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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)

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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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Pennsylvania House Does “From Here to Sanity” with No Severance Tax

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

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

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The Pennsylvania House passes its budget bill insisting on no new tax increases and excludes the insane severance tax being pushed by Governor Tom Wolf.

On Monday Pennsylvania House Republicans released their version of a state budget, and yesterday (Tuesday) they voted to pass it. Ba-boom! The budget is noteworthy for many reasons. Of prime interest to MDN is that the budget does NOT include PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s insane 6.5% severance tax.

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Gov. Wolf: Support PA’s Energy Industry and the Atlantic Sunrise

shale gas outrages - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

Gov. Wolf show us you support PA jobs, affordable natural gas and the energy industry by moving the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline forward.

It’s no secret that elected officials from across America are now prioritizing natural gas infrastructure. Why? Because they recognize the tremendous economic benefits associated with a strong energy industry. As well as the need to ensure a reliable supply of clean, affordable fuel for economic development, making electricity and heating homes. It is now Gov. Tom Wolf’s turn to show he, too, cares about giving a boost to Pennsylvania’s energy industry, creating local jobs and stimulating economic development. How? By supporting the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.

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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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A Quiet Summer on the Fracking Front: Gas Becomes the New Normal

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

 

The lack of major bellwether fracking news this summer, combined with mostly good industry news, indicates shale gas is the new normal for energy in the US and worldwide.

The coming of Labor Day marks the end of an unusually quiet summer on the energy front.  Prices continue to rebound somewhat, producers cautiously eye increasing production again, and pipeline companies continue to try to build out the infrastructure needed to fully use the resource.  Overall, however, the last few months have been marked by an absence of bell-weather events which seemed to come fast and furious in the shale and energy fields for a period of about seven years.  

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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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PennFuture Pilfers from Pennsylvania Taxpayers

John Quigley - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

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One member of the PennFuture insurgency still remains in Pennsylvania government after 18 months and she’s busy pilfering from taxpayers to aid a radical agenda.

It’s now been 17 months since I wrote about the PennFuture insurgency with regard to the efforts of the Heinz Endowments and William Penn Foundation, the elite members of Pennsylvania’s gentry class, to run Pennsylvania government under Governor Tom Wolf.

Since then, in that brief time, one of the three members of that insurgency, John Hanger, the former head of PennFuture and DEP as well as Wolf’s Policy Director, resigned after the severance tax he designed crashed and burned (it was so bad even fellow Democrats couldn’t support it).

Another, John Quigley, who moved from Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to PennFuture and back into government as Secretary of DEP under Wolf, self-immolated in a fit of filthy anger fueled by his contempt for legislators who didn’t share his zealotry.

Now, it turns out the third member of thePennFuture triumvirate has been pilfering from Pennsylvania taxpayers to fund the attendance of her staff at a conclave of fractivists and other radicals put on by the Keystone Research Center, a public employee union hit squad.

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John Quigley’s Email Shocks the Conscience

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

We knew, of course, it had to be bad, but the e-mail sent by John Quigley to his fractivist allies in the “environmental community” shocks the conscience.

The e-mail that got DEP Secretary John Quigley fired is now out and it’s far worse than anything I had imagined. This man-child had no business being in position of authority on the smallest board in the tiniest community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, let alone serving as the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. He not only lacked the temperament for such a role, but also demonstrated a complete lack of judgment. His actions were appalling for someone with his level of responsibility and “shock the conscience.”

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Quigley, the Wolf Cub Is Out, and Door Slams Behind Him

delaware riverkeeper - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW

 

John Quigley is Tom Wolf’s cub at DEP and he’s a particularly quarrelsome one who likes to bare his teeth and threaten the PA gas industry to get his way.

Some ten months ago, I wrote a post regarding the then recently confirmed (and now former) DEP Secretary John Quigley and the nature of the beast as reflected in his decision to impose an outrageous fine on Range Resources. Quigley was essentially fired last week and within literally hours that fine was lifted, confirming what we suspected,; that Quigley was using his office to take vengeance on the industry and do the bidding of his PennFuture (Heinz and Haas families) masters.

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