More than two months after his Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission laid out a road map for natural gas regulation, Governor Corbett has unveiled a wide-ranging plan to, among other things, impose an impact fee on drillers.
The Corbett fee would be imposed and collected by counties. It would place a $40,000 levy on wells during their first year of production. That number would drop to $30,000, and then $20,000, during the second and third years. From year four through ten, energy companies would pay $10,000 per well.
Where does the money go? The bulk of it would stay at the local level. Corbett wants counties to keep 75 percent of the revenue, which he says could approach $120 million statewide, during the first year of implementation. The county itself would keep 36 percent of that haul, give 37 percent to municipalities hosting wells, and distribute its remaining 27 percent to its townships without natural gas drilling. In terms of who gets what money, this is similar to the plan Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati announced in May.