HARRISBURG – The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved a resolution today that urges Governor Wolf to lift the moratorium on non-surface disturbance natural gas drilling on state forest land, according to the resolution’s sponsor, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).
For seventy years, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has managed the responsible mineral extraction of natural gas on state land. Senate Resolution 104 calls on the Governor to end the moratorium and once again allow DCNR to decide whether to enter into new non-surface impact leases and continue to execute its mission of managing the responsible development of Pennsylvania’s natural resources.
This resolution only affects non-surface impact leases which means it does not allow new well sites, roads or any other surface impact on state forests. It allows for the responsible leasing of mineral rights under the ground that can safely be extracted from existing infrastructure.
Prior to the Governor’s moratorium, DCNR received $413 million in upfront bidding revenue for shale gas-specific leases. Since the first shale gas lease in 2008, DCNR has received more than $545 million in royalty payments. These numbers do not include the additional tax revenue and jobs supported by this responsible natural gas development. Funds directly generated from these leases will go to fund important environmental education programs throughout the state.
“We are just a few days away from the Governor’s annual budget address, and there is a great deal of concern that new taxes and fees will be proposed. Lifting the moratorium is a responsible way to ensure there’s substantial funding for environmental programs, additional tax revenue for the state and it supports job opportunities, all without taking another penny away from taxpayers,” said Bartolotta.
CONTACT: Katrina Anderson (717) 787-1463