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Impact Fee Legislation Falls Woefully Short for Pennsylvania

Impact fee floor remarks
Sen. Yudichak's floor remarks in opposition to the conference committe report.

The Republican crafted conference committee report that institutes an impact fee on Marcellus Shale drilling, expected to be signed into law by Gov. Corbett later this week, throws common sense to the wind and falls woefully short of generating enough revenue to protect our environment.

There are no provisions in this legislation that ensure an impact fee will ever actually be imposed.  Drilling counties and drilling counties alone will now decide if Pennsylvania has an impact fee; it is essentially the art of maybe – maybe a fee is imposed by counties, maybe jobs will be created, maybe environmental regulations will be enforced to protect our environment...maybe. Pennsylvanians deserve better than maybe when it comes to an opportunity breath clean air and drink clear water.

It is unfathomable to establish a policy that empowers local governments to set the fee and then strips away rights of local governments to zone industries within their municipal boundaries. Luzerne County, because it has no operating wells, will have little say and get little relief from the impacts of new pipeline and compression station construction in our county. 

As the grandson and son of anthracite coal miners, I am well aware of the consequences of not having the proper regulations in place for an industry that extracts our natural resources. The taxpayers of northeastern Pennsylvania pay for that industry's mistakes every day. 

I am deeply concerned that the legislation passed this week will pass the tax burden of environmental protection on to future generations of Pennsylvania.

For more information on the provisions contained in House Bill 1950, click here.

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June 22, 2011 - Senate Democrats to Discuss Marcellus Shale Fee Amendment June 26, 2011 - Senate and House Democrats joined today to urge Republican leaders to “do the right thing” and pass a responsible severance fee on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.