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Gas Drilling Payments Cause a Dispute in Pennsylvania

Oct 19, 2012
(New York Times)

PHILADELPHIA — Four Pennsylvania townships are challenging a state regulator’s decision to withhold their share of proceeds from a statewide levy on drilling by the booming natural gas industry there.

The townships, in a heavily drilled area of southwestern Pennsylvania, were excluded from a list of 35 counties and 1,485 municipalities that will receive a total of $108.7 million from a new “impact fee” charged to energy companies to help compensate for the effects of gas drilling on local communities.

The payout, the first under a new state law, was announced by Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday, two days before a Pennsylvania Supreme Court hearing on whether the law can pre-empt local control over where gas companies can put installations like drilling pads, compressor stations or wastewater ponds.