Pennsylvania House plows through debate on gas drilling tax

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 21, 2017 2:44 PM

Photo by Tim Lambert/WITF

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's House of Representatives is beginning a second day of debate on legislation to impose a long-sought tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production, as lawmakers sort through dozens of proposed amendments.

Tuesday's debate started with a Republican-penned amendment to halt new gas-drilling regulations for two years in the nation's No. 2 gas state. With lawmakers scheduled to leave the Capitol after Tuesday, a final vote won't occur before December.

The bill's proposed volume tax rises with the price of natural gas and would raise about $100 million in a full year for the cash-strapped state, using 2016 production and current prices.

During several hours of debate Monday night, majority Republicans made industry-friendly changes to the bill. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has pressed for a tax, even though this proposal is a smaller tax than he's proposed.

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