Shale panel expected to back ‘pooling’ in Pa.

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s Marcellus Shale commission will recommend forced pooling in its final report, due Friday.

    Current law bans the practice of gas drilling  under certain conditions without the landowner’s permission.

    Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati said Thursday the recommendation is a non-starter.

    When he talks to people with property sitting atop Marcellus Shale, “they say absolutely no pooling,” Scarnati said.

    The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission is recommending revisiting a 1961 law that allows pooling in certain geological formations—such as the Utica Shale–but not the Marcellus.

    Scarnati says pooling could be an obstacle to passing other Marcellus-related policy.

    “That issue is one that I think can be deal breaker when we start talking about Marcellus Shale,” Scarnati said. “So if the commission wants to recommend about pooling, I think they are adding the fatal flaw to getting this process done.”

    The commission is also recommending an impact fee on natural gas drillers.

    Scarnati said he thinks that can pass the veto-test.

    He said passing a comprehensive package addressing the impact of drilling in the Marcellus Shale is one of his top priorities this fall–second only to redistricting.

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