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The Puzzling Case of Pennsylvania State Rep. Garth Everett

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

PA State Rep. Garth Everett seemed to be slinking toward a severance tax to advance a bill of his own, but didn’t. It’s all very puzzling, like Garth Everett.

UPDATE 12/13/17: Rep. Garth Everett informs me he voted AGAINST the severance tax bill yesterday despite it NOT having the minimum royalty language in it. Needless to say, we thank him.

There something very strange going on with Pennsylvania Representative Garth Everett of Muncy (Lycoming County) who has been making noises of late about maybe supporting a severance tax on shale gas production. It’s a strange position for a Lycoming County politician to take, given the importance of the industry to his constituency.

Any severance tax, despite Gov. Wolf’s protestations to the contrary, would have to come out of the pockets of landowners. Natural gas companies are, after all price takers, not price makers, and, therefore, have no choice, if they want to stay in business in the Commonwealth, but to ask landowners to share in those costs. If they can’t do that, they simply won’t produce. It’s that simple. One cannot legislate changes in the laws of economics, a fact Everett surely knows.

But, landowners are Everett’s political base, so why the flirting with a concept nothing short of anathema to them? That’s just the beginning of the puzzlement that is Garth Everett.

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Robbery! DRBC Thieves Propose Grand Theft of Land

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

There’s a robbery in progress. The DRBC is engaged in a grand scheme to steal land out from underneath Wayne County and its citizenry with Tom Wolf’s help.

The Delaware River basin is a drinking water source, So, is the Susquehanna River basin. The Delaware River basin includes streams officially classified as “High Quality” and “Exceptional Value.” So does the Susquehanna River basin. Gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing have been permitted by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) for a decade in that basin. The SRBC says its “water quality monitoring network has not detected discernible impacts on the quality of the Basin’s water resources as a result of natural gas development.“ The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is run by the same governing majority of members as the SRBC, but after sitting on the issue for the same decade, now wants us to believe this same practice is too dangerous for the Delaware River basin.

Those are the facts—the only facts needed to understand the nature of this crime—the robbery of Wayne County’s land and its future. The DRBC, which is nothing more than the SRBC with different hats, is engaged in this grand theft for one reason and one reason only; it thinks it can get away with it.

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The New Alternative Fuel: Natural Gas and Its Derivatives!

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

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

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An awakening? Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says natural gas (along with propane) is the new alternative fuel; the elixir for cleaning Pennsylvania’s air.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a press release Monday to take credit for/crow about handing out another $1 million of taxpayer money. This time the money is part of the state’s Alternative Fuel Incentive Grants (AFIG) program—a program aimed at replacing gasoline and diesel fuel or at least replacing a little bit of it—a token gesture. The state issued grants totaling more than $1.1 million in their effort to replace fossil fuels as the fuel that powers vehicles.

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Is Tom Wolf Just Billionaire Tom Steyer’s Bobblehead?

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Radical billionaire Tom Steyer threw money at Tom Wolf’s campaign for Pennsylvania Governor. Is he now treating the governor as his personal bobblehead?

Ever since Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania’s trust-funder governor, suddenly decided to pursue a fracking ban within the jurisdiction of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) I’ve wondered why. It makes no sense whatsoever, as the governing majority of the DRBC (Pennsylvania, New York and the Feds) is exactly the same as it is for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) where fracking has long been permitted. Both rivers are sources of drinking water and SRBC stream quality has been unaffected, So, why would Wolf suddenly decide to treat DRBC region residents as second-class citizens?

Well, there may be an answer by the name of Tom Steyer. The evidence, to be sure, is circumstantial, but the connections are just a little too coincidental for comfort.

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Why Does Tom the Taxman Wolf Keep Lying About Severance Taxes?

natural gas boats - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Tom “the Taxman” Wolf never relents in spreading lies when it comes to severance taxes because he aims to reward the public employee unions who are his base.

Tom Wolf, the taxman, was at it again yesterday, telling Southeastern Pennsylvania (Philadelphia region) politicians how he wanted to rescue them and their public employee union political base with a severance tax on natural gas. He repeated, yet again, the same lies he’s been telling since he ran for Governor in 2014, starting with the fact out-of-staters would pay most of the tax and, of course, continuing to pretend we don’t already have a severance tax that produces more revenue than other states he cites as examples.

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Tom Wolf’s Severance Tax Based on False Premises

PIOGAPennsylvania Independent
Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA)

 

In a letter to PA Representatives, PIOGA clearly explains and leaves no doubt the proposed severance tax is full of false premises and will overtax the natural gas industry.

It’s well past the time for an honest discussion about a Pennsylvania severance tax.

A little over a week ago at an event in Erie, Governor Wolf urged the legislature to come back to Harrisburg to complete the budget process by passing a severance tax and funding the staterelated universities, stating that the “fairest and simplest solution to the current budget challenge is a severance tax on natural gas production.” The governor also said that he’s “not sure what it is that people don’t like about this tax.”

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UDRBC Formed to Fight for Upper Delaware Citizens

UDRBCUDRBCNed Lang and Betty Sutliff
Upper Delaware River Basin
Citizens

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A new landowner group, UDRBC, has been formed to fight back against the DRBC and anyone else threatening the rights of Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens.

With the DRBC continuing to encroach upon property owner rights in the Delaware River Watershed, the need for a coalition spanning multiple counties and multiple states has never been greater. Members of the Upper Delaware River Basin Citizens (UDRBC) believe this; for the people who actually live and work here, life in the basin is about more than a river. It is also not just landowners looking to lease their land for natural gas exploration who are impacted by the continued efforts of the DRBC to overregulate this region.

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Tom Wolf; You’re No Friend of the Working Family

Josh Fox Fundraiser - Betty Sutliff Reports on the LiesBetty Sutliff
Wayne County Landowner
Member of Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance

 

Betty Sutliff writes a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf reminding him of a landowners meeting held with the Governor and how far he’s strayed from what he told them.

September 8, 2017

The Honorable Tom Wolf
Governor of Pennsylvania
225 Main Capitol
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Re:  DRBC Plans to Ban Fracking

Dear Governor Wolf:

On February 2, 2015, I mailed a letter to you regarding statements you made in your inaugural address.  Wanting to hold your feet to the fire, I challenged you to a meeting with the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance executive team and the Wayne County Commissioners.  With Senator Lisa Baker also in attendance, we met with you on June 8th.  A follow up thank you letter, including a summary of the three key points discussed at the meeting, was sent to you on June 11th. The following shows a comparison of excerpts of my initial letter, including quotes from your inaugural address, and the key points in the summary of our meeting.

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Fractivists Use Pennsylvania Supreme Court As Weapon

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

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

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Fractivists have succeeded (barely) in employing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court as a weapon of obstruction against natural gas development in the Commonwealth.

As they so often do, radical environmentalists are creating chaos and confusion; this time in Pennsylvania. As MDN reported, earlier this week the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a sharply divided 3-2 decision, sided with a virulent anti-drilling group, the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation, against the state in saying that any revenue generated from leasing and drilling on state-owned land MUST be used solely for conservation and the environment. The aim of the PA EDF is to disrupt Marcellus Shale drilling by any means necessary. This is one of those means.

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West Virginia No Severance Tax Model for PA

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

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

… 

West Virginia’s severance tax is a poor performer compared to Pennsylvania’s impact fee; something legislators should bear in mind as Gov. Wolf tries again.

Thursday, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with keeping tabs on impact fee revenue from shale drillers (Pennsylvania’s version of a severance tax), released the final numbers for impact fee revenues and disbursements in 2016 (see PA PUC Impact Fee Report: Revenue Down Again in 2016). Revenues were from the impact fee were down for the third straight year.

And, since politicians in Harrisburg are in the midst of budget negotiations and attempting to close a perennial gap in the budget, we have no doubt the hew and cry will go out, yet again, to enact a severance tax on shale gas and oil–either in addition to or on top of the impact fee. They ought to look at West Virginia.

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