Safe Natural Gas Development Benefits Cascade Across Pa.

Yesterday, the Pa. Public Utility Commission (PUC) released “the disbursements to county and municipal governments under Act 13/Impact Fee,” a sum of $202.4 million, which is in addition to $1.8 billion paid in natural gas-related taxes and last year’s impact fees of more than $200 million. The impact fees – generated by the safe, job-creating Marcellus Shale development – are allocated largely to counties and municipalities across the commonwealth, as well as other important programs. Natural gas “benefits for every Pennsylvanian are clear,” said Gov. Tom Corbett. PUC Chairman Robert Powelson called the revenue sources a “game changer” that is “helping revitalize parts of Pennsylvania that were in dire need.”

Here’s what they’re saying about yesterday’s announcement:

  • “Almost $3.4 Million in Drilling Impact Fees for Philadelphia Area”: Though there are no natural-gas wells near Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia region will receive nearly $3.4 million of the $202.5 million collected last year from the state’s Marcellus Shale impact fee. Philadelphia alone will get nearly $1.3 million from the fee imposed on “unconventional” wells drilled into deep shale formations, according to figures released Thursday by the Pennsylvania PUC. Four suburban counties will split about $2.1 million. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/14/13)
  • “Pennsylvania Shale Source of Economic Gain”: The natural gas industry in Pennsylvania has generated more than $1.8 billion in tax revenue in the last seven years, the Marcellus Shale Coalition said. The state government said it collected more than $200 million in so-called impact fees tied to shale natural gas development so far this year. … Marcellus Shale Coalition CEO Kathryn Klaber said revenue generated from natural gas production in the state has spread to “every corner” of Pennsylvania. “While the impact fee represents a new and substantial revenue stream for local and state government agencies, the natural gas industry has also generated more than $1.8 billion in tax revenues since 2006,” she said in a Thursday statement. (UPI, 6/13/14)
  • Impact Fee Revenues Like “Christmas in July”: Thursday felt like Christmas for Pennsylvania municipalities in line to receive the next batch of money from deep-shale drilling impact fees. “We doubled,” said Lori Ziencik, chairwoman of the Frazer Board of Supervisors in Allegheny County. “That will come in very handy.” Last year, Frazer received $54,587.05 in impact fees. This year, the township will receive $101,911.83. Ziencik said the money from the last two years will go toward fixing a 3-mile stretch of Days Run Road, a job estimated to cost Frazer $250,000. … “Christmas in July,” Ziencik said.(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 6/13/13)
  • “Drilling Impact Fee Rakes in Millions” for All of Pa.: Pennsylvania collected more than $200 million from unconventional oil and gas wells drilled in 2012, the state announced yesterday. The revenue stems from an impact fee instituted last year as part of comprehensive oil and gas reforms known as Act 13. … The Marcellus Shale Coalition trumpeted the data as evidence of the industry’s positive impact on Pennsylvania. “To see how this new revenue stream, now totaling more than $406 million, is being distributed to every corner of the commonwealth is a vivid illustration and reminder of how safe, tightly regulated natural gas development is benefiting local communities, statewide programs and funding of government agencies,” CEO Kathryn Klaber said. (E&E News, 6/14/13)
  • “PUC Set to Dole Out $202 Million in Marcellus Impact Fees”: For Pennsylvania municipalities the checks will soon be in the mail for the disbursement of more than $202 million in impact fees collected from companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale. … Bradford County in the northeast will receive the most money at $7.3 million, followed by Washington County in the southwest at $4.7 million. Lawrence Township, in Clearfield County, will receive the most out of the municipalities at $797,315, followed by Cumberland Township, in Greene County, at $787,151. (Pittsburgh Business Times, 6/13/13)

  • Marcellus Shale “a Magnet for Economic Development, Improvement in the Region”: The announcement pleased state Sen. Tim Solobay, who said the impact fees…have made Washington County “the envy of everyone else across the commonwealth.” “It’s so exciting for our county,” said Solobay. “It’s been a magnet for economic development and improvement in the region, and I only see it improving as time goes on.” … “It’s certainly a nice benefit to the township to mitigate some of the impacts that we’ve experienced from Marcellus shale in regard to maintaining roads and infrastructure in light of that,” said Chartiers Township business manager Jodi Noble. … [Marcellus Shale Coalition CEO Kathryn] Klaber said that the impact fee represents a new, substantial revenue stream for local and state government agencies, and that the natural gas industry has generated more than $1.8 billion in tax revenues since 2006 while investing more than $500 million in road and infrastructure improvements and contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars for emergency response training and other community-based programming. (Washington Observer-Reporter, 6/13/13)
  • Revenue a “Vivid Illustration” of How Marcellus Shale “Benefits Local Communities”: PUC announced natural gas drillers would pay $202.5 million in fees for 2012. … Allegheny County will get $1.1 million, Butler $1.2 million, Fayette $1.3 million, Greene $2.9 million and Westmoreland $1.6 million. Even Philadelphia County, which has no wells, will get $1.3 million for long-term projects. … “To see how this new revenue stream, now totaling more than $406 million is being distributed to every corner of the commonwealth is a vivid illustration and reminder of how safe, tightly regulated natural gas development is benefiting local communities, statewide programs and funding of government agencies,” said Kathryn Klaber, CEO of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. “Our member companies are working … to ensure we get this historic opportunity right for all 12 million-plus Pennsylvanians.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/13/13)
  • “Lehigh, Northampton Counties Receive $545,000 in Marcellus Shale Fees”: Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday announced that Act 13, which assesses those impact fees, generated more than $202 million on wells drilled in 2012. Lehigh County will receive more than $295,000, and Northampton County will get $250,000. … About $72 million will be distributed to all 67 counties regardless of whether they have wells. That money is to be used for competitive grants for projects such as water and sewer, local bridge improvements, local community park and recreation, Growing Greener and other municipal projects. (Allentown Morning Call, 6/13/13)
  • “Pennsylvania 2012 Impact Fee Made $102.7M for Localities”: The Pennsylvania PUC said Thursday that localities affected by oil and gas drilling in 2012 will collectively receive $102.7 million from impact fee revenue generated by Act 13. … “The more than $202.4 million collected this year brings the two-year total for impact fees collected to more than $406.6 million,” said PUC Chairman Robert Powelson. … Marcellus Shale Coalition CEO Kathryn Klaber called the disbursements “a vivid illustration and reminder of how safe, tightly regulated natural gas development is benefiting local communities, statewide programs and funding of government agencies. “Our member companies are working each and every day to responsibly develop this clean-burning energy resource while also serving as good neighbors and community partners.” (Shale Daily, 6/14/13)

Other news organizations – including the Scranton Times-Tribune, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Towanda Daily Review, Beaver County Times, and Dubois Courier Express – also report.

Have questions about how impact fee revenue is being allocated in your area? Or how Marcellus Shale production is done in a way that protects and enhances our environment? Please visit LearnAboutShale.org to learn more. And please follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for updates.