Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

A Peek At Closed-Door Impact Fee Negotiations

Lawmakers are back in Harrisburg this week, and many are framing the coming days as a “do or die” window for a Marcellus Shale impact fee, if there’s any hope of passing the bill into law in 2011.

Capitolwire has an update on how closed-door negotiations between House and Senate leaders are progressing:

…While talks grind forward, to use a culinary metaphor, nobody knows yet if the bill is going to be a cake and needs more sugar, or going to be a casserole and needs more salt and meat.

For example, in one scenario, the House GOP and Gov. Tom Corbett would still win on the issue of having the counties impose whatever fee is enacted, but their power to set that fee may be limited or the amount of the fee may just be mandated, negotiators said.

But if counties chose not to impose the fee, then the voters in the municipalities in the county could then vote to bind the county to impose it. Not clear if that is saleable to the Senate or not, but it seems as if they get sufficient other concessions, it is possible that might pass muster in the senior chamber.

For that to happen, the fee itself would be closer to the Senate level, $360,000 per well over 20 years, compared to the House’s $160,000 per well, and no fee after 10 years.

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