Governor Wolf has proposed a 5 percent natural gas extraction tax that would be based on both the value and volume of gas extraction from natural gas wells.
For its part, the natural gas industry has fought hard against such a tax in Pennsylvania, saying it will discourage continued investment.
But is this myth or fact?
“The argument from the drilling industry is that the state already has high corporate income tax and the industry is ... paying its fair share in other ways beside a severance tax," says Reid Frazier, a reporter for the Allegheny Front.
He goes on to say that environmental groups have been a bit silent about this proposal.
“Some of the environmental groups are waiting to see more details, to see specifics. There are certain environmental clean up initiatives they would like to see. State programs to clean up run off from agriculture, abandon mine clean up. That’s a five billion dollar problem in Pennsylvania that is essentially not funded. They would like to see more funds go to that.”
This weekend, Frazier says the Allegheny Front will also be looking at community concerns about drilling wells near local schools.
“ You’ll have a school on one side of the road a farm on the other side and there will be a well right there. Some parents in some of these suburban school districts near Pittsburgh are getting upset. They are worried that these wells could pose health risks to their kids and perhaps explosion risks and risks of having to evacuate the school."