Pennsylvania Votes on Fracking

Proposed Bill Sets Drilling Standards

By Brianna Panzica
Monday, February 6th, 2012

Pennsylvania currently has no tax on natural gas production, and it is the only state in which this is true.

But that all could change with new legislation being discussed by the House, Senate, and state governor Tom Corbett.

Legislators are working on a bill that would impose an impact fee on companies drilling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale.

The details of fee, and the bill itself, have not been released, though officials have said the fee will fluctuate with natural gas prices and inflation.

In addition to the impact fee, the bill would also require a standard distance between wells and drinking water supplies, aiming to appease environmentalists and citizens with the fear that hydraulic fracturing chemicals are leaking into drinking water.

And it would set a standard for the transportation of wastewater, making sure the most questionable parts of fracking were regulated.

According to officials, the money acquired from impact fees would go to a number of state projects, including cleanup and repairs.

Two legislatures involved in the negotiations wrote in a letter:

“These discussions have progressed rapidly over the course of the last two weeks.  In fact, staff have been working throughout the weekend and will be working tomorrow in order to have a proposal that we can consider as early as this week.”

More details regarding specifics will emerge as the committee solidifies the proposal for the bill.

When negotiators arrive at the final proposal, it will be put to a vote among lawmakers for the state.  As the letter said, that could occur this week.

That’s all for now,

Brianna


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