Shale bill passes in the Pa. House
"If this (bill) becomes law, it will be historic piece of legislation when it comes to the amount of money that will go toward the Growing Greener fund," said House Appropriations Committee Majority Chairman Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield.
Adolph was one of the co-sponsors of the bill that was introduced by state Rep. Bill Ellis, R-Butler County.
According to Ellis, House Bill 1950 would place a $40,000 fee on the wells in operation. It would drop to $30,000 for the second year, $20,000 for the third year, and $10,000 for the fourth through 10th year.
The bill would direct 75 percent of the money from the impact fee to local counties and municipalities. The remaining 25 percent of the impact fee revenue would go to the state for transportation improvements, emergency response and other purposes.
But House Democrats blasted the bill for its effective tax rate of 1 percent on drilling companies and argued that it lacked adequate environmental protections.
"I think the Legislature got its turkey a week early with this bill," said state Rep. Greg Vitali, D-166, of Haverford.
Vitali also pointed out that additional revenue from these drilling companies could help restore the massive education cuts that came out of this year's state budget.
The state Senate approved its own version of a Marcellus Shale impact fee bill earlier this week.
The Senate bill would send 55 percent of the fee revenue to drilling communities and 45 percent to the state for environmental cleanups, bridge improvements, sewage treatment systems, open space expansion and other purposes.
Here is a more detailed version of local pols' views on the House bill.
The House and Senate will now have to work out differences between the two pieces of legislation.