Governor Corbett has begun delivering his second Budget Address. Natural gas drilling was a major theme of last year’s speech, but isn’t as prominent this year.
According to his prepared remarks, the governor will say he looks forward to signing a natural gas drilling impact fee into law. (The measure passed the Senate about ten minutes before his speech began.
Corbett will also credit drilling with creating Pennsylvania jobs and lowering heating bills.
Here are Corbett’s energy-related remarks, as prepared for delivery.
After long negotiations, we are close to reaching a consensus on how to address the impacts in the Marcellus Shale regions. I am pleased with the progress we have made and I applaud the cooperative spirit you and your staffs demonstrated while working to resolve this complex issue. I look forward to signing this legislation into law.
…Our energy producing fields continue to generate jobs. A somewhat overlooked side-effect that benefits all Pennsylvanians, in every corner of the state, is the estimated 40 percent average drop in home heating prices for Pennsylvanians who use our clean, abundant supply of natural gas. In the southeast alone, the average utility customer saved almost $700. The benefits of this growing industry are reaching every corner of our state and we are determined to see this industry produce new jobs and increased savings.
Right now, we are hard at work to bring a major natural gas processing plant to southwestern Pennsylvania. The best argument we can make to the company behind this project is Pennsylvania’s embrace of free markets.
We also remain committed to dealing with the issues surrounding the closure of the refineries in Philadelphia. As we build a new energy sector, I am not willing to give up on the old one.