Pennsylvania unveils new gas drilling rules

Gov. Tom Corbett called Monday for even-handed laws that recognize the natural gas industry's competition beyond the state’s borders.

Corbett’s plan would allow counties to impose fees of up to $160,000 per well over 10 years to help pay for the cost to regulate the drilling and fix the damage it causes to the environment, according to the Associated Press. It also would toughen laws that protect the state’s water sources and help the industry find new outlets for its product, such as converting school bus fleets or mass transit systems to natural gas power., the AP reported.

Under his plan, counties would have the latitude to impose an impact fee of up to $40,000 per well in a well’s first year. The maximum fee amount would decline to $30,000 in the second year, $20,000 in the third year and $10,000 in the fourth through tenth years of production. After that, it would disappear.

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