Webinar On Pa. Marcellus Shale Legislation Thursday

From Potter County Today

natgaslogoA free one-hour “webinar” on Pennsylvania’s new and proposed laws affecting Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling is scheduled for 1 pm Thursday, Jan. 20. It’s sponsored by Penn State Cooperative Extension and will feature a presentation by Ross Pifer, director of the Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center at Penn State, followed by a question and answer period. Information about how to register and participate is available here. Registration does take some time, so those planning to attend the webinar should plan to log in early.

Many Marcellus Shale issues remain unresolved in Harrisburg, according to Pifer. “I will discuss the details of natural-gas legislation enacted during the most recent legislative session as well as the various topics that were introduced, but not enacted by, the General Assembly,” he said. “I will then look forward to the legislative session that has just begun and discuss issues that are likely to be the subject of further legislative debate.”

In the 2009-10 session, legislation was enacted to provide for greater public accessibility to production data from Marcellus Shale wells. Legislation also was enacted to address the impact of natural-gas development on land that is enrolled in the Clean and Green preferential tax-assessment program. The topic that received the most attention was a proposed severance tax on natural gas. Ultimately, the General Assembly did not enact legislation providing for this tax, but the subject may be revisited.

“One issue that likely will be discussed in the new session is compulsory pooling,” Pifer said. “This has been a controversial topic.”

Previous Marcellus Shale natural gas webinars, publications and other information on topics such as water use and quality, zoning, leasing considerations and implications for local communities also are available at the same website. For more information, contact John Turack at (724) 837-1402 or jdt15@psu.edu.

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