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.