Natural gas drilling impact fee one step closer to reality

Written by Scott Detrow, StateImpact Pennsylvania Reporter | May 14, 2012 9:54 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A fee on Pennsylvania's natural gas wells is one step closer to reality. The Public Utility Commission will oversee collecting and distributing the $50,000 per-well levy. It approved an "implementation order" last week, giving the commission formal power to begin collecting that money. As part of the process, local governments need to submit copies of their 2010 budget to the PUC. Commission spokeswoman Jenn Kocher explains: "The standardized form for that has been finalized. The date, we hope to get that sometime in July. Then we will move on from there and work with collecting the money and giving the money back out to the local governments." That's because municipalities can't recieve more than half of their annual budget in fee revenue. The PUC collects fee payments from drillers in September, and will distribute money by December 1st. The fee is expected to generate around $200 million this year. For more on Marcellus Shale drilling and other energy issues, check out StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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