Monday, October 3, 2011

Senate Republicans Respond To Governor's Marcellus Shale Proposals

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) was pleased to see that Gov. Tom Corbett included an impact fee on Marcellus Shale drilling in his recently announced comprehensive proposal. However, Sen. Scarnati recognizes there are obstacles yet to be overcome as negotiations continue on this highly significant plan.
"It was vital that the Governor weighed in on his recommendations for regulating and overseeing the Marcellus Shale industry," Sen. Scarnati stated. "There seems to be general agreement among all parties involved that there needs to be an impact fee that will not only assist local communities affected by drilling activities, but fund important related statewide environmental programs as well."
Sen. Scarnati expressed a strong willingness to negotiate the various proposals outlined in the Governor's plan with the legislation he proposed six months ago. With that said, Sen. Scarnati believes the final package must include a reasonable fee, increased environmental safety measures and incentives to use natural gas. Also, there will be ongoing discussions with local officials and industry representatives to ensure that there is a balanced approach to zoning so that both sides do not continue to spend resources on legal costs.
"As we move toward ensuring that communities across the Commonwealth are protected from the impacts of drilling, there will be discussion on the percentage that goes to local jurisdictions and what environmental programs will be funded and at what level," Sen. Scarnati added. "The most important thing is that we get some consistency, some confidence, and some reliability that the Commonwealth is moving in a direction that will foster growth in the industry while protecting our water, our neighborhoods, and our roads."
"Negotiations between all parties will continue as we look to pass a final Marcellus Shale measure out of the Senate by the end of October, Sen. Scarnati concluded. "I am confident that the final package will be reflective of our understanding of the need to balance the economic growth of this booming industry with the environmental health and well-being of the citizens of the Commonwealth."

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Delaware) issued this statement in response to the Governor's Marcellus Shale proposals:
"The proposal outlined today by Gov. Corbett represents a good starting point for the ongoing discussions on how Pennsylvania should best address the many opportunities and challenges presented by the Marcellus Shale gas formation. It is vital to strike the proper balance between protecting our environment and encouraging economic development. The Governor's proposal touches on the most important issues and gives the General Assembly a clear understanding of how he would prefer to see those issues addressed. Enactment of comprehensive Marcellus Shale legislation this fall remains a top legislative priority for the Senate Republican Caucus."

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