Wolf garners more opposition to plan replace drilling fee

HARRISBURG, Pa. (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 Thursday 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.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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