritchie, Tyler, Marshall, and Harrison–received $1 million or more of that back into county coffers. At the county level, the tax revenue goes for vital public services including first responders, community projects and social programs. Here’s a high-level rundown on who got what from this year’s severance tax honeypot.
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