– Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) today announced that nearly $1 million in impact fee revenue will benefit communities within the 63rd District in Clarion, Armstrong and Forest counties. Specifically, $989,177 was generated from wells drilled and producing within the district.
“Contrary to its critics, the natural gas industry is paying a fair amount of taxes in Pennsylvania, and this impact fee revenue demonstrates that,” said Oberlander, co-chairman of the House Gas and Oil Caucus. “In fact, the lion’s share of the revenue collected is redirected back to the communities most affected to deal with the impacts created by drilling activity. As a result, roads and bridges have been repaired, local watersheds protected and emergency response improved.”
Locally, Clarion County will receive $108,537, with eligible municipalities in the county receiving a total of $131,977. In the Armstrong County portion of the 63rd Legislative District, affected municipalities will share $176,222, with the county to receive $504,639. In addition, $57,479 will benefit Forest County and $10,323 distributed to Barnett and Jenks townships.
Statewide, $209.6 million was generated for the 2017 production year, an increase of $36 million or about 21 percent, over last year’s amount. This revenue from Pennsylvania’s drilling activity is more than the drilling tax collected by the states of West Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas and Colorado combined, despite these four states producing more natural gas than Pennsylvania.
Over the past seven years, more than $1.4 billion in impact fees have been returned to communities across Pennsylvania, according to the Public Utility Commission (PUC), the agency charged with collection. Sixty percent of the total impact fee revenue is divided among municipalities with drilling activity, while the remaining 40 percent is collected for statewide uses. Local counties also see a share of that revenue.
“The Marcellus Shale has been an economic game-changer, with thousands of jobs created across Pennsylvania and the building of a multi-billion ethane cracker plant in Beaver County,” Oberlander added. “Although the industry has had its ups and downs in recent years due to natural gas prices, we believe the market is stabilizing, and all of that economic activity has a ripple effect that is positive for the 63rd District.”
In addition, impact fee revenue that is directed to state government will help to enforce clean air and water statutes; plan for emergencies; develop, deliver and sustain training and grant programs for first responders; and help transition traditional fuel-powered vehicles to clean natural gas.
Checks are expected to be distributed in early July.
Representative Donna Oberlander
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton