Pa. lawmakers take issue with Marcellus Shale panel recommendations

    The local impact fee for natural gas drillers recommended by Governor Tom Corbett’s advisory commission isn’t good enough for at least one Pennsylvania State senator.

    Sen. John Yudichak, a Democrat, is calling for a statewide impact fee on natural gas drillers.

    Yudichak said the revenue from whatever severance or impact fee is imposed on gas drillers in the Marcellus Shale should go to the entire state, not just the counties with drilling.

    He said counties such as the ones he represents–Carbon, Luzerne and Monroe–are home to gas pipelines, and have to pay for the upkeep of roads used by drilling industry trucks.

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    Yudichak said Friday the commission’s report fails to recognize that.

    “What I’ve been reading out of the report is that they’re talking about a local impact fee, perhaps implemented and assessed at the local level and kept at the local level,” said Yudichak. “We haven’t done that for any industry in Pennsylvania.”

    The commission report also suggests pooling–the practice of allowing natural gas drilling on land under certain conditions without the permission of all of the property owners.

    Yudichak echoed the comments of Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati when he said the issue’s a deal-breaker.

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