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IT'S BECOMING increasingly clear how much of a toll that natural gas extraction from the state's Marcellus Shale formation is taking on the environment and potentially on human health.
It's also increasingly clear why it's taking so long for state lawmakers to return the favor, and impose a tax on drillers.
A new report from the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association found that Marcellus Shale drillers in the state have piled up 1,435 violations in the last 2 1/2 years . The great majority - 66 percent - have the potential for direct impact on the environment. (That's not surprising, given that the process of drilling for gas involves fracturing, or "fracking", where fluids are injected at high pressure into rock to blast it open and increase the flow of gas.)
One of the highest number of violations was in the discharge of industrial waste. The report pointed out that the chemicals used in fracking can harm skin, eyes, the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, and many can affect the brain and nervous systems.
These dangers require regulation and oversight, and demand that the industry help cover the costs of such oversight, as well as remediation. But for lawmakers, rushing to welcome the industry's foray into the state has been more important than making sure the right controls are in place, or that there is enough money to pay for those controls. Another recent report clarifies why.
That report, "Deep Drilling., Deep Pockets" released by Common Cause, found that since 2007, drillers spent over $4 million lobbying state legislators and the Rendell administration. It has donated nearly $3 million to candidates in Pennsylvania since 2001.
Last year, a tax on extraction was abandoned; this year, a tax will be imposed, the amount to be determined by Oct. 1.
Cynics might conclude that the long deadline will allow lawmakers to shake down as many drillers as possible for campaign contributions - and the level of those contributions will have some relation to the ultimate tax rate.


That's bad enough, but it gets worse: We won't know the amounts of many of those contributions. According to an "It's Our Money" report (Page 15), because laws governing campaign disclosure are tied to the election calendar, not the legislative calendar, there will be a 18-day window where drillers will be able to pour money into campaign coffers of state lawmakers, but disclosure of those contributions won't be required until after the vote on the tax.
Voluntary disclosures are not prohibited, and Common Cause has agreed to post all such voluntary reports of campaign contributions on its site (see accompanying story for details.) We urge lawmakers to comply. This would be a first step in restoring some trust in state government; unlike natural gas, that trust is one of the scarcer resources in Pennsylvania.
The Security and Exchange Commission imposes a "quiet period" following an initial public offering that prohibits the issuer from public comments on the offering. We need a quiet period in the law-making process that prohibits contributions from industries or companies while legislation is being crafted that impacts those industries.
The drilling for natural gas can provide a real boon to the state's economy, but it's not without serious and long-term risks. Proceeds from an extraction tax can help balance those risks.
Some lawmakers fear that a tax may slow the growth of gas drilling. But that probably wouldn't be such a bad thing for the environment, or the people who live here.

Philadelphia Daily News
 

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I kinda figured Philadelphia would be interested in a severance tax....
JUst for the environment mind ya They are real big on the environment in Philadelphia ya know....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, I guess in your quest to justify maximizing your own profits you missed the point?
 

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no I believe Philadelphia missed the point... In its zeal to maximize their profiteering from endeavors that have no effect on them.

I do not oppose a tax on the gas I oppose how it is divied up! Because the politicians want to buy votes in metropolitan areas!
 

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Philly and Pittsburgh never lack in getting "their share" of any tax monies raised, generally at the expense of the rural areas of the state.

Now I see Rendell wants huge increases in PADOT licensing fees:

$4 increase in driver's license fee; $13 increse for learner's permits; Car registration from $36 to $49; Inspection sticker from $2 to $5.

Guess where most of that increase will be directed? The official excuse is raising more funds for highway and bridge repairs. Wonder how much will be spent subsidizing mass transit in those two cities?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The most important point in my opinion was the following:
Last year, a tax on extraction was abandoned; this year, a tax will be imposed, the amount to be determined by Oct. 1.
Cynics might conclude that the long deadline will allow lawmakers to shake down as many drillers as possible for campaign contributions - and the level of those contributions will have some relation to the ultimate tax rate.
While this above is true, it is sad that our legiscritters value their own personal bottom line more than they do our environment.
 

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While this above is true, it is sad that our legiscritters value their own personal bottom line more than they do our environment.
Nothin' new to see here...move along.


Show me a politician who has been in office for many years and I'll show ya one who has always looked out for him/herself first. The "best" ones have become pretty well-versed in convincing their constituents, that the opposite is true.
 

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Some lawmakers fear that a tax may slow the growth of gas drilling. But that probably wouldn't be such a bad thing for the environment, or the people who live here.
 

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I doubt the enactment of a severance tax will adversely impact Marcellus Shale drilling in PA. Some form of it already exists in other states that have considerable gas extraction operations.

Oil, gas and mineral companies will go where they can find and access what they're looking for. Right now, PA is the spot for gas extraction in the NE.

According to reports I've read, they will be extracting gas here for the next 15-20 years, perhaps even longer? Any severance taxes will become yet another cost of doing business, just like they are everywhere else.
 

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Philly should worry about their crime rate... not was going on in the sane part of the state.... As i covered earlier... about 1 month back.... CHECK YOUR FACTS before using your scare tactics to worry ignorant ppl. I bet 100 bucks that the person that wrote that article about has never stepped foot on a well pad....so...
AS STATED BEFORE-

http://www.energyindepth.org/frac-fluid.pdf

I thought we covered this? Every well is not going to be exactly the same.... if you have a well that has a 5800 foot horizonal leg on it. vs. one with a 2250ft leg on it... they are not going to use the same amounts of chemicals.....they will not disclose every stinking well that the drill.

I do believe tho... that this will take the wind out of every landowners/complainants sails... this will finally prove that 99.9 percent of the time... frac's do NOT impact GW unless it is cased off incorrectly.
 

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BTW... if you ever took a toxicology class.... you would understand that EVERYTHING IS TOXIC... its just a matter of running a little risk assesment...
Risk= Hazard x Exposure... if your sucking on the end of your tail pipe, chances are, it will kill you.... but if you live 45 miles away from the closest car.... chances are u wont die from carbon monoxide.... unless ur furnace is acting up...... but... all in all....Marcellus activity is harmless....Risk = Hazard x Exposure.... you do the math....

PS Philly shouldn't even blink an eye about it..... your money will come....
 

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TributeArcher said:
Every well is not going to be exactly the same.... if you have a well that has a 5800 foot horizonal leg on it. vs. one with a 2250ft leg on it... they are not going to use the same amounts of chemicals.....they will not disclose every stinking well that the drill.
Following that logic, if I build a house, I should have to follow the rules. If I build a skyscraper, I should be allowed to use asbestos and lead paint, because it's bigger.

That makes sense.
 

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What rules do you speak of? I know PA Code chapter 78, 79, 102, and 105 pretty well.... Which rules do you speak of? Building Codes and fracing wells couldnt be more different.....
If your that curious to how much chemcials they use... click on the link i posted- 2 posts ago.... Take the water they use.... roughtl;y 5 million gallons, then take the percentages of the chemicals used... and u can figure out the gallons of chemicals used...To quote King of Conservatism- your majesty Rush Limbaugh- when he spoke of the oil spill in the Gulf- Its like a tear drop in a bath tub.... Fracing takes place under ground over a mile and a half. If you want to go back to that ultra conservitive logic ,which I dispise, it would be less then a tear drop in a lake.... I wanna know what happend to Drill Baby, Drill.... It was real cool when Palin said it a couple years ago! No so cool now... sorry to rain on your parade, but drilling is here to stay.... i dont know about you, but im quite sick of paying for foreign oil.... time to spend our money domestically.
 

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i dont know about you, but im quite sick of paying for foreign oil.... time to spend our money domestically.
Speaking of gasoline here, but a recent article I read, said the only two oil companies in our area that tend to use little or no middle east or Chavez oil for their gasoline, are Sunoco and Conoco/Phillips.

Have one gas credit card: Sunoco. CITGO keeps sending me pre-approved card applications, which go in the trash because of Hugo Chavez.
 

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I know it is just symbolic, but to this day I will not buy gas at a CITGO.

I also do not see the widespread environmental damage that is documented by the media through out the state. I do agree in the congress critters being only out for themselves.
 

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Sometimes I don't understand the logic of these "green enviromentalists". All they worry about is clean air and water, and nothing else. Back in the 70's & 80's they caused the closings of many steelmills with air pollution laws. Tens of thousands lost their jobs(12,000 in City of Johnstown alone).Next they went after coal power plants, requiring billions in cleaning smoke emissions. This doubled the cost of electrity. Not done yet, they went after septic tanks, forcing communities to triple their sewage bills to put in lines,and homeowners to put liens on their homes to tap in. Now their after the gas drillers.
To me, I would like to live my life with a decent paying job and be able to enjoy my time here. We are all going to die sometime. Sure, some people may die of lung disease and water pollution, but thousands more die in car wrecks and plane wrecks and we aren't trying to stop these activities.
I don't want to be sitting on the porch of a run down shack with my significant other saying "gee doesn't the air smell good hon?" and she says "yea, too bad we can't afford to go get an ice cream."
Let me work at a decent paying job, and enjoy life. Let me worry about how long I'll be here to enjoy it, not some dogooder sitting in an office somewhere.
 

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CITGO keeps sending me pre-approved card applications, which go in the trash because of Hugo Chavez.
While I understand your feelings about Hugo, you do realize that all crude is mixed together as it's unloaded from the big ships. Add to that the fact that 100% of all Citgo gas stations are independently owned and operated.

So by not shopping at a Citgo retailer the only businees people your hurting are the American owners. But shop were ever you like.
Me and Hugo got a good thing going, plus his oil didn't pollute the Gulf of Mexico!
 
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