Statement from Paul M. King
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
Regarding Proposal from Pennsylvania State Senator Joe Scarnati to Implement a Marcellus Shale Impact Fee
Harrisburg – “It is time for Pennsylvania to adopt a reasonable severance tax or impact fee on the natural gas industry. It does not matter what you call it, but we need new revenues from the industry to pay for the prevention and mitigation of impacts created by drilling. We commend Senator Scarnati and other legislators who have stepped up to address this need.
“It’s clear that much work remains to be done to ensure that the growth of the gas drilling industry is managed responsibly. There are many documented cases of direct costs to specific communities as well as indirect costs to the Commonwealth, and leaders in the industry have already stated their support for a tax or fee to address these costs.
“The Pennsylvania Environmental Council supports a reasonable tax or fee that:
- Provides additional support and staffing to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Boat Commission, and county conservation districts for improved management of the industry and to ensure public safety and natural resource protection.
- Supports local and state efforts to collect better information and develop sound regional planning on proposed well site locations prior to the start of drilling and extraction.
- Funds the successful Growing Greener program to continue restoration and preservation work that helps citizens and communities address environmental legacy issues and ongoing challenges.
“A severance tax or impact fee should not be used to lessen the responsibility that operators have for direct impacts. It can and should, however, be effectively used to help prevent those potential impacts before they occur, and to offset indirect and cumulative impacts in the future.”
* * *
NOTE TO EDITORS: Representing strong public support, legislation has already been introduced by Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne), Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery), Rep. Camille George (D-Clearfield), and Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware).
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s report on Marcellus Shale Policy can be found at https://pecpa.org/policy-topic/shale-gas/
Follow PEC on Twitter @PECPA