Maloney Votes for Local Control of Natural Gas Drilling Fees
HARRISBURG – Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks) issued the following statement on his vote last week in favor of legislation that would establish strict and consistent standards for gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shales and authorize affected counties to impose a fee to help with drilling-related impacts:

“The issue of making the natural gas industry pay its fair share for the impact drilling makes on infrastructure and environment in Pennsylvania has been avoided for the past six years by the Legislature and the previous governor. I am pleased to say that finally last week, the State House has taken the lead on this important issue. House Bill 1950 was passed in the House as a balanced approach that ensures energy companies pay for any negative impact they make.

“House Bill 1950 also ensures that land use decisions regarding natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale region remain in local hands, giving municipalities and counties a stronger position when dealing with the natural gas industry. It also insures that no Pennsylvania resident will see a tax hike to pay for the activities of the natural gas companies.

“Today, the increased supply of natural gas in Pennsylvania is driving prices down costs. National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp., which serves 214,000 customers in 14 northwestern Pennsylvania counties, this month announced the 2008 peak price of natural gas at $19.71 per thousand cubic feet has now dropped to $9.56, chiefly due to Marcellus Shale production. In fact, the state has seen $1.1 billion in added revenue in the last six years alone due to natural gas exploration. The gas industry has created thousands of jobs and given economic stability and security to thousands of Pennsylvania families.

“The funds from the fees created in House Bill 1950 would be used for preservation and reclamation of water supplies, and the state would use its portion for emergency response activities and for road infrastructure maintenance and repair. The bill also directs money from oil and gas rent and royalties to the Environmental Stewardship Fund and the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund, along with an amendment offered by Representative Boyd of Lancaster, to provide for career and technical centers training for workers in the oil and gas industry.

“On Thursday, Nov. 17, I voted for passage of House Bill 1950, legislation that ensures that land use decisions regarding natural gas exploration in the Marcellus Shale region remain local and protect land owners and existing contracts.

“Berks County currently has no Marcellus natural gas exploration under way, but all Berks countians are affected by the new energy made available. We all benefit from lower energy prices and a growing number of good industrial jobs.”

State Representative David Maloney
130th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Charles Lardner
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