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Briefs -- Pennsylvania Budget, M3 Midstream

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf exercised his line item veto on Tuesday, refusing to accept a $30.3 billion Republican-crafted budget sent to him by the state Senate. Earlier this year, Wolf vetoed the entire Republican budget because he said it failed to plug the state's deficit, setting off a six-month budget impasse that has left schools and human services agencies with little funding (see Shale DailyJuly 1). Republicans have sparred with Wolf and Democrats during the gridlock, forcing Wolf to suspend his push for a severance tax on natural gas production in order to reach a compromise. Both sides said in November that they had reached a framework for a compromise budget (see Shale DailyNov. 13), but Republican House leaders rejected that deal during negotiations last week. Instead, the Senate passed a smaller budget crafted by the House earlier this month. A severance tax remains off the table, but Wolf said the latest budget doesn't do enough to fund public education in the state. He vetoed parts of the latest budget, told lawmakers to get back to work and released $23.3 billion in emergency funding for schools and human services agencies.

M3 Midstream LLC's Stonewall Gathering System in West Virginia entered service at the end of November. An extension of the company's more than 100-mile Appalachia Gathering System, which serves dry natural gas production in northern West Virginia and southwest Pennsylvania, Stonewall is expected to move up to 1.4 Bcf/d of natural gas when it becomes fully operational next summer. The 50-mile expansion gathers gas in Doddridge, Harrison and Lewis counties, WV, for delivery to the Columbia Gas Transmission system.

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