Director, External Affairs
Cabot Oil & Gas
Pennsylvania’s unique form of a severance tax on natural gas, its impact fees program, keeps churning out money for communities across the Commonwealth; almost $1.5 billion to date.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has released information regarding the impact fee dollars collected from natural gas producers for 2019.
The 2019 fees collected from natural gas producers add up to $200,364,500 – a $51 million decrease from last years’ total. Of the dollars collected, around $109 million get deposited into the Counties and Municipalities Fund. Another $73 million goes to the Marcellus Legacy Fund.
Washington County received the highest amount, at $6.6 million, followed by Susquehanna County at nearly $5.8 million then Bradford County which will received $4.8 million. Washington County also ranked highest in regard to the number of wells within the county, reaching 1837 total wells this year.
Center Township in Greene County was the top receiving municipality with $1.1 million, and the municipality with the most wells (260).
Why is the 2019 impact fee total lower than the previous year?
The PUC explained that this is partially a result of the significantly lower gas prices across the state, as well as the fact that gas companies drilled less wells in 2019 in comparison to 2018.
Cabot made a payment of about $16.9 million in impact fees, which was less than our record high contributions from 2018.
Impact fee money provides financial support for public services and development – environmental projects within each county or municipality.
The setup of the fees is to make sure funding is directed back into the communities where drilling takes place. The counties and municipalities are able to direct funding to projects/programs that meet the criteria of the Act 13 description.
For more information or to see a breakdown of the complete disbursement from 2019 or previous years, visit the Act 13 website.
Reposted, with permission, from Well Said Cabot.
Editor’s Note: This is why we don’t need and don’t want a severance tax in Pennsylvania. We have something far better. It’s that simple.