Marcellus Shale panel to look at 200 recommendations

    The penultimate meeting of the Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission will take place Friday.

    A severance tax will NOT be among the recommendations considered.

    For the past few months, the panel has been in fact-finding mode.

    Members will vote on about 200 recommendations–the fruit of member testimony, public comment, and field research labors, said Chad Saylor, a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who’s leading the commission.

    “We even took a road trip up to the Williamsport area so we could see for ourselves the well sites, the drilling, how it’s impacting the communities up there,” he said.

    Saylor says the bulk of the suggestions offered to the commission have to do with environmental protection, setting new standards for public health and safety, and job creation.

    He adds that residents will not see that impact addressed with a severance tax, since Corbett has made it clear he’s dead set against all taxes.

    There’s no requirement that recommendations made by the commission be taken up by anyone–legislators, state agencies, or local government officials.

    But, the report means lawmakers will finally have the blessing of the governor to address the issue of natural gas drilling and its impact on communities across the state.

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