Energy. Environment. Economy.

McGinty: Gas is part of ‘secret sauce’ to drive economic growth

McGinty is a former Department of Environmental Protection secretary under Governor Rendell.

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

McGinty spent six years as a secretary for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty said today she views the Marcellus Shale as an important economic driver, while pressing for a severance tax on gas production.

“I don’t support a moratorium,” she said. “I think the responsible production and use of the Marcellus Shale gas is actually part of the secret sauce as to how we will create jobs and how we will compete and win.”

McGinty was addressing the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg. She’s a former Department of Environmental Protection secretary who is now part of a crowded, eight-candidate field of Democrats hoping to defeat Governor Corbett this fall.

Act 13 decision

McGinty also weighed in on the state Supreme Court’s decision last month to strike down portions of Act 13– Pennsylvania’s two-year-old oil and gas law.

“I absolutely agree that it was the right thing to do—to reinstate the ability of local communities to have reasonable zoning authority,” she said of the court decision. “I also think we ought to have repealed the physician gag order. It does not comport with a democracy. It should never have been part of the law.”

The so-called “doctor-gag rule” in Act 13 has some medical professionals concerned they could get in trouble for disclosing chemical trade secrets associated with gas drilling. Last month the state Supreme Court sent a doctor’s legal challenge back to the lower Commonwealth Court.

Impact fee vs. severance tax

Gas companies currently pay a flat fee of $45,000 for each Marcellus well they drill. Over the past two years the impact fee has brought in about $406 million.

McGinty said as governor, she would work with the legislature to impose a “competitive severance tax” on natural gas production.

“I would get to work in attracting those businesses and industries that can and should be in Pennsylvania– using that gas as a feedstock– [such as] chemicals, life sciences, pharmaceuticals and grow our economy in a sustainable way.”

Royalty disputes

If elected, McGinty also said she would take a close look at the allegations among some landowners that they are being cheated out of royalty payments.

“I’m very concerned about those stories,” she said. “If you’re going to be a major player in Pennsylvania, you’ve got to play by the rules. I would be on top of that situation to make sure that people are being treated fairly.”


  • env121

    Katie is totally out of touch and needs to come visit some fracking areas and meet the people that have been impacted before making untrue statements like “responsible drilling”. She may as well have mentioned unicorns. Same thing.

  • paulroden

    The term “responsible drilling” is a misnomer. Mc Ginty should visit Dimock, PA. Gas drilling is not a “job creator”. What about the costs of storing all of the billions of gallons of waste water and radioactive drill cuttings? What about the health impact costs of the radioactive radon in the gas? What about the impact of burning all of that gas on global warming? Mc Ginty also has a vested interest in the investment capital firm, Weston Resources, that she is a part of on gas drilling. A few weeks ago she said she was in favor of a moratorium in PA State parks and forests. Which side are you on Mc Ginty, the environment or the gas drillers? Are you a Democrat or a Republican? We don’t need anymore “DINO’s” , Democrats In Name Only, running for office. We need real Democrats, not pretend ones beholden to fossil fuel and centralized electric power utilities.

    • Shalefield Stories

      Dimock? She was just here in SW PA where there are 10 times the amount of people living without potable water. Did she visit any of them? NOT

      • paulroden

        Dimock is in the Marcellus Shale gas play where several of the residents have had their water wells contaminated from chemicals from fracking, some with methane as well. Fracking is not safe, is too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs.

  • Gas Guest

    NY created 4 times as many jobs without any gas wells.

  • Scott Cannon

    Responsible production doesn’t exist. How are you going to fix the engineering problems causing the faulty well casings, Katie?

  • Victoria Switzer

    “secret sauce”??? kind of like fracking fluids? or the secret mix of chemicals that go into a frack job?

  • Shalefield Stories

    She must be drinking the Kool aid along with eating the secret sauce!

    McGinty said as governor, she would work with the legislature to impose a “competitive severance tax” on natural gas production. So how much does it cost to contaminate and poison the people in PA? With a industry guy as her campaign manager, it’s not a surprise she is so pro industry. These stories, “Shalefield Stories” are the ones she should be concerned about. She said Corbett is guilty of not showing up. I ask her, when was the last time you showed up at any of the hundreds of families living without water for the past 4 years. Coming from the Environmental community, she should know better. Not getting my vote!

  • omababa

    She needs a fracked well in her backyard, so she can have gas right in her own house. She knows nothing of the dire results of gas and oil fracking. 3 million gallons of water in exchange for gas for China??? what is she smoking???

  • Karen Feridun

    Katie, why did you remove my comment on your FB post about this article? I was asking if you were planning to help PA families with your ‘secret sauce’ and if that ‘secret sauce’ was a reference to the chemicals drillers aren’t required to disclose or if it was about the contents of the contaminated water that flow from many Pennsylvanians’ taps in the Marcellus.

  • Dylan Weiss

    Thanks Katie for voicing your support of the PA Supreme Court’s decision re municipality zoning rights in Act 13. However, you don’t understand the inherent dangers in unconventional drilling. You’re not alone because neither does President Obama. To say that you don’t support, at the least, a moratorium is most disappointing and unless you wake up and smell the methane, you won’t have my vote nor the votes of so many other concerned citizens! May I remind you wit this June 16 headline … “THE PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY STANDS UP FOR THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA with the passage of a resolution for a Statewide Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing. The standing vote tally was 115 in favor and 81 opposed.”

    “The resolution calls for a moratorium on fracking until it can be done safely.” To be elected, you must take a different stand!

  • Elaine Kurpiel

    Well, Katie, judging from the comments here – all of which i agree – it sounds as though you are not truly an advocate for helping our environment, our water, our lands. If you are intimating that your “secret sauce” is not supporting a moratorium and allowing Marcellus Shale to regulate itself, then you need say no more. You may not have said those exact words but that is what I am hearing. Please respond to the comments here and tell us if or when you actually visited towns and people affected by fracking. Not replying is assuring us that you are not really on the side of Pennsylvania citizens. Thank you but no, thank you. We have had enough of politicians speaking out of both sides of their mouths or just refusing to respond to us.

  • davidmeiser

    Natural gas is not a good choice as it will not help get us out of any climate crisis.

  • tree6hugger .

    Are endocrine-disrupting chemicals like the ones found at Colorado drilling sites part of your ‘secret sauce’?

  • JimBarth

    McGinty should simply pull out of the race. She doesn’t stand a chance, which is a good thing. She was Sec’y of PA DEP before Hanger, and, while Rendell rolled out the red carpet, she welcomed the industry with an open hand. Absolutely nothing was done at DEP during her tenure, She was also connected to the national democrats, Clinton/Gore. She is a failure, and a disgrace, and the simple fact she is considered by some, and described by the press, as an “environmentalist”, is an insult to intelligence. Ms. McGinty, do yourself a favor, slither into a shale hole.

  • Patrick Henderson

    Contrary to the article, gas companies do not simply pay a flat fee of $45,000 per well that they drill. Operators pay an impact fee for a period of UP TO 15 years – or more if the well is re-stimulated and the fee commences again. The article makes it appear that operators pay a once and done fee. The $45,000 is simply the FIRST year fee paid by gas operators for a new well drilled in 2012, based on a fee schedule adopted in state law. All told, the operator of a well may pay fees that total upwards of $300,000 or more per well over the lifetime of the schedule. Total revenue from the impact fee is estimated to have generated about $600 million in new revenue in the first three years once fees are collected by April of this year.

    Patrick Henderson, Energy Executive
    Office of Governor Tom Corbett

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