at the Citizen Power Alliance 2010 Wind Conference
Marcellus Shale tax is front and center in Pa.
|For the first time since talk of taxing the methane beneath Pennsylvania bubbled up two years ago, the Republican-led Senate appears ready to join Gov. Ed Rendell and the House's Democratic majority in ending the state's status as the largest natural-gas producing state without such a tax.|
Still, there will still be room for wide disagreement in a debate that is set to intensify when the House and Senate return to Harrisburg this month.
Lawmakers may also sort through a number of issues surrounding the modern-day gas rush to tap the Marcellus Shale formation beneath the commonwealth. But the tax is unquestionably the centerpiece of the debate, particularly with the cash-strapped state looking for help.
The Democratic governor set the table in February 2009 when he first proposed a tax equivalent to West Virginia's - 5 percent on the sale value, plus 4.7 cents per thousand cubic feet of gas. At that rate, Pennsylvania would land somewhere in the middle of the various tax rates imposed by natural gas-producing states, although industry representatives say it would be the highest among the states with gas-yielding shale formations.
Such a tax is projected to raise $280 million in 2011, the Rendell administration said.
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