Supporting the Public Good in Pennsylvania
Posted June 28, 2019
The chart below helps quantify the broad, public good the natural gas industry is doing in Pennsylvania – nearly $252 million distributed to counties and municipalities in state impact fees paid by natural gas operators, the highest total since the fee was implemented in 2012:
Behind the numbers: county and municipal governments that host shale wells will receive $135 million, the Marcellus Legacy Fund – for statewide initiatives including greenways, trails and recreation, watershed restoration, flood control, abandoned mine drainage abatement and abandoned well plugging – will receive $90 million and $18 million will go to state agencies.
In 2017, counties and municipalities used these funds for environmental programs, public safety and emergency preparedness, infrastructure construction, career and technical centers and more:
API-Pennsylvania Executive Director Stephanie Catarino Wissman:
“Natural gas development supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and provides financial support for environmental projects, infrastructure, conservation and other projects throughout the state. … As the number of wells paying the impact tax rises, so has our contribution to the economy and state projects that enhance the quality of life in communities across Pennsylvania.”
Unfortunately, these contributions could be at risk if Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to impose an additional tax on natural gas production becomes law and works to discourage energy investment, production and revenues.
The governor’s severance tax – which he has proposed five times in five years – targets an industry that has and is paying its fair share in Pennsylvania, benefiting every county in the commonwealth. As Wissman noted recently, Wolf’s proposal is “counterproductive, punitive and anti-consumer.” Wissman:
“Responsible natural gas development has been good for the state economy, good for local economies and good for Pennsylvanians. We want to keep it that way. … [The new impact tax report] makes it clear, rather than rerun the same counterproductive ideas that enact additional taxes and risk losing revenues reported today, we should support legislative policies that balance what is working to support the commonwealth and build on Pennsylvania’s successes.”
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and four grandchildren.
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