Pencil it in: Monday is Shale Day.
According to multiple Capitol sources, Governor Tom Corbett will unveil his proposal for a broad Marcellus Shale bill on Monday. The details are still fuzzy, but the legislation would include a local impact fee on natural gas drillers.
Corbett has promised to avoid tax increases during his tenure as governor, but he’s come around on the idea of a localized fee, that would direct money to drilling-related efforts. He spelled out his thinking during a recent Philadelphia radio interview:
[Corbett] said the funds would not go into the general state budget, but would be used primarily to compensate communities where drilling is taking place for the damage to their roads and bridges from heavy truck traffic, and other negative impact.
“The primary amount of money — a huge amount of money — will go to the counties; and let the counties work with the municipalities,” Corbett told WPHT host Dom Giordano. “What comes to the state, in my mind, will be used exclusively for the and will be used for environmental cleanup.”
The administration’s proposal is based on recommendations made by Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, which released its report more than two months ago.
Both Corbett and Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati have said they want a bill passed by year’s end. That will be tough to pull off, with just 24 scheduled session days remaining in the House, and 17 in the Senate.