Pennsylvania's capital budget for fiscal year 2010-2011, which was approved Monday by the state's House and last week by the state's Senate, includes several Marcellus Shale-related infrastructure projects.
The state's latest biennial capital budget (HB 2291) would provide $10 million for design and construction of a Marcellus Shale enterprise center in Sandy Township, $7.5 million for a reclamation facility in Clearfield County to process flowback fluid, and $4-6 million each for five flowback and production wastewater plants in Clearfield and Elk counties to treat and recycle hydraulic fracture wastewater. The bill would also provide funding for a Marcellus Shale learning resource center in Westmoreland County, a Marcellus industrial building at a former brownfield site in Clearfield County and several new rail facilities to be used by the industry.
The capital budget bill must still be signed by Gov. Ed Rendell or his successor (Democrat Dan Onorato and Republican Tom Corbett will face off in the Nov. 2 election), who will also decide which projects listed in the capital budget will actually receive state funding.
The bill was approved as the General Assembly struggles to reach an agreement on a proposed severance tax on natural gas drilling. The Republican-controlled Senate is preparing to take up legislation (SB 1155) approved last week by the Democratic-controlled House (see Daily GPI, Sept. 30) that would impose a 39 cents/Mcf (about 10%) severance tax on natural gas drilling in the state. The Senate is scheduled to reconvene next Tuesday (Oct. 12). Republicans in the upper chamber have made it clear that they want a much lower tax rate than that approved by the House.