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Hypothetically Corbett Willing To Discuss Drilling Impact Fee Ideas

March 25, 2011

“Governor Tom Corbett said Wednesday that he’s not opposed to proposals that would allow communities or counties to impose fees to deal with the impact from Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry, despite his continuing opposition to a new tax on the industry to support the state government.”

PA Governor Tom Corbett accepted close to $1 Million during his campaign from Oil & Gas industry

Money needs to start coming from somewhere to deal with increased costs of keeping roads and bridges safe, pay for increased emergency response and law enforcement needs, as well as stepping up environmental and regulatory compliance.  Currently local municipalities are spending taxpayer dollars to deal with Marcellus Shale industrial development on so many fronts.  Instead of externalizing these costs, industry itself is where these dollars should come from.

Putting the responsibility on local officials to put impact fees in place however seems to be a burden on these small local and county offices many of which are not equipped or staffed to handle these areas adequately.  To counter some of these concerns, Democratic Representative Jesse White “said he is drafting legislation that would allow municipalities to impose fees on drillers, similar to what some townships have developers pay for projects’ increased demand on municipal services.”

At this point it’s all a hypothetical question however.  “The Republican governor called discussion of the topic speculative, because there’s no such proposal making progress in the Legislature, and he wants to see what his just-appointed Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission comes up with first.” 

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