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Friday, July 15, 2011

Corbett's Shale Panel Recommends Drilling Impact Fee

- Corbett's Shale Panel Recommends Drilling Impact Fee

Friday, July 15, 2011
The Philadelphia Inquirer
by Angela Couloumbis

Gov. Corbett's Marcellus Shale advisory commission has recommend that Pennsylvania impose an impact fee, rather than a tax, on the extraction of natural gas.

The 30-member commission this morning also approved a long list of other recommendations for how to deal with the burgeoning drilling industry, including providing financial incentives for encouraging the use of natural gas.

But its decision on whether to have any sort of extraction levy was one the most eagerly anticipated.

Corbett has said he does not support a tax but would consider a local impact fee on drillers, as long as the money raised goes directly to those communities most heavily impacted by drilling.

The commission, in its recommendation, appeared to stick closely to those parameters, although it did not get into details, including how much that fee should be. It will leave that question to the legislature, which has signaled it will tackle the issue in the fall.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) has an impact fee bill he is pushing.

Corbett assembled the commission four months ago to study the industry, find ways to facilitate its growth and determine how it affects drilling communities. Its recommendations are not binding.

Copyright (c) 2011, The Philadelphia Inquirer

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