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State says gas industry still ignoring minority, female hiring law

A state agency says the oil and gas industry is failing a requirement to report on hiring of women and minority owned businesses. The Department of General Services is calling on the legislature to make it harder for the industry to avoid its reporting requirements. It says 70 percent of businesses it contacted did not [...]

Senate Republican leader isn’t ruling out gas tax

Governor Tom Wolf and state lawmakers are still at an impasse over the budget. Now, three weeks into the new fiscal year, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman is signaling he may be open to one of Wolf’s top priorities– a new tax on gas drillers. Corman (R- Centre) tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review he won’t rule [...]

Industry, education advocates face off over gas tax

Dueling rallies between the natural gas industry and public education advocates sparked some heated exchanges at the state Capitol Tuesday. Education advocates disrupted a pro-gas rally and drowned out speakers by shouting, “Tax the shale!” Iraq war veteran Tony Caldarelli fired back, saying that the United States has sought more energy security since the 1970s. “Are [...]

DEP seeks record fine of $8.9 million from Range Resources

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced a record fine today against the Texas-based Range Resources, which the agency says has failed to fix a gas well that polluted groundwater and a stream in Lycoming County. The DEP announced Tuesday that it will assess an $8.9 million fine against Range for refusing to fix the [...]

As budget negotiations heat up, so does rhetoric over gas tax

As the June 30th state budget deadline draws near, Republican legislative leaders are taking aim at the centerpiece of Governor Wolf’s spending plan—a new severance tax on natural gas drillers. Senate Republican leaders issued a statement Tuesday saying they have “severe concerns” about the tax, but House Speaker Mike Turzai (R- Allegheny) called a press [...]

Wolf’s gas tax would be among highest in nation, says Independent Fiscal Office

Governor Wolf made taxing the natural gas industry the centerpiece of his campaign, and if he gets his way, he could move Pennsylvania from having one of the lowest effective gas tax rates in the country to one of the highest. That was the analysis presented Monday at a joint senate committee hearing in Harrisburg [...]

Industry launches new TV ad opposing shale tax

The battle over Governor Wolf’s shale gas tax proposal took an acrimonious turn last week with dueling letters between the industry and the governor. Now the television ads have arrived. The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, which leads a coalition of groups opposing the shale gas tax, has begun running an ad against Governor [...]

Energy industry invests in Philly mayor’s race

Since Marcellus Shale development boomed, Philadelphia has been a thorn in the side of the gas industry. The city has not seen many of the economic benefits that places like Williamsport, or Pittsburgh have. And it tends to be home to well-organized, experienced environmental groups used to taking on powerful adversaries. When the industry invited [...]

Industry warns of negative impacts from Wolf’s gas tax

Governor Wolf’s proposed severance tax on natural gas drilling will cost Pennsylvania thousands of jobs and billions of dollars, according to a report released Thursday by the American Petroleum Institute, the nation’s largest oil and gas trade group. API projects the governor’s tax will result in 1,364 fewer wells over the next decade, resulting in a [...]

New study links gas drilling to water contamination in NE Pa.

New research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows evidence of a connection between gas drilling and water contamination that occurred in Bradford County in 2010. The researchers used a new method of testing for contaminants that can detect much smaller amounts of chemicals than the instruments typically used in commercial [...]

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