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.
Continue reading

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).
Continue reading

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).
Continue reading

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).
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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).
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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!
Continue reading

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!
Continue reading

Rover Pipe Paid $73M in Property Taxes Last Year, $180M This Year

One of the arguments often heard from those who oppose natural gas pipelines is that “nobody” benefits from the pipeline except the sleazy Big Corporation that builds and profits from it. A single pipeline running through Ohio and Michigan puts that lie to rest. Rover Pipeline, built and operated by Energy Transfer, paid out some $73 million in local property taxes in 2018 when the pipeline first began operation. For 2019, with the full pipeline operating at 100% capacity for the entire year, Rover says they will pay out ~$180 million in property taxes! Taxes that fund schools, roads, first responders and other worthy causes.
Continue reading

WV Governor Inexplicably Vetoes Bill to Plug Abandoned Wells

What happened? Just a few weeks ago MDN told you that the West Virginia legislature had passed a bill with bipartisan support (and support from both the drilling industry and surface owners) that would redirect monies from low-producing oil and gas wells to fund a program to plug old abandoned wells (see WV Legislative Session Closes w/Several Pro-Drilling Bills Passed). WV Gov. Jim Justice vetoed the bill last week.
Continue reading

Gov. Wolf’s Campaign of Lies re Severance Tax Continues in Philly

How many times will Pennsyvlania voters (voters in general across the U.S.) continue to fall for the same old Democrat lies? “All it takes is more money. We’re almost there. Raise XYZ taxes [like a new 4.5% “severance” tax in PA] and we’ll have it. That will cure [fill in the blank]…lead problems in schools, hunger, heck, it might even cure cancer!” That’s the line of bull being fed by PA Gov. Wolf to (really stupid and gullible) Pennsylvanians about the need for a Marcellus-killing severance tax.
Continue reading

WV Legislative Session Closes w/Several Pro-Drilling Bills Passed

West Virginia has the right idea. Their legislature meets for 60 days total at the beginning of each new year, and then they’re pretty much done for the year. Go to Charleston, work hard, then leave and go back to your day job. Part-time legislators. Love it! The 2019 session is now done and dusted. In the closing days of the session, two bills to help the oil and gas industry got passed and now wait for Gov. Jim Justice to sign them. However, one very important bill for the industry did not pass.
Continue reading