Thursday, June 21, 2018

PUC Distributes $209.5 Million In Act 13 Drilling Impact Fees, Total Fee Revenue Tops $1.4 Billion

The Public Utility Commission Thursday posted detailed information about this year’s distribution of Act 13 drilling impact fees on natural gas producers, totaling $209,557,300, on the PUC’s interactive Act 13 website.
Higher amounts were distributed by the PUC in only two other years-- $223.5 million in 2014 and $223.5 million in 2014.
Over the past seven years, the PUC has collected and distributed more than $1.4 billion in Impact Fees to communities across Pennsylvania.
County and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive a total of $114,784,380 for the 2017 reporting year.
Washington ($7.2 million), Susquehanna, Bradford, Greene, Lycoming, Tioga and Butler ($2.1 million) counties received the most impact fee revenue.
The top receiving municipalities, in order, were: Center Township, Greene County ($1.2 million); Morris Township, Greene County; Amwell Township, Washington County; Franklin township, Greene County; Auburn Township, Susquehanna; Cumberland Township, Greene County and Springville Township, Susquehanna County ($765,226).
Additionally, $76,522,900 will be transferred to the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which provides financial support for environmental, highway, water and sewer projects, rehabilitation of greenways and other projects throughout the state.
Also, $18.25 million will be distributed to state agencies, as specified by Act 13.
Top producer payments were made by: Range Resources ($31.7 million), EQT ($23.1 million), SWN Production Company ($15.7 million), Cabot Oil and Gas ($15.4 million), Chesapeake Appalachia ($13.7 million), Repsol Oil and Gas USA ($12.6 million)and Seneca Resources ($12 million).
The PUC has forwarded the information to the Department of Treasury for payment and expects checks to be distributed in early July.
This year’s distribution is approximately $36 million higher than last year, driven by an increase in the number of wells in Pennsylvania along with an increase in the average annual price of natural gas compared to the previous year.
This has resulted in funding changes for many individual municipalities, as detailed on the PUC’s Act 13 site.
Extensive details regarding the Impact Fee distribution are available online, including specifics on funds collected and distributed for each year since 2011.
Visitors can search and download statistics such as distributions to individual municipalities or counties; allocation and usage of those funds, based on reports submitted by various municipalities; eligible wells per county/municipality; and payments by producers.
“Pennsylvania’s impact fee – a special drilling tax that is paid on top of all other business taxes assessed in the Commonwealth – is working as designed by enabling local governments to direct how the revenues are utilized. The tax revenues collected from the natural gas industry support local bridge, road and other critical infrastructure improvements, as well as community parks, first-responders, soil and water conservation districts, environmental projects and housing initiatives,” said Marcellus Shale Coalition president David Spigelmyer.
“While Pennsylvania’s drilling tax generates hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue each year, Governor Wolf continues to push for additional energy taxes that would cost local and trade union jobs, increase energy costs for consumers and hurt Pennsylvania’s economy,” added Spigelmyer. “Rather than promote uncompetitive policies, we need to capitalize on the generational opportunity to grow energy and manufacturing jobs across the Commonwealth."
The PUC is responsible for implementing the collection and distribution of an unconventional gas well fee (also called an Impact Fee), established by the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee Act and signed into law as Act 13 of 2012.
For more information, visit the PUC’s Act 13 Drilling Impact Fee website.

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