The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) said impact fee collections could increase or decrease this year depending largely on natural gas prices, which have trended lower through the first half of 2018.
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Higher natural gas prices and more new wells helped Pennsylvania collect nearly $210 million in impact fees last year, about $36 million more than in 2016, the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) said on Thursday.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has formally proposed more than doubling unconventional oil and gas well permit fees to cover the increasing costs of regulating the industry.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) said it collected more than $173 million in impact fees from the state’s natural gas producers in 2016, but fees declined on low commodity prices to the lowest level since enacted in 2012 and were down for the third year in a row.
A democratic lawmaker in Pennsylvania is drafting legislation that would change state law to more clearly define what constitutes a stripper well, following a ruling last month from the Commonwealth Court that some fear could result in a decline of impact fee revenues.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has sided with state regulators, expressing concern about the Commonwealth Court’s decision last month to reverse a Public Utility Commission (PUC) order that would have required an independent oil and natural gas producer to pay nearly $500,000 in impact fee revenue, interest and penalties.
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale warned Tuesday that something must be done to change the “vague” spending guidelines, poor reporting requirements and lack of state oversight in the law that established an impact fee collected from shale drillers.
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said this week that his office has started an audit of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) collection and distribution of the unconventional shale gas well impact fee and how the funds are being spent by counties and municipalities.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has approved an agreement to lease 5,870 acres of land in the northeastern part of the state to Chief Oil & Gas LLC, netting the agency a bonus payment of more than $14.6 million plus royalties and other fees.
Wyoming’s five-member Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC) chaired by Gov. Matt Mead on Tuesday unanimously raised bonding requirements on oil/natural gas companies from $25,000 to $100,000. Operators will have a year to obtain the higher coverage once the new rule is final early next year.