MSC Lauds Signing ‘Clean and Green Program,’ “Win-Win” for Family Farmers, Landowners

Canonsburg, PA – Following the signing of the bipartisan Senate Bill 298 by Gov. Ed Rendell today – which was supported byevery single state senator and by190 members of the state house – Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president Kathryn Klaber issued the following statement, calling the legislation a “win-win” for farmers and landowners throughout the Commonwealth:

“As an agriculture economy, ‘Clean and Green’ plays an important role for Pennsylvania’s family farmers, especially as it relates to the development of their privately-owned minerals. These commonsense revisions to the ‘Clean and Green Program’, led by Senator Gene Yaw, are a win-win for our agriculture community and for responsible Marcellus development in the Commonwealth. The entire general assembly and the governor should be commended for their work on this important bipartisan legislation.”

According to Sen. Yaw, “In an effort to encourage the development of the Marcellus Shale,” this legislation “clarifies how farmland is assessed for alternative energies, such as:  wind solar and natural gas, by eliminating the inconsistent interpretation of the state’s Clean and Green law.  Senate Bill 298, which is designed to better define how the widely used program is administered.”

Prior to the signing of these amendments by Gov. Rendell, landowners who leased land and minerals for natural gas development would be subject to paying ‘roll-back’ taxes (the difference in ‘use value’ and ‘fair market value’) and a penalty (6 percent compound interest fee) for violating the terms of ‘Clean and Green.’ With the passage and subsequent signing of these amendments, landowners who choose to develop their minerals will now only be subject to paying ‘roll-back’ taxes on the reclaimed well site, not their entire property.