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Pa Environment Digest June 16, 2014

Pa Environment Digest June 16, 2014

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A weekly newsletter about environmental issues affecting Pennsylvania, including Marcellus Shale natural gas development.
A weekly newsletter about environmental issues affecting Pennsylvania, including Marcellus Shale natural gas development.

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Published by: www.PaEnvironmentDigest.com on Jun 14, 2014
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06/14/2014

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PA Environment Digest
An Update On Environmental Issues In PA
Edited By: David E. Hess, Crisci Associates
Winner 2009 PAEE Business Partner Of The Year Award Harrisburg, Pa June 16, 2014 Gov. Corbett, Challenger Tom Wolf Discuss Environmental Issues At PEC Dinner
Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic candidate for Governor Tom Wolf Wednesday discussed environmental issues in remarks before the annual dinner of the PA Environmental Council in Philadelphia. It was the first time the two candidates appeared at the same time in any forum. Both candidates spoke about the need to  balance environmental protection and economic development and each lauded PEC as a voice of reason among environmental groups that just demonstrate outside a governor’s office. Gov. Corbett said he has witnessed significant improvement in the environment from his own experience as a Boy Scout growing up and going on canoe trips on the Allegheny River. “We all have the same goal, and that goal is the better environment we’ve all been talking about, a stronger, more  prosperous Pennsylvania for our children and our grandchildren.” On natural gas issues, Gov. Corbett said the existing drilling impact fee he proposed has generated $630 million over the last three years and is working for people across the state and at the local level. “Everyone ought to pay their fair share, and they do,” said Corbett. Gov. Corbett pointed out that greenhouse gas emissions in Pennsylvania have declined significantly while the economy has grown thanks in part to the use of natural gas. Wolf said a new “responsible and reasonable” severance tax would provide certainty for the industry as well as help Pennsylvania’s schools and mitigate some of the damage to the environment and infrastructure the industry might have inadvertently caused. Wolf said he would propose a third round of the Growing Greener if he was elected, but did not say how it would be paid for. He talked about the need to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions by, among other things, joining the regional greenhouse gas initiative under “the right circumstances” and expand wind and solar power. Click Here for additional background on the environmental positions by the candidates from an earlier Q/A published by the PA Environmental Council.
NewsClips:
Corbett, Wolf Make Their Pitches To PEC In First Appearance Corbett, Wolf Address Environmental Group In Philadelphia Corbett, Wolf Talk Environment, Energy At First Appearance Wolf, Corbett On Environment In First Joint Appearance 
 
Gov. Corbett, Tom Wolf Share Stage For First Time 
Marcellus Industry Coalition Poll Shows 55% In PA Support Adding Severance Tax, But
A new poll released Tuesday by the Marcellus Shale Coalition found 55 percent of those following the debate about a new severance tax would favor its adoption and 34 percent would oppose. If, however, the new tax would result in the loss of jobs, 58 percent opposed a new severance tax and 33  percent favor. In other results, 57 percent oppose a severance tax to pay for public employee pensions and 61  percent said they would pick encouraging the growth of the natural gas industry over new and higher taxes to fund the state budget. 64 percent of voters said they were more likely to vote for a political candidate who encourages the growth of the natural gas industry. A copy of the poll is available online.
NewsClips:
 Polls Show PA Not Solidly Behind Drilling Tax Column: Gas Industry Poll Shows, If You Ask The Right Question Budget Talks Heating Up Severance Tax Debate
 
Report: Gas Drillers Can Afford A Severance Tax Report: Loopholes, Tax Incentives Lets Drillers Pay Less In Taxes
 
Severance Tax?, Maybe Top House Republican Says Rendell Urges Severance Tax To Pay For Early Education Chester, Montgomery Counties Receive Impact Fees Drilling Impact Fee Dollars On The Rise DEP Increases Gas Well Permit Fees Op-Ed: Lawmakers Need A Drilling Impact Fee With Real Impact Op-Ed: Stop Leasing State Land For Gas Drilling Letter: Vitali’s Criticism Of State Forest Leasing Off-Base Corbett Hints He’ll Hold Up Budget Over Pensions
 
Scarnati Says Budget Deadline Is Dog Years Away 
Report: Natural Gas Production Booms, Drillers’ Tax Payments Drop
The PA Budget and Policy Center Monday released a new report which found the Corporate Net Income tax payments of Marcellus Shale drilling companies peaked in 2011 and now have an effective tax rate of less than 1.9 percent paying just $10.3 million in 2013. Individuals pay a 3.07 percent income tax rate. The report also found oil and gas producers paid just 9 percent of Corporate Income taxes collected while drilling support companies-- pipeline, distribution and other related industries-- paid the other 91 percent. The report noted drilling companies did pay $223 million in drilling impact fees in 2013. At the same time, natural gas production increased from 65 billion cubic feet in 2009 to 3.1 trillion cubic feet in 2013. The report is available online.
NewsClips:
 
Report: Gas Drillers Can Afford A Severance Tax Report: Loopholes, Tax Incentives Lets Drillers Pay Less In Taxes
 
Polls Show PA Not Solidly Behind Drilling Tax Column: Gas Industry Poll Shows, If You Ask The Right Question Budget Talks Heating Up Severance Tax Debate
 
Severance Tax?, Maybe Top House Republican Says Rendell Urges Severance Tax To Pay For Early Education Chester, Montgomery Counties Receive Impact Fees Drilling Impact Fee Dollars On The Rise DEP Increases Gas Well Permit Fees Op-Ed: Lawmakers Need A Drilling Impact Fee With Real Impact Op-Ed: Stop Leasing State Land For Gas Drilling Letter: Vitali’s Criticism Of State Forest Leasing Off-Base Corbett Hints He’ll Hold Up Budget Over Pensions
 
Scarnati Says Budget Deadline Is Dog Years Away 
Commonwealth Court Delays Decision On Use Of DCNR Oil & Gas Fund Monies
Commonwealth Court Judge Kevin Brobson issued an order Monday dated June 5 delaying a decision in a lawsuit  brought by the PA Environmental Defense Fund over the use of DCNR Oil and Gas Fund monies until after the FY 2014-15 saying if the Court issued a ruling before the budget was finalized it would “run afoul of the  principle of separation of powers.” The Judge further explained, “although this Court may determine whether challenged legislative enactments are lawful, there is no place carved out in our constitution for the Court to rule on the legality of budget proposals.” The Court ordered the PA Environmental Defense Fund to to file a request for a status conference after the budget is finalized saying it would schedule the conference as expeditiously as  possible. A copy of the Court’s order is available online.
NewsClips:
 Polls Show PA Not Solidly Behind Drilling Tax Budget Talks Heating Up Severance Tax Debate
 
Report: Gas Drillers Can Afford A Severance Tax Report: Loopholes, Tax Incentives Lets Drillers Pay Less In Taxes
 
Severance Tax?, Maybe Top House Republican Says Rendell Urges Severance Tax To Pay For Early Education Chester, Montgomery Counties Receive Impact Fees Drilling Impact Fee Dollars On The Rise Op-Ed: Lawmakers Need A Drilling Impact Fee With Real Impact Op-Ed: Stop Leasing State Land For Gas Drilling Letter: Vitali’s Criticism Of State Forest Leasing Off-Base DEP Increases Gas Well Permit Fees Corbett Hints He’ll Hold Up Budget Over Pensions
 

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