Senate Committees Hold Hearing Highlighting Natural Gas Impact Fee

Bartolotta Emphasizes Importance of Fee to 46th Senatorial District

HARRISBURG – The state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Senator Gene Yaw (R-23), and the Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Hutchinson (R-21) held today a joint public hearing to discuss the positive benefits of Act 13 Impact Fee dollars on Pennsylvania communities.

The public hearing featured testimony from counties, townships, conservation districts and economic development organizations throughout the state.

Since 2012, natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania will have paid over $630 million in Impact Fees to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.  Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, underscored the significance of the Impact Fee, particularly for communities within her Senatorial District.

“Thanks to Marcellus Shale drilling and the Impact Fee, struggling communities are finally experiencing economic growth. Specifically in the 46th Senatorial District, Greene County has experienced the second highest growth in employment and wages over the past six years,” she said. “Having the local Impact Fee ensures communities, such as the ones I represent, are adequately compensated for the local impact of natural gas drilling.”

This sentiment was echoed in the testimony shared at the hearing by Greene County Commissioner Charles Morris.  “While the activity has been of great benefit for local businesses, restaurants and landlords, it has also given rise to issues that might be confronted by local governments.  The passage of Act 13 of 2012 has greatly eased the financial burden of the county in addressing the issues that have arisen,” he said.

Commissioner Morris further explained how Act 13 money has been used to repair infrastructure, fix county bridges, upgrade 911 systems and even improve local parks.

Despite the enormous benefit and importance of the Impact Fee shared at the hearing, its future is uncertain. According to Bartolotta, Governor Wolf’s shortsighted plan to impose a severance tax on natural gas, puts all of this economic development and the local Impact Fee at risk.
To access testimony and video from the hearing, visit:  https://environmental.pasenategop.com/030315.
CONTACT:    Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463