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PA Budget Hearing Exposes Severance Tax Game

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

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Pennsylvania budget hearings are revealing just how little thought the Wolf Administration has given to the severance tax it wants to impose for spite.

There are two weeks of hearings going on in Harrisburg right now to study Tom Wolf’s proposed new budget for Pennsylvania. It’s more boring than you can imagine; watching paint dry is a pleasant diversion, in fact. Still, tucked inside the hearings are some questions and answers that tell us an awful lot about the Wolf administration and where it stands on natural gas issues. There are also a lot of additional questions that need to be asked.

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Wolf Wants to Devour Farmers & Landowners with Severance Tax

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

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Governor Tom Wolf is a petulant child determined to push his ill-conceived  and twice-denied severance tax at the expense of farmers and other landowners.

As politicians and analysts begin to dig into one of the centerpieces of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2017 budget — his third try at 6.5% severance tax on Marcellus/Utica drilling — new disturbing details have begun to emerge. He seems to have learned nothing from his two previous and embarrassing attempts to push this tax onto the back of farmers and other landowners while pretending he’s only going after gas companies.

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We Can Fight the Russian Bear with Fracking. Will We?

Constitution Pipeline - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

The Russian bear is on the move but the West has a powerful weapon to fight it—fracking. Will we use it to put this rampaging beast back in his cage?

In the two weeks since the Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court second Robinson decision, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a far more significant decision.  On October 7, Putin moved his Iskander ballistic missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, into Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland and the Baltic States.

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PA Act 13 Drilling Law Struck Down, Once Again

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

 

PA Supreme Court yesterday ruled against the natural gas industry friendly Act 13 Drilling Law, in what could be essentially called a win for fractivists.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled yesterday in another (hopefully final) decision on the 2012 Act 13 Marcellus drilling law passed and signed by then Gov. Tom Corbett. Four left-leaning judges have just struck down more of Act 13, leaving not much left except the part that raises money and gives it away (called an impact fee, otherwise known as a severance tax).

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Don’t Knock PA Fracking – It’s Been Our Keystone

PA Fracking Our KeystoneJohn Felmy
Retired Chief Economist, American Petroleum Institute

 

Fracking is the Keystone of Pennsylvania but the anti-fracking politician’s energy policies will leave PA out of the recovery when natural gas prices improve.

As a former dirt poor country boy turned economist who grew up near Williamsport, PA, I have seen the positive economic impact of natural gas drilling in the Keystone State. When the “shale gale” was operating in full force, diners and motels were full, local governments were collecting millions of dollars in impact fees, and communities across the state were becoming more prosperous.

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Pennsylvania’s 6.9% Marcellus Shale Tax

fracking reality

Tom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

How many times have we heard Pennsylvania is the only state without a severance tax? The truth is that it has a 6.9% Marcellus Shale tax.

Last month the phony “Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative” gave Pennsylvania an “F” for not imposing a big enough shale tax. The “Collaborative” is but a fractivist-funded public employee union scam, as I noted here and here. It attacks shale to get a bigger shale tax to pay unaffordable public employee benefits. They provided some of the lies and statistics used by Tom Wolf to run his failed severance tax campaign. Now, they’re panning Pennsylvania and lauding West Virginia saying the latter’s 5% severance tax is the way to go. It turns out, though, Pennsylvania already has a Marcellus Shale tax with an effective rate of 6.9%.

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Governor Wolf: Stop Trying to Strangle Our Natural Gas Industry

severance tax - Doug Berkley ReportsDouglas Berkley
Noise Solutions, Technical Sales & Solutions
Publisher: Tri-State Shale Traveler

Why is Governor Wolf so determined to add costs to the one industry that lifted PA during tough economic times and is poised to deliver such growth?

Governor Wolf, once again, you are threatening to strangle the one industry that demonstrates the ability to grow jobs, manufacturing and general prosperity for our Commonwealth. You seem not to care at all that, prior to the shale revolution, we had not seen comparable prosperity for decades.

Unfortunately, pricing pressure and cost cuts have resulted in many layoffs and a downturn for this prosperity producing industry. Adding your promised and ill-advised energy taxes now during this period would be a very poor decision. Jobseekers and local communities who rely on these workers to keep their coffers full would suffer.  Your proposed energy tax, if enacted, would ignite a chain reaction. It is one that will hurt workers, gas companies, service companies, local communities and onward. It’s a loser all the way down.

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Where Are We on the Wolf Severance Tax Proposal?

severance tax

Charles A. Schliebs
Managing DirectorStone Pier Capital Advisors, LP

 

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What are the prospects for Tom Wolf’s proposed severance tax after losing the first round with the Pennsylvania legislature? Charlie Schliebs evaluates.

When we published our last issue of our company newsletter in July of last year, we were simply waiting for the 2015-16 Pennsylvania budget to be approved by Governor Wolf before publishing the next issue, in which we planned to explain how the key budget compromises were made and what they meant for the shale gas industry, not only in Pennsylvania but also in adjoining states.

Well, we waited, and we waited, and we waited, and things were really never solved. Instead, the Governor lost on all accounts (shale gas severance tax and otherwise) and all the cans were kicked down the road for another try with the 2016-17 budget due at the end of this month, June 30, 2016. What happens next with the 2016-17 budget? Well, let me offer some observations.

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Governor Wolf Follows Cuomo’s Lead: Taxes and Regulations!

severance tax - MarkindDaniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP

 

Proposed DEP regulations changes have been approved for oil & gas drilling and Governor Wolf continues to disappoint.

Yesterday was an extraordinary day in the energy field.  In Pennsylvania, following seven hours of public debate and comment, the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved the proposed Department of Environmental Protection changes to Chapters 78 and 78a of the Pennsylvania Code, the rules and regulations governing oil and gas drilling in the Commonwealth.

The vote was 3-2, with everything happening according to script.  The Democratic appointees approved the changes, the Republicans did not.  Among the changes are updates and expansion of the permitting process, a requirement that drillers identify old and abandoned wells, and a ban on storing waste in pits, using the brine for dust suppression or deicing.  As I said before, some are common sense and some make no sense.

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Shale Gas a “Blessing” and “Will Come Back with Vengeance”

natural gas industryBrittany Thomas
Coordinator, External Affairs
Cabot Oil & Gas

  

Natural gas production has declined in Northeast PA but George Stark of Cabot Oil & Gas believes it will be back “with vengeance”.

The following article was published in the Rocket-Courier on April 7, 2016. Republished with permission. Authored by Cain Chamberlin.

With the decline in natural gas operations following the massive industry boom that occurred in northeastern Pennsylvania several years ago, it’s anyone’s guess as to when it will return.

There are many theories and speculations regarding the future of natural gas production in this area, but an industry insider, as well as a local elected official who keeps himself up to date with Marcellus shale activities, recently sat down with the Rocket-Courier to provide an indepth analysis and share their thoughts on the topic.

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