Wolf garners more opposition to plan to replace drilling fee

| 28 Apr 2015 | 01:28

HARRISBURG (AP) — An organization of Pennsylvania's municipalities is joining counties in opposing Gov. Tom Wolf's proposal to replace a variable fee on Marcellus Shale natural gas wells with a flat annual payment to local governments in drilling areas.

Tim Horner, president of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, said April 24 that Wolf's plan doesn't let the fee grow as drilling grows.

Wolf wants to replace the three-year-old fee with an annual payment of $225 million. That's the most the fee has generated thus far in one year for local governments and state agencies and grant programs.

Wolf's plan also would ensure that local governments don't get less, should the price or drilling activity drop.

Wolf wants to fund the annual payment with a bigger severance tax on drilling that would aid public schools.