MSC: Budget Agreement a Win for PA’s Economy, Environment

Marcellus producers express commitment to working with lawmakers on comprehensive tax, regulatory and legislative plan for the future

CANONSBURG, Pa. – Earlier today, Gov. Ed Rendell signed a budget plan for 2010-2011 that recognizes the critical contributions that natural gas producers are making in Pennsylvania. The new budget, the product of months of hard work by members of the General Assembly, does not include new taxes on Marcellus Shale employers – but does include a commitment by our elected leaders to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of how best to seize on the opportunities of the Marcellus in the future, and do so in a manner that benefits all Pennsylvanians. 

Subsequent to the governor’s signing today, Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president and executive director Kathryn Klaber issued the following statement in strong support of the plan:

“Today’s announcement represents a positive step forward. The MSC has said from the start that it was going to take more than hard work and favorable geology to leverage the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the Marcellus into jobs, revenue and long-term energy affordability for all Pennsylvanians.

“To do this, and do it right, we need an updated and modernized regulatory and legislative framework, and a fair tax strategy that keeps our state ahead of the curve in attracting the investment needed to bring these resources to the surface. Today, Pennsylvania announced its intention to compete for these opportunities. And we are pleased to have played a role in working with the legislature to get this process started on the right path.

“MSC members will continue to be key participants in this iterative, ongoing process, working alongside the General Assembly, the Administration and stakeholders across the Commonwealth to put our state in the best possible position to seize on the extraordinary opportunities of the Marcellus. And when it comes to that objective, there’s nothing more important than having a tax, regulatory and legislative framework in place that’s collaborative in its approach, and comprehensive in its design. Today’s agreement moves us one step closer toward the realization of such a plan.”

NOTE: As reported last week in the Towanda Daily Review, Bradford County currently ranks among the top job-producing counties in the state – a surge in employment that’s directly tied to the responsible development of the Marcellus Shale in the area. All told, Bradford Co. added more than 2,000 workers to the job rolls over the past 12 months, even as more than 60 other counties in Pennsylvania experienced a loss in jobs over that time.