Friday, October 1, 2010

Gas Shale News for the Keystone State, 10/1 edition

The big news is that the Pennsylvania house passed SB 1155, the severance tax on shale gas production. The tax rate is set at 39 cents per thousand cubic feet of natural gas at the wellhead. Republicans vow to lower the tax before final passage, or stop it altogether, ridiculously claiming that the play is a huge bonanza that the industry will suddenly ignore if there is a slight reduction of their enormous profits.

A CNN story reviews the natural gas and fracking issues and declares in its title that we are witnessing the arrival of Big Gas.

Kerry Gren's blog on WHYY examines the effect of the gas boom on demands for social services, meanwhile the the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority is starting a study to determine affordable housing needs counties affected by the Marcellus Play boom.

Cabot Oil & Gas, a company featured in the controversial Gasland, is accusing the state DEP of waging a "public war" against them.

In any resource boom you can expect to find swindlers and con men, and this one is no exception. The Pennsylvania Securities Commission has sent a cease and desist order to Albert T. McKelvey of Richland to stop selling bogus Marcellus Investments. Now I think they are being a bit hard on him, since he is a fraudulent retire Marine Corps Colonel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is this gas a long term prospect for the towns around the wells? The greedy politicians want the state to get the tax, but the local governments want it to pay for the infrastructure demands(the latter seems completely reasonable, while the former is more likely to wasted on pork barrel in other areas that aren't near the gas). The landowners are getting money that enables some to keep (or even buy) land in an economy when they otherwise would be broke. And the towns around the wells are seeing more people spending money, so they're expanding services. But what happens when the gas and all the money it brings goes away? Everyone will be so accustomed to having the boom, they won't have even thought of the day the bust comes. Did we learn anything from the housing bubble?