Gov. Wolf set to unveil budget plan with focus on severance tax for gas drillers

Liz Navratil and Angela Couloumbis | Monday, February 4, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG — When Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address Tuesday, he is expected to call for more money for public schools, a higher minimum wage for Pennsylvania workers, and a new tax on natural gas drillers.

In doing so, the Democratic governor who is now unfettered by re-election concerns — and has been openly showcasing his progressive roots — will have to persuade a more conservative, Republican-controlled Legislature to buy into his plan.

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Gov. Wolf again pitches plan for taxing Marcellus gas drillers

Liz Navratil | Thursday, January 31, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday announced plans to once again seek a severance tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, promising to use the money for disaster recovery, infrastructure and the expansion of broadband internet, among other projects.

The Democratic governor plans to approach state lawmakers with a proposal to borrow $4.5 billion over four years by selling bonds. The money would be paid back over 20 years using revenue from a severance tax, which would vary depending on the price of gas and the amount of it extracted.

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Governor sets goals for Pennsylvania to cut greenhouse gases

Marc Levy | Tuesday, January 8, 2019, The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf is stepping up the fight against climate change and setting targets to slash Pennsylvania’s greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades in a heavily populated and fossil fuel-rich state that has long been one of the nation’s biggest polluters.

Wolf, a Democrat, on Tuesday issued an executive order that commits his administration to meeting certain targets, putting the state in a league with what the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says are 20 other states that already set targets.

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How about setting off a nuclear bomb to mine Pa.’s natural gas? It was considered

Nick Malawskey | Thursday, February 8, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

HARRISBURG — In May 1966, Columbia Gas and the federal Atomic Energy Commission presented an audacious plan to a representative of the Governor’s Science Advisory Committee: A proposal to detonate a nuclear bomb more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima 3,500 feet below north-central Pennsylvania.

“At the present stage, this proposal involves a detonation of a ‘shot’ of perhaps 20,000 tons TNT equivalent at a location on the boundary between Centre and Clinton counties,” wrote Louis Roddis Jr., the governor’s representative in his report.

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Pa. Legislature exits 2017 with flurry of votes, defeats

Wednesday, December 13, 2017, The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Legislature finished for the year on Wednesday after passing veto-bound abortion restrictions, while anti-union legislation sought by top Republicans failed and legislation to tax Marcellus shale natural gas production remained in limbo.

The GOP-controlled House and Senate each adjourned until January after a flurry of votes and a relatively spectacular showdown on the House floor between 25 rank-and-file Republicans and House GOP leaders over a Marcellus shale bill that has been effectively filibustered for weeks by opponents.

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Report: U.S. natural gas boom largely due to Marcellus Shale

Stephen Huba | Monday, December 4, 2017, The Tribune Review

The shale gas boom in Pennsylvania and other Appalachian states has been the chief driver of growth in U.S. natural gas production since 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday.

According to the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report, natural gas production in the Appalachia region — namely the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays — has increased by more than 14 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) since 2012.

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Pennsylvania House leaves Marcellus Shale tax up in the air

Tuesday, November 21, 2017, The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to impose a long-sought tax on Marcellus Shale natural gas production is up in the air until December.

The Republican-controlled House adjourned until Dec. 4, after spending parts of Monday and Tuesday debating proposed amendments by Republicans who oppose a tax in the nation’s No. 2 gas state.

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Judge puts hold on statewide Sunoco pipeline drilling

Jeff Himler | Tuesday, July 25, 2017, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

A ruling Tuesday by the state Environmental Hearing Board halted all drilling for the Mariner East II natural gas pipeline in Pennsylvania.

Administrative Judge Bernard A. Labuskes Jr. ordered a temporary stay of Sunoco Pipeline’s permit to conduct horizontal drilling for the pipeline construction, based on an appeal by the Philadelphia-based Clean Air Council, Mountain Watershed Association Inc. and the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.

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