13 Sep PA Impact Fee From Gas Drilling Raises Over $200M For State
The Public Utility Commission recently announced that Pennsylvania’s “impact fee,” imposed on energy companies looking to explore the Marcellus Shale region, has raised more than $200 million for the state.
The nearly $206 million will be distributed to counties and towns who have been impacted by the Marcellus Shale, to fix roads, restore water supplies, as well as other necessary expenses.
The $206 million was raised from 4,453 wells in the state, of which drillers have paid close to $198 million, according to the Public Utility Commission. The law, known as Act 13, required drillers to pay $50,000 for each horizontally drilled well and $10,000 for each vertical well through 2011.
$25 million off of the top will go directly to the state, while the remaining sixty percent will be split among 37 counties and 1,500 municipalities hosting gas wells. The funds can be used toward repairing roads, bridges and other infrastructures, providing affordable housing, preserving open space, and buying equipment for first responders.
Bradford County, the most drilled county in the state, is expected to receive between $6 to $9 million. While ideas are being discussed as to how to best use the money, Commissioner Daryl Miller says that they may use the money to retire debt, lower property taxes, as well as hold some in reserve “for unforeseen situations as a result of drilling activity.”
In terms of payouts, Chesapeake Energy Corp. paid the most, with $30.8 million on 624 wells. Canada-based Talisman Energy Inc. paid $26.4 million on 540 wells and Range Resources paid a total of $23.7 million on 475 wells.